Pete Carroll is gone, and this really and truly is a momentous, epoch-ending moment in the timestream of college football. For the first time this century, the Pac-10 may actually be competitive year in and year out now that its chief hegemon will likely do what programs do when replacing good coaches: hire someone terrible. In more modern parlance: they will dive into a sea of FAIL, potentially by hiring someone clinically insane like Herm Edwards.
Don't argue: in almost every case, a great program says "Well, that guy was awesome. Let't change things up and try on total mediocrity for a change." This only makes sense if you, like us, assume the world is run by 58 shadowy men in ascots so bored by their own success they like to try extravagant failure on sometimes just for the thrill of it.
What else explains Perkins after Bryant, or [NAME REDACTED] following Spurrier, Gibbs after Switzer, or Erickson after Johnson* ( a guy who put fine machines into less capable hands at the college and pro levels)?
Only a perverse pleasure in exotic and disastrous failure explains it, which is why whomever USC hires next will be terrible not only in comparison, but by any objective measures, too. It's something the successful like to do: implode just to see what it feels like. Why else would Ted Turner look at AOL's homepage and say, "THAT'S what I'm going to sell my life's work into?" Why else would L'il Wayne pick up a guitar? Ever? Why else would Rick Reilly try to host Sportscenter? Why is our line of rebus erotica going to be so much fun despite being expensive and doomed? Because it is both of those things, of course: expensive, and doomed.
FAIL is the new black, and USC's going to try it on for size for a while before getting on with the boring business of winning. So, we at EDSBS encourage you to do the same. In fact, here's the list of things we plan to FAIL at this year:
--Parenting. It doesn't matter what we do, somehow, some way, we will fail at parenting this year. Either we'll haphazardly tie the infant down with some twine because the car seat won't fit in the back of the autogyro, or use a t-shirt in lieu of a diaper, or in a sleep-deprived stupor feed it a Stella Artois while we down three bottles of breast milk wondering why we're queasy and un-buzzed. We'll fail somehow, because this is what parents do thanks to to humans coming without instruction manuals. (And even if they did, you wouldn't read them because manuals are for pussies.)
--Eating. We'll eat horribly, because we are on the 33rd straight year of eating like a goat let loose in an overturned garbage truck. Freek just sent us a whole tin of pralines. They're like the pavement of heaven itself broken into shards of sugar, butter, and pecans. If we space out the whole thing over a month we'll only have type-2 diabetes, but put the pedal down and we can really makes some amazing happen here.
--Organization.There is a drawer in the room we're converting into the nursery. In it we found:
--a 1930s Chinese scroll with some nice calligraphy
--a biochemistry text book, though no one in this house has taken biochemistry
--a mask of Ganesh
--a complete set of Illuminati cards
--The Complete Adventures of Babar
--a defunct 35mm camera
--playing cards from the Bellagio
--.42 cents change American
We are going to take that box, take Babar out for the kid, and then do what Americans do. We're putting the whole thing in the attic. When we set the house on fire and move to the next town under an assumed name after collecting the insurance money, this will all have worked itself out wonderfully.
Thus, we invite you to try on the FAILjacket for this year in the comments below.
* The rare delayed FAIL with disastrous consequences.