going around the horn on friedgen’s successor

Blackistone - Flabbergasted

Blackistone - Flabbergasted

I was watching Around the Horn yesterday and Kevin Blackistone, who is the current UMD Shirley Povich Chair in Sports Journalism, used his “Facetime” to blast the university for letting Friedgen name UMD offensive coordinate James Franklin his successor.  He had a good point, namely that Friedgen had never won a National Championship, and that it’s a bit ridiculous that he would have this level of authority.  Is Gary Williams going to be allowed to name his successor?  Will Brenda Frese get the same courtesy?  Maryland is setting a dangerous precedent here.

Until yesterday I had no idea that Friedgen is 61 years old.  The average lifespan of an American man is currently 73 years old.  According to this study, obesity cuts an average of 6 years off the life of a non-smoking man.  It’s a morbid thought, but do the math and Ralph has about six years left, which brings him to 2015.  His contract lasts until 2012.  I do not think that this is the end of Friedgen’s career, but rather a continuity of operations plan.  I think this move is a precaution and a counter-argument to the other ACC coaches that recruit against Friedgen by citing his health and its impact on the future health of the program.  Now, Maryland can tell top offensive recruits not to worry, because no matter what happens to Ralph, James Franklin will still be in-place and they won’t lose their spot.

I also had no idea that Blackistone is a Hyattsville, MD native and a UMD School of Journalism grad.  You learn something new every day watching ARRRRRROUND the HORRRRRRRRRRN!  Blackistone better raise his game on ATR.  He currently only has 93 wins, while Woody Paige leads with 270 and Jay Mariotti has 265.  Come on Blackistone!

5 Responses to “going around the horn on friedgen’s successor”

  1. 1 M.A.S.H.
    February 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I knew Blackistone had recently relocated here (I hear him on talk radio sometimes) but I didn’t know why and had no idea he was a Terp. Might give me a reason to watch ATH…naaah. Not unless they get rid of Mariotti.

    I see his point, too. A national search would have been nice. It also would have been nice if Fridge would simply choose to be healthier, rather than appointing a successor who could take over in the event of this sudden death.

  2. 2 terphed
    February 7, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Mariotti is a fool. I did see Toni Reali on the street in Adams Morgan once. He looked exactly like he does on the show except he was wearing jeans. ATH is sports punditry at its worst, and that’s why I love it. That show and PTI are like the Access Hollywood of sports talk shows. They are also remarkably good to take a nap to after a long day at the office.

  3. 3 Aaron
    February 8, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I think this whole coach-in-waiting craze is unbelievably dumb, and is pretty much a pointless ruse to keep assistants in place. The only school where it MIGHT be a good idea is at Penn State, where JoPa could expire at any instant. Besides, I don’t understand saying “If and when we lose our head coach there probably won’t be any good candidates for the job so we should just pick a guy now.” Wait, what? I know college is a different game than the pros, but you look at what guys like Tomlin and Harbaugh have done and you have to think that maybe the guy you want to hire three to five years from now isn’t even on your radar yet.

    Oh well.

    As for Around the Horn, it annoys me, but I’m still a devoted PTI watcher though those guys have definitely gotten more cartoon-ish over the years. My favorite Tony Rialli moment came when I went to the NCAA tourny last year with my dad. After WVU had handed the Dukies their asses, and all the Duke whiners had vacated their good seats we moved down to the second row right behind the press table for the second game. I remember seeing Realli and yelling “Hey Stat Boy!”. He didn’t say a word, just tensed up and looked really uncomfortable, looking like he hoped it wouldn’t continue. It’s the price you pay for fame I guess, having folks yell shit at you in public.

  4. February 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    You make a great point. I don’t understand how a school could determine that the person they pick today is the best candidate that will be available when the transition actually occurs. This process should fall down on itself once one of these coaches-in-waiting gets tired of waiting and bails earlier than expected.

    Next time I see Reali I’ll ask him where he put the body of Max Kellerman.

  5. 5 M.A.S.H.
    February 8, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Ha! ESPN is notorious for killing careers. If you screw up or try to strong-arm them, you’re dead. Has anyone heard from Gary Miller lately? Harold Reynolds? Kellerman was talented but he’s done, unfortunately.

    This past summer Bill Simmons got Barack Obama to agree to be on this podcast…ESPN said no for equal time reasons, Simmons threatened to go to SI, and ESPN faxed him a letter of resignation to sign. They do not play. But I guess in the case of ATH, it worked out for local boy Reali. I’ve seen him twice in public…once carrying a bag of groceries, and another time on the Metro reading “The Catcher in the Rye.” Go figure.

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