Friday, December 24, 2010
You remember Oakley, Jordan's chief enforcer/protector when they were both in Chicago. He also was instrumental in bringing him to Washington in his final comeback. He became a partying buddy of his as well. Now he'll be keeping the players in line from the bench. First golfing buddy and former Bulls teammate Rod Higgins gets a GM job and now this. What's next Charlie Sheen as the team advisor? This hiring has a whiff of nepotism to it if I ever saw one. Now I would never tell Oak face to face that he doesn't have the credentials for an assistant coaching job. But when you think about it, does he? Hey who knows, he probably could still whip some of those young bucks. I'd still take Oakley over crazy Captain Jack. And he was a good rebounder and defender, so he might can teach the bigs a few things on positioning and rebounding.
It could work, but I think it might not. This is just based on Jordan's executive track record. Don't let Oakley interact with the media too much. He's tough and old school and brings something the Bobcats have lacked. Toughness.
Stafford's been hurt for most of the season. He separated his throwing shoulder in the first game of the season and aggravated it against the Jets in week 8. Well they said it was a different injury from the initial injury. I think he came back too soon or was rushed back. One of the two. I know Stafford probably wanted to come back for the last two games of the year and test himself. It's probably a good thing he didn't make the decision himself.
It's clear the team isn't going anywhere and it was wise to put him on IR and not risk another significant injury which would leave you drafting another quarterback. It also was clear that the Lions could've been at least three wins better this year. But we're not playing horseshoes and hand grenades here. It's the NFL. And one false move can set you back years. The Lions and their fans know all about being set back.
A couple of weeks ago the Volunteers went into Pittsburgh and dismantled the then No.3 Panthers 83-76. And the score really wasn't that close. They were blowing them out by 21 before Bruce Pearl called off the dogs. Prior to that they beat Villanova 78-68. The Volunteers looked good in beating two of the Big East's better teams and subsequently rose to No.7 in the national rankings. Well, we all know rankings don't mean jack until you get in conference. Unless your Duke or Kansas. And Tennessee found this out the hard way. After beating Pittsburgh, the Vols dropped three in a row. All to inferior opponents. Oakland, Charlotte, and USC. Two of them at home.
I'm not taking anything away from those teams. Oakland is a much more difficult opponent than what people think, don't look at the Ohio State game as an indicator. Charlotte had just lost it's best player (Shamari Spears) and USC just hasn't been the same since the O.J. Mayo controversy. Last night they narrowly escaped Belmont, 66-65. Definitely not the same Tennessee team I saw a few weeks ago.
In my opinion, as it seems with some teams, is they get on their own hype. They start thinking they can underprepare for opponents and just show up and win. Only a select few teams can get away with that and the Vols are not one of them. Don't get me wrong. They are plenty good and should be one of the SEC's best this year. But they shouldn't be overlooking other teams. That's what I think happened. It's good to believe in yourself, just don't get too overconfident.
With conference play starting in two weeks, we'll see if Tennessee can regain their focus, like they had against 'Nova and Pitt. They'll have to because Bruce Pearl will be sitting out the first eight conference games for lying to the NCAA. The Vols will have to be at their best with games against Memphis, Arkansas, and Florida looming in early January.