Tag:Edward de Vere
Posted on: July 25, 2012 12:32 am

Urban Renewal Nets SEC Groove

September 1st, that’s the date. That’s when Buckeyes’ new head coach Urban Meyer and Ohio State weigh anchor and embark on their football odyssey in quest of redemption & past glory as they face intrastate foe Miami (OH) in both school’s season-opener.

Who would’ve thunk just two years ago, that in 2012, the winningest coach in the history of The Ohio State University (94-22 / .810) and the most reviled in Ann Arbor (8-1) since Woody Hayes, would be out, replaced by a man of equal accolades in the person of then Gators’ guru Mr. Meyer?

Sidebar: What’s up with precedent “The”: The Open Championship (British), The Johns Hopkins, The University of Alabama, The Championships Wimbledon, The Ohio State? I think it’s what Edward de Vere (Shake-speare) expressed as “paint(ing) the lily (King John).”

And Jim Tressel, he’s doing fine in Akron (VP). The transgressions that led to his exit in 2011 now pale in light of Penn State’s misdeeds. Near 60 and positioned for retirement, if he gets the itch to coach again he’ll have plenty of suitors. Much depends on the right opportunity knocking. That could turn on how experiments pan out at top-tier schools like Notre Dame (Kelly), Florida (Muschamp) and USC (Kiffin). We will see.

An Ohio native (Toledo '64), Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus with an armload of trophies and a perceptible SEC groove. His resume is textbook for the stepping-stone career path: multiple schools, brief tenures, varied specialties. I’m not criticizing. This is SOP for today’s hot-prospect college coach. Larry Brown was ahead of his time.

And those specialties of Meyer, most cover the offensive side of the field. That means he’ll have OSU matriculating nicely in short order. Given last year’s atypical low national ranking (103), there’s no other way to go but up.

The traditionally stout Ohio State defense (19) then figures to remain its strong suit, even with graduate attrition. As defense is not Meyer’s forte this is where his skill in the fine arts of interviewing (assistants) & delegation will come into play.

It takes time to mold a team, but it wouldn’t be hasty to expect quick results from Urban. This guy’s accustomed to winning at a high level (.819 / 7-1). He’s what they used to call a real go-getter, as evidenced by his Manifest Destiny approach to the recruitment war which can take him deep into rival territory (Michigan).

And there in may lay Meyer’s biggest challenge, finding recruits that can maintain the numerous standards laid-down by his new Big Ten employer. There are the NCAA rules, then there are the school’s criterion, enhanced somewhat at OSU in wake of recent troubles.

Helping matters is OSU’s 2012 schedule. No cake-walk, it doesn’t exactly send chills down your spin either, like a typical Notre Dame line-up. Though, I’ve seen more daunting Irish agendas than this fall’s version. I count three bruisers on the Buckeyes’ slate (MSU / UW / UM), five legitimate contests and four win-ables.

Years from now, when the victories & titles are tallied and a retired, gray-haired Urban Meyer steps onto the OSU field and joins the band to dot the ‘eye,’ older Buckeyes will reflect back on those trying times in 2011, nod their heads in acceptance and whisper to eachother, ‘Every cloud has a silver & red lining…and it was worth every penny!’

Steven Keys
Posted on: April 20, 2012 10:42 pm

Vanity, Thy Name is Tebow

You wouldn’t think it from his demeanor: calm, unassuming, upbeat, always the perfect gentleman and always quick to spread credit for team success.

By media standards he’s a pleasant encounter.

To most gridiron gurus he’s a coach’s dream, provided the team’s starting QB is on terra firma and the club’s in need of a tight-end with a good pair of hands.

This is the Tim Tebow we all know. The home-schooled, prep football vagabond whose on-field exploits at the University of Florida made him a Southern fold hero.

That’s the good book on Tim.

But there’s another book on Mr. Sunshine. Not an exposé mind you, the kind Mr. Woods keeps suffering through as others cash-in on their association with the former golf great.

Rather, it’s a figurative book on his darker side and those vexing character traits you won’t normally perceive in someone as Tim but which we all possess to one degree or another: personas like vanity, banality, credulity, selfishness, insecurity and insincerity.

Recent reports lead me to believe this son of a preacher man craves attention on par with the likes of Mark Cuban, Terrell Owens, Danica Patrick and “Neon” Deion Sanders. One difference: those four knew where to land their egos. Tim, well, he picked a real doozy of a destination touching down in Jetsland, The Young & the Restless of the NFL.

Opting for the bright lights of Broadway and passing on an invite from hometown Jacksonville (Jaguars) was clear indication of Tim’s alter ego. Jags’ owner Shahid Khan and fans must still be perplexed, dumbfounded by the rebuff.

With the Broncos contented (Peyton) and the Jags ready to deal (“Khan“ / SI-FN / 3-27), I see no good reason why Denver brass would deny the man who brought Tebowmania to Mile High a chance to “weigh-in” on like-trade options (ESPN ticker / 3-21). As such, I give no weight whatsoever to Tebow’s implication that he had no involvement in the decision (“Tebow” / Strauss / Fox / 3-23), thus making him appear like so many other self-promoters.

Not that there aren’t plenty of reasons to reside in the Big Apple. New York City is a grand metropolis in many respects. Whether Tim has the inclination to partake in its myriad of enlightening and intoxicating diversions remains to be seen. Suffice to say, there’s no better place to sell yourself and your line than the media mecca of the world.

And there in lay Tim’s two-pronged mission in New York: selling the faith from the second biggest pulpit in America and selling thyself for the biggest payday possible.

It’s true that Tebow would get full exposure if he commuted to work from Nome, Alaska. ESPN interns dig the dude more than Tiger and LeBron combined. But there’s something about living, working in NYC that energizes the coverage. He’s their guy, you might say.

“Hoy-day! What a sweep of vanity comes this way (Shakes-speare / Edward de Vere)!”

I don’t begrudge anyone the freedom to pitch himself or his religion. Both endeavors are as American as apple pie and late Friday rallies on Wall Street. Old-time ball-player turned evangelist Billy Sunday comes to mind (Cubs / 1880s).

But if I’m a follower of New York Jets’ football, I’m not a happy camper.

Tebow isn’t in NYC to play football. Sport is just a vehicle for his agenda: “My goal is to create a brighter day for as many people as I possibly can by being on this earth” (ABC / 4-13).” If he were focused on the game he wouldn’t be getting detail-work in Hollywood (curing / 4-6 / ESPN) and pass up a chance to help put Jacksonville on the NFL map.

As for Jets’ agenda: “It’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” (Churchill).

Ryan’s lost cachet with players, new OC Sparano brings a failed gimmick (wildcat) and owner Woody Johnson appears detached: “I’m very confident Mark can develop into a winning quarterback” (“Johnson” / N. Gay / Fox / 3-25). Where’s he been the past three years? Sanchez is 4-2 in the PS. That’s more playoff wins than Romo, Ryan & Rivers combined.

I’ll say this for Jetsland, the circus atmosphere looks downright harmonious compared to the cry-babies in Beantown (Red Sox Nation v Bobby). Oh my god! Just roll with it, Youk. “Whatever happened to Gary Cooper, that’s what I’d like to know (T. Soprano)!?”

And even if Timbo is a divo in disguise, he still might give the Jets a spark they need, wherever he’s positioned. Key is whether Rex & staff can get the roster to embrace, or at least shake hands with, Tim’s biggest asset: his sometimes infectious exuberance.

In spring, football musings are all high speculation. As that NYC philosopher Herm Edwards would say, “That’s why…you play…the game.”

Steven Keys
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com