The Saints coaching situation is one of the oddest I’ve ever seen in sports. Sean Payton, suspended for the year, will be back in 2013. In the meantime, the Saints need a head coach. Because this is the NFL, it isn’t such an easy position to fill. If this were a baseball team, the bench coach would slide into the role, they’d grab someone from the minor leagues and no one would miss a beat. But in football you can’t exactly just promote the offensive coordinator because then you don’t have an offensive coordinator. You don’t have a minor league filled with coaches. Continuity is important, competence is important and for Payton if someone had those qualities and wasn’t terribly ambitious–all the better.
That’s where Parcells comes in, because a one-year cameo in the Saints job would probably be more than enough to satisfy any lingering curiosity about his NFL coaching career. Parcells could win the Super Bowl and would still step aside. If someone else on staff took the reins and was successful, at the very least Payton is probably looking at him getting hired away by another franchise. There’s clearly not a lot of candidates out there for this type of one-year job, if that’s how the Saints want to do it, and it makes Parcells a surprisingly obvious choice. I’d be worried about the old Tuna’s lasting power, though. At 70 years old is he prepared to get back into the coaching grind? And, if he’s just going to come in as a favor and oversee things, is that what’s best for the Saints? I think they’d be better off looking elsewhere, but I am anxious to see who they hire. It’s the only thing about this Bounty controversy that catches my interest.
Every year at Masters time there is a ripple of varying size about Augusta National’s lack of female members. In some years, the club has been picketed during the tournament, in others the male-only story is just a footnote. For years there has been speculation about who would become the first female member. Condoleezza Rice was mentioned. So was Anika Sorenstam. Augusta National maintained that it wasn’t a specific policy of exclusion, but if a woman was invited to join it would have to be an organic move by the club and not a knee-jerk reaction to media outcry and protests. The issue has come back to the foreground this year, because Augusta has made a tradition of offering memberships to the CEOs of the companies who are the main sponsors for the Masters Tournament. Enter recently promoted IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, who if you are a little slow, happens to be a woman. You’d think it would be a massive black eye to the club if they don’t extend Rometty the same courtesy they did former CEOs, but Augusta, if anything, is stubborn and committed to its policies. The funny thing is, considering the level of secrecy at Augusta, it won’t be easy to find out if Rometty is offered a green jacket.
The issue of private clubs restricting membership is a touchy one. I believe that a private club should be able to include and exclude whomever they choose. This has become a less PC stance over the years, but if a group of bigots wants to get together and exclude people I think they have that right. It’s unfortunate that people think that way and I’d never want to be part of such a club, but you’re never going to change the way people think. You can force them to take a woman, or a minority, but they’ll still be bigots. The Masters and Augusta National is a slightly different case. If they were just a golf club they’d never be in the news, but they happen to host one of the most high-profile golf tournaments in the world. Its their choice to expose themselves by hosting this event. It seems slightly hypocritical that they want to open their doors for one week, accept all the accolades and prestige, but don’t want to be subject to a more liberal set of rules.
Of course, the members at Augusta would say they never set out to create a Major Championship. They just host this invitational, the best players in the world happen to come, and the sport has deemed it a Major. I suppose that would hold up in court, but it’s mostly horse bleep. I think considering the membership at Augusta National, the high-profile people who call the club home, they’d be smart enough to realize what the right thing to do would be, especially now that their hand has been forced in a way. We’ll see, change has always come slowly in the golf world.
Estimated 476 million dollar jackpot in the Mega Millions on Friday. That’s a decent chunk of change. I’m thinking about getting a ticket, because even if I don’t win, it’d be nice if the winner picked up $476,000,000.50. That’s a nice round number. I’d love to win the lottery, but it’s hard for me to get past the mental block of the odds against me. I had a group of friends in college who bought a bunch of tickets for a big jackpot. We were all together drinking the night of the drawing and as the night wore on they became convinced they were going to win. Not joking around, actually convinced. They were promising people a spare million–the works. I actually felt a little bad for them when they won absolutely nothing. But, if you do happen to win the Mega Millions, I’m not going to argue if you want to throw me some pocket change.