Jim Vallet and Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
I guess because there were no available Pop Warner coaches, Monday the Indianapolis Colts hired Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach. To do that, the Colts had to fire their old coach, Frank Reich, who had just fired the old offensive coordinator. Although there is not much fire in the Colts’ play on the field, the Colts’ front office is doing a lot of firing.
Jeff Saturday was a very good offensive lineman for the Colts for 13 years. A six time Pro Bowl selection, he earned one Super Bowl ring and is enshrined in the Colts’ Ring of Honor. He went from being the manager of an electrical supply store to a very good pro career, so he has earned my respect as a player and a person.
The problem is, he hasn’t done any coaching at all above the high school level. So, I see an opportunity! I was a high school baseball coach, so why can’t I manage the Yankees? Although I never played Major League baseball, I coached high school baseball longer than Saturday coached high school football, so how do I apply?
The reason I won’t be hired is because there are no major league baseball owners as dumb as Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. Watching the press conference Tuesday to announce Saturday’s hiring, I got the feeling that I was listening to the guy at the end of the bar who has been there since he got off work. Why couldn’t I have had a rich old man like Irsay so I could say and do stupid things and get away with them? Irsay, among many other things, attempted to argue that having no coaching experience at all above high school was a good thing if you want to coach in the NFL!! According to Irsay, Saturday won’t, “…be scared…” to make decisions, which implies Reich was. (Ignorance is bliss?) Also, Irsay offered to bet on Saturday’s success with anyone who had the temerity to suggest that maybe a prerequisite to being an NFL head coach was at least a little experience. I feel badly that a man who seems to be a quality person like Jeff Saturday had to be a part of the whole debacle.
I wish Saturday luck on Sunday, and he certainly did get a break by drawing the Las Vegas Raiders in his first game. But, this reminds me of the dopes who, every year after the college national championship game, declare that Alabama or Georgia or Clemson could beat the worst NFL team. The NFL is a super-elite league full of world class athletes. Every single one of the coaches (with, as of Monday, one possible exception) knows WAY more about football and how to teach it than those of us who spend time criticizing. There is no way any college team can play with any pro team, and no way a high school coach can adequately coach in the NFL. I don’t know if Irsay was “in the bag” at the press conference or not, but, at least if he was hammered, he would have an excuse for this hiring. It’s too bad owners, unlike coaches, players, and officials, are not held accountable for their actions.
Well, my boss holds me accountable by printing my record every week. Right now it sits at 56% against the spread, so I better not quit my day job. Here are my picks this week against the spread. Lines are from sportsline.com on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Carolina Panthers The Falcons can run the ball, and the Panthers can’t stop the run. There will be no last second Hail Mary to cover this time.
Seattle Seahawks (+2 ½) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Munich, Germany) The wrong team is favored here, and I checked it twice to make sure I had it right.
Dallas Cowboys (-5) at Green Bay Packers. The Packers could have beaten the Lions, but they’re not playing the Lions this week.
Arizona Cardinals (+3) at LA Rams The shows on both sidelines might be better than this game. I think the Cardinals are better than the Rams right now.
San Francisco 49ers (-7) vs LA Chargers I don’t like giving 7 points to any good NFL team, but the 49ers are getting healthy and I don’t know who will catch passes for the Chargers besides Austin Eckler.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+2 ½) vs. New Orleans Saints The Saints are a different defense without Marshson Lattimore, and Andy Dalton keeps throwing to the wrong colored jerseys.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+9 ½) at Kansas City Chiefs If you haven’t noticed, the Chiefs are not covering these big spreads at home.
Last week 4-2
TCU (+7 ½) at Texas: I was surprised this line was this high, but bettors seem to love the Longhorns. In Max Duggan I trust.
Auburn (-1) over Texas A&M: These are two teams whose seasons have both gone off the rails, although only one of them is a surprise. Auburn finally fired Bryan Harsin last week, then played probably their best game of the season in an overtime loss to Mississippi St. last Saturday. But if that emotional locker room postgame speech by interim coach Cadillac Williams is any indication, he will get them to put up that kind of fight again. At the very least, it made me wish I could play for him.
Arkansas (+3 ½) over LSU: The Tigers now have the inside track to a spot in the SEC championship game with only Arkansas and Texas A&M in the way. In fact, they probably still get there even if they lose one of the two, if Alabama beats Mississippi this weekend. But this is a clear letdown spot, against a team that wants to beat LSU more than any other on its schedule. I just wish they played this rivalry the day after Thanksgiving like they used to.
Steelers (+1 ½) over Saints: The Saints are a 3-6 team that has lost three of its last four games, and are favored on the road. The Steelers are 2-6, but they have played fairly well in their three home games, losing a close game to the Patriots, blowing a lead against the Jets, and beating the Buccs. This is more of a vote against the Saints than on the Steelers, but I think the bye week came at a good time for the Steelers and they break through here for a win.
Cowboys (-4 ½) at Packers: I’ve been expecting the lights to come on for the Packers offense all season, but I’ve finally (several weeks too late) come to the conclusion that the bulb is broken.