There was laughing and crying in Philadelphia last week, with not quite as much thinking. It’s cool, though. It’s worth a little anarchy to see Eagles-cheering friends of mine like John Marble, David Bassity and Harold Kuntz so happy.
My son’s best buddy at KU is an Eagles fan from Princeton, New Jersey. He flew home last Wednesday night, celebrated at the victory parade Thursday, and was back in Lawrence on Friday afternoon.
One of my dearest friends is a district attorney in Philadelphia. He watched the Super Bowl at a house where they had built a goal post in the front yard.
“We’re going to tear it down!” he texted me last Sunday night.
Sports are the freaking best, man.
This made me laugh
The video from Showtime’s “Inside the NFL,” revealing quarterback Nick Foles suggested to coach Doug Pederson that the Eagles run their time-capsule trick play before the half.
“You want ‘Philly Philly?’” Foles asked his coach on the sideline during the timeout.
Pederson looked up from his play chart, stared at the quarterback for a couple seconds, then said while nodding: “Yeah, let’s do it.”
And we thought Foles’ story couldn’t get any sweeter.
Remember, Oklahoma ran its version of “Philly Philly” or “Philly Special” or whatever you want to call it before halftime of the Rose Bowl. Receiver CeeDee Lamb hit Baker Mayfield for the touchdown that made it 31-14, Sooners.
When I saw Lincoln Riley on signing day last week, I couldn’t help but ask if Mayfield had suggested the call, a la Foles. Riley said he did not, which is a shame.
Here’s what I hoped to hear: “Yeah, I wanted to spring Mark Andrews on a pick, or throw the short post to Marquise Brown. But Bake suggested we run ‘OU Kidding Me.’ That’s what we call it. ‘OU Kidding Me.’
“I said, ‘You sure about this?’ He said, ‘Money in the bank, Linc.’”
For the record, here’s what Riley actually said: “We had had it in the game plan a couple of times during the year. Obviously never used it. Just never got in the right situation to call it. It was one of those that we felt like would be a good call if the right situation came up. Right when we got the ball on that hash, we knew what we were going to do pretty quickly.”
This made me think
Everybody keeps waiting for Brent Venables to take his first head coaching job, and I keep wondering, what’s the hurry?
The OU-turned-Clemson assistant is making $2 million annually as of last week’s raise. He was already one of the most successful, respected defensive coordinators in college football, already the picture of fulfillment recruiting four- and five-star talent, playing for national championships and loving life whether alongside Dabo Swinney or watching his boys play high school ball or out on Lake Keowee.
Now he is filthy rich, too.
I remember thinking Venables took Swinney’s 6-year-old offer because he needed to prove himself out from under Bob and Mike Stoops. He needed to be his own man, from a football sense. That way, he could take a shorter path to a head coaching gig.
Instead, Venables found an even better, more rewarding situation than the one he had in Norman. Clemson more and more looks like his destination job, not the next step toward that destination job.
A footnote here: A check of the World archives shows Venables received his first raise at OU in the summer of 2000, after his and the new staff’s first season in Norman. He went from $115,000 to $120,000.
From 115 grand to 2 mil...
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Let ‘em be college football coaches instead.
This made me cry
Trae Young, pulling up for a clanked 30-footer down the stretch of a tight game at Iowa State, when he’s either finishing with layups or making free throws after being fouled every time he takes his defender into the lane.
The flair is fun. It helps make Young the player he is.
But February is about being smart, not sexy. Sexy doesn’t win conference road games a month from the NCAA Tournament. Smart does.