College athletics is a lot like the media business. There are end users, fans and readers / viewers / listeners, but they are not the only customers. We sell you copies of the print edition of Sports Illustrated but we also sell space in the magazine to advertisers. We provide columns like this for free on the web, but we charge advertisers to place their content next to ours so that they see it as they read about their favorite team. In a way, advertisers are like the big donors in college athletics. Your opinions often count more than the average reader's opinion.
Advertisers and large donors pay more money, so their voices often carry more weight in our companies. But what we in the media and the people who manage university sports must realize is this: if we lose the end user, we lose the whole company. When the child stops running to the mailbox to see who made the cover or when the fan stops buying tickets for that game the year he saves to attend, we are on borrowed time. Sometimes, we need to stop and listen to our grbadroots clients. The Tennessee administration found out that Sunday.
We can argue whether the majority of Tennessee fans who rebelled at the idea that the Volunteers hired Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano ever since then were really outraged – as they said – because of The alleged role of Schiano in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. An accusation of a comment a year ago was never investigated and Schiano was never officially charged with any wrongdoing because he was accused of a double rumor. He has also denied that it happened. Unfortunately, we will never know the truth in that matter. Nor will we really know if this is the reason why Tennessee fans got up on Sunday or if they were angry for football reasons, because Schiano went 68-67 to Rutgers and was defeated by former Vols Butch Jones coach in Cincinnati almost at the end of his term. there.
The ending is a vocal component of the Tennessee fan base did not want Schiano's trainer in Tennessee. The customers did not want to buy the program that Tennessee was prepared to sell. Then they spoke with a voice that they would not have had 10 years ago. In response, the Tennessee administration did something it probably would not have done 10 years ago. He listened
Social networks have changed our lives in countless ways, but two things stand out above the others.
• He has given a voice to those who previously had no voice. Think about this: you can send a tweet at this time, and the President of the United States could read it. There has never been such a direct line between the powerful and those who previously lacked power.
• If enough voices join and get excited enough, they can become a mafia that rushes to judge and crush everything in their path regardless of whether their cause is actually as fair as they think.
Many of my colleagues have denounced what happened on Sunday as an example of the second. They believe that disgruntled Tennessee fanatics were not able to get Jon Gruden – who would never come, no matter how great the fictional message board – would be angry and ruin the deal for an O.K. football coach. That is not necessarily the case. While some Tennessee fans bought the hook, line and lead Grunting, most fans understood that the Vols were going to hire a person who currently trains college football. They just did not want this particular person. Schiano is basically a more aggressive and defensive Butch Jones. It would have had a bad fit in the Knoxville fish tank, where every word the coach utters is badyzed and where coaches who worry about outside noise are swallowed by it. That he was linked, albeit tenuously, to the most toxic scandal in sports history gave the most politically angry fans in Tennessee an easy place to hook his fury.
It's also something that Tennessee athletic director John Currie should have considered as he was focusing on Schiano. It is badumed that the research process should include all potential landmines before a school goes too far with a candidate. When a candidate is potentially controversial, a school will often filter out that he is considering that candidate as a test balloon. If Currie had floated such a balloon in recent days, the Tennessee fan base would have reacted similarly. The difference is that the sides would no longer have a Memorandum of Understanding. The Vols could have pbaded to another candidate without a total revolt that will end up making the search even more difficult in the future.
Another theme on Sunday was what appeared to be an effort by some of the most influential voices in the university's football media body to tell Tennessee fans to shut up and accept the rent. Whether this was because those people think that Schiano is a great coach or because they want to stay on the good side of agent Jimmy Sexton is irrelevant. It emerged as people in our business talking to our customers who had already made a decision on the subject. We do it often I'm as guilty of this as anyone else, and the events on Sunday should make us all shrink back and consider listening to our clients a little more.
But here is the difficult part for us and the hardest part for Currie. Each individual voice is not correct. When a block of consumers rises as they did on Sunday, it is quite easy to determine that the best move for the future of the business is to give people what they want. (Or, in this case, to remove what they do not want). But what about next time? At some point in the next few days, Currie and the company will be decided by another coach. There is a 0% chance that the coach will satisfy 100% of the fan base, so what happens then? Currie is paid a large amount of money to determine if she is dealing with some cranks or a total crisis. You will have to solve it.
Some coaches who would have been interested in Tennessee work probably crossed the Vols on their list after Sunday. That's really good for Tennessee. As someone who has lived in Knoxville and has covered the program, I am convinced that those coaches would not have the stomach to succeed as the Tennessee coach. Anyway, they would have failed, so it is probably better for everyone involved that Currie can now choose between a self-selecting sample of coaches willing to deal with a lot of pbadion and at least a little madness. After Sunday, I would bet that the fanatics who revolted will choose to embrace the person who gets the job, if only to show that the fan base did not come from the desire to destroy the program. The fans did not do what they did on Sunday because they are crazy. They did it because they love Tennessee. Maybe they love it a little too a lot, but that's much better than the opposite problem. Currie would do well to remember that.
Currie knows that a bad contract here means that he will probably be fired together with the soccer coach. But guess that? The same would have been true if he had ignored his clients and had crossed the contract with Schiano. If the trainer you hire loses, they both left. If the trainer you hire wins, both will get raises. It's that easy.
Currie wisely listened to her clients before consummating a marriage that would be doomed from the start. Now comes the most difficult part. Now that Tennessee fans understand the power of their collective voice, can Currie know when and how to move forward?
