Willingham Didn’t Lose A Game, He Solidified A Theory

By Gregory Moore
Updated: September 25, 2005

SAN ANTONIO – Take two football teams and a football coach. Make the game played the biggest game in the two teams’ most recent history, throw in a little drama and what do you have?

You have what many wanted to dub the game between Washington and Notre Dame as the “Ty Bowl”. Ask any Irish fan and you will hear that this game only affirmed why Ty Willingham was let go in the midst of his contract from the Golden Domers.

Yet ask anyone else what they thought about this game and you will hear that what happened was the affirmation of why Notre Dame is now one of the most hated schools, administration wise, in history right now. The 36-17 win over the Huskies was expected but what this game showed was that Willingham, not Charlie Weiss, was the right man for either school.

The West Coast offense is something that the Huskies have ran for years and with them putting 400 yards up against the Irish defense was a testament to the philosophy that Willingham was trying to instill for three years at South Bend, Indiana. What Willingham needs to do now is to find a running game that will complement the passing game.

The Huskies aren’t that good right now but just like his stint at Notre Dame and at Stanford, given time Willingham will have the Huskies battling for the top spot in the Pac 10. The loss to his former club wasn’t a negative in his coaching career; it was just an affirmation of just how well he recruits and how well kids mature up under him.

DEATH IN BOXING RAISES UGLY QUESTION ONCE AGAIN Leander Johnson was a proud man and boxer who took his craft seriously. On Sept. 17th, his craft took his life after Johnson died from subdural hemotoma (severe bleeding in the brain). Johnson’s injury is something that opponents of boxing will undoubtedly raise during some heated debates.

As much as proponents claim that boxing is sport’s “sweet science”, there is no denying the fact that it is also probably one of the most brutal of sports out there. Punching someone in the head to achieve a knock out isn’t a science by any stretch of the imagination and now Johnson’s death raises the ugly question one more time. Just how will this sport protect its participants from such inhumane injuries like death?

Johnson died outside the ring from his head injuries. Muhammad Ali is suffering right now because of a few too many punches to the cranium. There have been other deaths and medical documentation that shows that boxing is not as safe as everyone wants to believe.

But what does the boxing agencies do about the preserving of one’s life? How can this sport insure that if such injuries happen, that the boxer’s family is taken care of financially for their loss? What insurance, if any, is out there that helps these combatants protect their future?

Granted anyone can die in sports from any injury. Thomas Herrion’s death was a result of a medical condition that he, the San Francisco 49ers and his family did not worry or know about. In auto racing, Greg Moore (no relation) died in a fiery crash and Dale Earnhardt died from head injuries.

In baseball, football, basketball and other sports, death is a remote possibility. However the odds are so much in favor of something tragic happening in boxing that one has to take some serious action to curtail such tragedies. Will the boxing commissions make any attempt to protect their participants? Probably not but don’t be surprised this week if all of a student a Congressional hearing is called.

Go to fullsize image ARE THE SPURS MAKING A MISTAKE GOING TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS? I was looking into my crystal ball the other day and I saw a horrific image. I saw the Miami Heat wining the 2005-06 NBA championship by beating the current champs, the San Antonio Spurs, in a 4-2 series win. Okay I know that the NBA is weeks away but training camp begins shortly and the Spurs have decided to take their camp to the U.S. Virgin Islands. I have one question…why?

As much as I think it’s a grand gesture for the organization to have the camp in Tim Duncan’s backyard, I have to admit that I’m more than a little worried at how this plays out for the team. I have this very old notion that the moment a team stops being humble and starts being eccentric in handling their day-to-day operations, they lose their competitive edge in the process.

The fact that the Spurs have decided to put a few fans in a privileged situation has me worried because now this team is thinking they are the crème de la crème of the NBA.

Maybe I’m being paranoid for no reason but I look at how history shows this premise to be true. When the Los Angeles Lakers decided to have training camp in Hawaii, if memory serves me right, they lost their championship and began the downward spiral that has led them to where they are now.

The team let success get to its collective head and the arrogance that crept into to that Lakers team is the same arrogance that could easily creep into the Spurs’ brain trust as well. Hopefully I’m wrong on this notion but I’ve learned to trust my instincts. We’ll just have to see what happens over the course of the season.