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Sports Then and Now

Waiting For The Weekend: Some Strange Happenings

Posted on September 04, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Waiting for the weekendI don’t know if it because there is a full moon tonight or what, but there has been a lot of strange things happening in the sports world.

First Night Of College Football Lacked Offense, But Not Incidents
It was very strange to watch the first night of college football and see so little offensive firepower on the field.

Given that the first game on ESPN featured the “Old Ball Coach” (Steve Spurrier) who was once known as an offensive guru, I really thought the South Carolina-North Carolina State game would be more than a 7-3 defensive struggle.

Then, the second game between Boise State and Oregon would surely be an offensive showcase since Boise State ranked 12th in the nation in scoring last season (37.6 points per game) and Oregon was even better ranking seventh (41.9).

As it turned out, the blue turf in Boise evidently zapped the offensive might from the two squads as neither team looked crisp. Boise State moved the ball down the field pretty good, but missed some early field goals and had a difficult time turning yards into points.

LeGarrette Blount did score a two point conversion against Boise State. But it was his actions after the game that created controversy.

LeGarrette Blount did score a two point conversion against Boise State. But it was his actions after the game that created controversy.

Oregon just looked anemic in the first half and then in the second half did somewhat better, but really never got it rolling.

The 19-8 score was definitely not what most college football fans were expecting.

They were also not expecting what took place right after the game when Oregon tailback LeGarrette Blount reacted to a brief encounter with a Boise State player by launching a roundhouse punch directly to his jaw and then taunting the fans.

Watch the ESPN video

While it is clear that the Boise State player started the incident, there is still no call for Blount’s actions and I hope that the Oregon coaching staff duly punishes him. At a minimum, he should be suspended for their next game against Purdue and I think you could argue in favor of a 3-4 game suspension.

However, with their next two games after Purdue being against Utah and California you can bet that he will not face that stiff of a penalty.

Strange Case of Coach Jagodzinski
It has been a really bizarre year for former Boston College head football coach Jeff Jagodzinski and it got even stranger yesterday.

It has not been a good year for coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

It has not been a good year for coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

If you will recall, Jagodzinski coached Boston College for two seasons and was 20-8 with two appearances in the ACC Championship Game.

He was fired by Boston College in January after refusing to cancel an interview for the head coaching job with the New York Jets even though he knew he would be fired and also knew he was a long-shot (at best) for the job.

After BC followed through on their threat, he landed as the offensive coordinator for new Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris.

It looked like a good fit as it got Jagodzinski back into the NFL, where he had previously been an offensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers and coached other positions for the Packers and Atlanta Falcons.

As a first-time head coach, Morris needed a veteran offensive mind to help shape the offense and Jagodzinski seemed to fit the bill.

Only now we find out that maybe Jagodzinski wasn’t as suited for his role as an offensive coordinator as may have been originally thought.

Word out of Tampa is that Jagodzinski had limited experience actually calling plays and relied heavily on his former offensive coordinator with Boston College, Steve Logan, who followed Jagodzinski to Tampa as the running backs coach.

In what I found to be a strange statement, one source said that Jagodzinski was more suited to be a head coach than an assistant coach.

I assume they meant that he is more of a manager than an X’s and O’s type coach, but I thought most head coaches started out as X’s and O’s guys and then work their way to the top.

While Jagodzinski is probably today wondering just how things went so wrong over the last nine months, he does, at least, have the consolation that Tampa Bay will be paying him somewhere near a million dollars to complete his contract.

Definitely a severance package I wouldn’t be complaining about.

As for his next coaching move, I suspect he will probably try to hook on with some television network as an analyst for the short term as that seems to be the haven for coaches who have lost their way.

You would think that a college program would be an easier move for Jagodzinski, but I think part of the reason for his willingness to risk his job at Boston College was that he enjoyed the NFL better. So, he may have to suck up his pride and settle for a position coaching assignment somewhere to try and repair his reputation.

Each week we look at some current and former athletes who were born during the week.

Here are some notable sports figures born during this week:
September 4 – Raymond Floyd (1942), Tom Watson (1949), Shane Gould (1956)
September 5 – Bill Mazeroski (1936), Willie Gault (1960), Tim McKyer (1963)
September 6 – Vincent DiMaggio (1912), Anne Henning (1953), Torrence Small (1970)
September 7 – Paul Brown (1908), Bruce Armstrong (1965), Antonio McDyess (1974)
September 8 – Buck O’Neil (1907), Maurice Cheeks (1956), Clarence Weatherspoon (1970)
September 9 – Joe Theismann (1949), Jack Trudeau (1962), B.J. Armstrong (1967)
September 10 – Arnold Palmer (1929), Bob Lanier (1948), Kimble Anders (1966), Ben Wallace (1974)

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