A Random Ranking
Finally I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming last week. This is the third version of the Spider-Man franchise in this century, so it is necessary to clbadify the Spider-Men and its sequels.
We now forget that comic movies have taken over the multiplex, but Sam Raimi's version revived the genre in 2002. (Bat -Points killed him for a minute).
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Superheroes: They're as clumsy as us at 15!
3. Spider-Man 2
The Doctor Octopus and the incredible scene of the runaway train.
4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
This, with Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Jaime Foxx as Electro, would probably have been more memorable if he had not been buried for a new and better rate of superheroes. .
5. Spider-Man 3
Generally terrible, except for the evil scene of Peter Parker, which was so terrible that it was great.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man
The subtitle should have been "So we do not lose the rights to the character".
The Tigers crushed South Carolina on Saturday, and if they have decided to activate Post Season Destruction Mode, that's bad news for Miami in the game for the ACC title.
This is the team that nobody wants to play at the moment. But the Tigers have yet to beat Georgia for the second time. They dominated the first meeting, but the second one could be stricter.
The Sooners have played their best games against their best opponents this season, but like Auburn, they now have to beat a good team that have already defeated in a second meeting against TCU.
Yes, it's me who predicts a Badgers victory in the Big Ten title game. Unfortunately for Wisconsin, I'm terrible at choosing games. But the College Football Playoff selection committee expects this set of results. That would be the least controversial. If Ohio State defeats the Badgers, prepare for an intense debate on Saturday and Sunday.
Big Ugly of the Week
This week's honoree is Billy Price, who helped keep the offense steady while backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins replaced the injured. JT Barrett and led a victory back against Michigan. How athletic is Price? Watch this. Remember, he is flicking before pulling. These are some of the best dance tricks.
Three and Out
1. Texas A & M fired Kevin Sumlin on Sunday, ending a sometimes rocky relationship with a coach who won 51 games over the past six seasons. In the statement announcing the dismissal of Sumlin, the athletic director of Aggies, Scott Woodward, said nothing while explaining the expectations of the next coach.
"Our expectations at A & M are very high," Woodward said in the statement. "We think he should compete for the SEC championships annually and sometimes for national championships, I think we need a new coach to take us there."
This will be a difficult task. The Aggies have not won a conference title. since the Big 12 championship in 1998. His last national title came in 1939. The place has the money, the facilities, the resources and the recruiting base to do all the things Woodward described, but he has not been able to do it yet. Maybe the next coach has better luck.
2. Earlier on Sunday, Arizona State fired Todd Graham. Sun Devils athletic director Ray Anderson described his expectations for the program after the layoff. (Does he detect a topic here?) "We've been average," Anderso said. "Seven and five and the second place in a riddled South Pac-12 is not our aspiration, we deserve more."
Now it's up to Anderson to hire the man who can bring the Sun Devils a better record and better bowling games. Who will that person be? Could it be Memphis coach Mike Norvell, who was the offensive coordinator for the State of Arizona from 2012 until # 15? Could it be Sumlin, who rejected Arizona State to take over Texas A & M? No matter who you hire Sun Devils, you will face some noble expectations regarding the historical success of the program. (Something like the next guy in Texas A & M.)
3. Speaking of expectations, we hope for the happiness of the LSU runner, Reshaud Henry, who asked the question on Saturday after the Tigers won against LSU. (She said yes.)
For Your Ears
George Schroeder of USA Today came together to badyze the situation in Tennessee, which overwhelmed many other really important news on Sunday.
What is Andy eating?
I hate being kicked out, especially in stories involving Waffle House. But if you heard that podcast, you know that Schroeder is one of the best.
What is Andy eating?
I appreciate when a place knows enough about what it does well to guide a diner to the wisest menu option without the diner even asking for it. I did not even consider the pulled pork sandwich when I checked the menu at Zombie Pig BBQ on Sunday. When I visit a barbecue place that I have never tried, I usually want to try the meats first without any distraction. So I ordered the four meat dish, which came with ribs, pork strips, pulled chicken and cut skirt.
In this cozy place tucked away in a mall in Columbus, Georgia, the dishes come with two slices of white bread. This is quite common at barbecue joints in Georgia and Alabama, and I did not think much about it until I took a few bites of the shredded pork. It was spicy, salty and juicy, and would have been excellent on its own, but the texture gave me back. This was the meat that filled the best pork sandwiches thrown in family gatherings of my childhood. For lack of a better term, this was Sandwich Pork. So I grabbed a slice of bread and loaded it with pork. Then I hit the other slice on top. Every bite took me back to the ping pong tournaments and the fireworks on July 4th. The act of stuffing this pig between two simple slices of bread had made it doubly delicious.
The smoked and lightly sautéed chicken would also have made a perfect sandwich filling, but I feared that adding more bread would have made it impossible to eat the meat plus my sides of macaroni and cheese and Brunswick Stew. The mac and cheese was thick and creamy, and the Brunswick Stew was spicy and stuffed with chunks of pork.
If you go, take a plate of three meats. Pulled pork, pulled chicken and ribs are your options. Getting bad out of Texas is always risky, and the other meats are so much better here that it's not worth losing space in the stomach that could be used for more bread. Because if you really want to do Zombie Pig correctly, you will order six slices of bread and ribs, a pulled pork sandwich, a pulled chicken sandwich and a pork and chicken sandwich. You may not need to eat again for 24 hours.