Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Enough is Enough | by Sean

I understand that when a job is as high-profile as that of the Notre Dame head football coach that people will be coming out of the woodwork to throw their name into the hopper. Some, like Dan Hawkins, Charlie Weis, and Tom Clements, are genuinely interested in the prestige and challenge that comes with such a position. Others float their name out there for the sole purpose of saying the next day that they are "not interested in the Notre Dame job", thus increasing the general public's and, more importantly, their current and potential future employers' perception of their worth.

I get that. We live in the United States, it's a capitalistic society, and by any (legal) means necessary people should get every penny they can. I guess. I'm not happy that a great university like that of Our Lady ends up being the punching bag in this whole process, but in this age where tearing down is much more in vogue than building up, I guess it's to be expected. So Jim Fassel floats his name out there via an associate, just long enough for Avani Patel of the Chicago Tribune to run with it and say that Fassel is a candidate for the Notre Dame job. Then, like clockwork, Fassel states the next day that he's not interested in a collegiate job. So now Fassel has "said no to Notre Dame". Even though Notre Dame never contacted him, nor gave any indication that they even care that he is still a United States citizen. Whatever. If this is the way the game is played, if this is the price we pay for our "irelevant" program being the lead story every day, then so be it. Hell, Fassel took a team to the Super Bowl. He made Kerry Collins - KERRY COLLINS - a Pro Bowl quarterback. If this is what he wants to do, fine. Who am I to stop him?

Here's what I'm not fine with: Kansas head football blimp Mark Mangino "taking his name out of the running" for the Notre Dame job. This from today's South Bend Tribune:

But the candidates Notre Dame is checking into seems to be taking shape with names surfacing Monday such as University of Kansas coach Mark Mangino, Northwestern coach Randy Walker, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, former Cleveland Browns and Miami Hurricanes coach Butch Davis and UConn coach Randy Edsall....

When reached by phone Monday, Mangino admitted he has been contacted informally about the Notre Dame vacancy.

"There have been phone calls left at different places," said Mangino, who is 12-24 during his first three years at the helm of the Jayhawks. "But it has been nobody in an official capacity."
Mangino, whose team finished 4-7 this season, declined to say who contacted him or whether or not he is interested.

"I have a job that I am happy in," he said. "I am bent on building a Top 25 program here at Kansas."

Now, I'm sure that the mainstream media has run with this one already, ridiculing Notre Dame that it can't even get the coach of Kansas to take its phone calls. That the Kansas job is a better job than the Notre Dame job. That it's easier to win at Kansas than at Notre Dame. But I'm going to have my say anyway, and here goes, and I will bet my son's autographed Carlyle Holiday road jersey on this:

There is no way on God's green earth that anybody who matters at Notre Dame contacted Mark Mangino, either formally or informally, for anything other than his recommendation on the best cheeseburger joints in Big XII cities. Up to this point in his head coaching tenure at Kansas, Mangino is best known for three things: (1) practically starting a fist fight at one of his son's high school football games a couple years ago; (2) accusing the BCS of fixing his game against Texas this season; and (3) winning his third consecutive "Macy's Award", given to the college coach who is most likely to leave coaching and become a parade float (much to the chagrin of perennial runner up, Ralph Friedgen). For those of you who have never seen the corpulent Mangino, I would post a picture here, except (a) I don't know how, and (b) it wouldn't fit on my hard drive anyway.

There is posturing, there is extreme postruing, and then there is Mark Mangino pulling his name out of the Notre Dame head coaching search. Yeah, the school has "informally" contacted a coach who is 12-24 at Kansas and coming off a 4-7 season. Sounds to me like someone needs an extension...or needs a raise....or needs to avoid being fired. Get over yourself, Jabba.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go withdraw my name from the list of candidates for the Notre Dame head coaching position. I'm no longer interested in the job. I am committed to building a winning sales team with the company I currently work for. The school never did contact me, but...you know, it's Christmas time. I need a bigger bonus. It's all about posturing, baby.