What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
For purposes of full disclosure, I’ve spent the better part of the last half-century as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, and thanks to the “Miracle in the Meadowlands,” I’ve always had a soft spot for Herm Edwards. When he was named the head football coach at Arizona State, I had a visceral reaction to the criticism of the hire.
At first, that’s all it was; a innate reaction to defend “my guy.” After all, it isn’t like I haven’t had reason to take a long knife to the blow-hacks at ESPN before. But as I gave it some thought, six reasons why Arizona State’s hiring Herm makes sense came to me. Naturally, you won’t get these from the World Wide Bottom Feeder…That’s why we are here.
1) Right now, USC has no NFL flavor.
For the first time in recent memory, the head football coach at the University of Southern California has no appreciable ties to the National Football League. That’s huge for ASU because realistically a hotbed of recruiting for the entirety of the Pac-12 conference is Southern California; that’s especially true in the case of ASU. Having been a head coach in the NFL and an analyst at ESPN, Herm Edwards can play “I know what it takes to get into the NFL” card when recruiting for the Sun Devils.
2) #1 is why UCLA hired Chip Kelly.
The Bruins were already riding that train with Jim Mora, Jr., and when you couple Kelly’s recent NFL experience with the fact he built Oregon into a national power poaching Southern California talent, it’s only logical to see why another Pac-12 school would go in that direction. The advantage Herm has over Kelly is Edwards’ professional head-coaching stints are far enough in the past that unlike Kelly, no college-age kids will remember what a turkey-loaf he was as an NFL coach.
3) Herm can recruit.
Yes…this is a direct off-shoot of points #1 and #2. Say what you will about Herm Edwards and his abilities as an “Xs and Os” football coach, there’s no denying the guy is an empassioned and persuasive speaker with a great deal of knowledge on the game. People competing with Herm in the recruiting game are quickly going to find out what a potent combination that is.
4) ASU has nothing to lose.
Face it. In terms of relevance on the national stage, The Pac-12 realistically is the Pac-Four and everybody else. This conference is for all intents and purposes USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Washington. Wahsington State is the “best of the rest;” even post-Chip Kelly Oregon has taken a precipitous fall from grace.
The Sun Devils really aren’t that far from being as good as Washington State; they shared idebntical 6-3 records in the confernece schedule and the Cougars were only two overall wins better than Arizona State.
What it all boils down to is there really isn’t a better time for ASU to try to make a move into the elite class of the conference, especially since UCLa and Stanford certianly are not whatthey were a few years ago.
5) Herm will make the press conferences a hell of a lot more fun.
You HAD to know that was coming. Honestly, I can’t decide which one will be more fun; the over-exuberant Herm following the Devils first big “upset” win or the “Jack-in-the-Box that just popped” Herm, stoked by a stupid question after crushing blow-out. Frankly, I can’t wait for either one; either way, that’s gonna be some damn good television.
6) Herm checks off a “PC” box.
I really didn’t want to go here, but as I am prone to say, ignoring reality doesn’t change it. Regardless of the causes, there’s really no denying there’s a charged racial environment in this country today and that college campuses are hotbeds of that inverted McCarthyism called “political correctness.” Putting those two facts together nets the decades-long discussion about the number of black head coaches in college fottball.
Having said that, don’t be the guy who says I’m calling Herm Edwards an example of “Affirmative Action.” For reasons I’ve already stated, I don’t think that’s the case at all. But another undeniable reality is that Arizona State gets a “win-win” as they got a perfectly qualified football coach, and get to play the “PC we hired a black guy” card.
And having said all of that, I’m pretty sure we can all agree no matter whay happens, there’s going to be no shortage of Sun Devil story lines because win. lose, or overtime, it’s going to be a thought-provoking twelve Saturdays in Tempe.
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