Sentiment--for the weak! We follow the Martian law of Commisar Murphy, who commands us to dispense with emotion and see things for what they are: a neverending series of sham operas wrapped in Potemkin villages of treacly emotion designed to fool you, the hardworking, noble football proletariat, into thinking you are truly free men dwelling beneath the benevolent hand of your capitalist masters!!! Down with their lies! And their (sound of spitting on ground) bowl system!
Are you ready for some revolution?
Thus our disdain for Joe Paterno's getting awarded the AP's coach of the year award , who somehow landed the coach of the year award despite being the man responsible for Penn State's five year slide in the first place. In a year packed with qualified sleep-deprived candidates, the clear-headed thinkers of the AP voted in the old man for one last go 'round instead of rewarding any of the following guys for their phenomenal jobs in the face of past failure, adversity, and in one case, natural disaster:
1. George O'Leary. Went from skanky winless mid-major to eight wins and bowling. Superb work, which will be written up on his resume as ten wins and a Fiesta Bowl berth.
2. Steve Spurrier. Yes, he's at the top of the site, but after an offseason that had the Vols nervously fidgeting their "C.O.P.S." Campus Ruckus trophy, went 7-4 while beating Florida and Tennessee for the first time since the Fillmore administration. The loss to Clemson probably scotched any real chances he had of winning the thing, but still worth a mention.
3. Hold onto your balls here, we're about to agree with Mark May: Jeff Bower, Southern Miss. Went 6-5 despite being functionally homeless for a good stretch of the season and won out in their bowl game against the Arkansas State Indians. (That's woo-woo Indian, not red-dot Indian, for those wondering about the whole NCAA racist mascot thing. We'd love it if Albert the Gator could be made into a politically incorrect mascot, but the closest thing we've thought of is a redone Albert with a fresh baby crammed in his mouth, and that's just hardcore, not offensive. Suggestions, to a certain extent, will be taken below.)
And that's just three off the "rehabbin'" list of coaches--that doesn't include candidates like Mack Brown, a coach reeling off the best season of his life behind a monstrous program he himself largely created, and Pete Carroll, who happens to be coach of the currently undefeated national champion on Dec. 22.
Instead, they go with sentiment and Joe, whose notable achievements in the past five years have been hanging referee dolls from his door and slowly watching his son turn quality quarterback recruits into scrambling, concussed pick machines. Because he's 79! And won a lot of games a few decades ago! And he's good ol' Joe Pa! (Pass the scotch and tell me the one about Beano Cook and Doc Blanchard in a bar in Singapore again, Joe!)
Which are all true, of course: Joe Pa exemplifies both the Tao and De of how to be a college coach the right way, devoting the better half of his life's effort and a considerable amount of his money to the university he calls home. Was he the best coach this year, though, comrade? And do you reward someone for cleaning up their own mess? Do you dig rhetorical sentences at the end of mini-columns? The answer to all of these questions is no, comrade. Joe Pa got it for being cute and old and venerable, and that's lazy like falling asleep with half a burrito stuck in your mouth. (We're looking at you, Aaron Taylor. You know it happens all the time--otherwise, how would you explain the perpetually askew mouth?)
Struggle vigorously against the sentimental bourgeoisie columnists who tell you otherwise! You only have your freedom to gain and your chains to risk!