Happy New Year to everyone! In the spirit of the season, I thought I'd come up with some sports-related resolutions.
Following are some sports figures or sports organizations and what I think their resolutions should be.
EAGLES COACH ANDY REID ... Get a 'real' defensive coordinator.
The Eagles' defensive problems this season can't be blamed solely on first-year coordinator Juan Castillo. Reid needs to take a huge share of the blame as well.
Castillo was thrown into a role that he wasn't qualified to handle. After doing a nice job handling the Eagles offensive line for over a decade, Castillo was handed the defensive coordinator job in the offseason. He seemed in over his head, especially during the first half of the season.
There is a perfect cure for the Eagles' ailment Steve Spagnuolo. The recently fired Rams head coach is a former Eagles' defensive assistant and former Giants' defensive coodinator. If the Eagles are smart, they would hire him quickly.
THE NCAA ... Create a Division I college football playoff.
This year's BCS bowl games have been incredible. Oregon State and Wisconsin staged a shootout in the Rose Bowl, Oklahoma State and Stanford played an overtime classic in Fiesta Bowl, Michigan and Virginia Tech needed overtime to settle the Sugar Bowl, and West Virginia put on an offensive display in the Orange Bowl that was unmatched in bowl history.
What's the one thing that could have made those games even more intense and meaningful? The answer is easy. If they were part of a playoff bracket where the winner advanced to the next round and the loser went home. Imagine the buildup of excitement heading into the next round of games.
The problem is that college football fans shouldn't have to imagine it. The NCAA needs to find a way to make it a reality.
THE BIG EAST CONFERENCE ... A name change.
You can't add Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Southern Methodist and Central Florida to your conference and still call it the Big East.
PROFESSIONAL SPORTS LEAGUES ... No more strikes or lockouts.
All four major sports league in this country NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL have had to deal with labor problems in their recent past.
Because of lockouts during the past year, the NFL came precariously close to having to cancel games and the NBA is currently playing a shortened season. The NHL lost the entire 2004-05 season because of a strike. Major League Baseball had to cancel the last two months of the 1994 season, the entire postseason and shorten the 1995 season because of labor problems.
There is too much money being made by both management and players in professional sports for negotiations to constantly go down to the wire. It shouldn't be too hard to come up with agreements that are fair to both sides.
REX AND ROB RYAN ... Put up or shut up.
It's no mystery where the Ryan brothers get their brash, bold attitudes. Father Buddy was well known for the same type of behavior when he coached the Eagles a couple decades ago.
But if Rex (Jets head coach) and Rob (Cowboys defensive coordinator) want to continuously run their mouths, they should make sure their teams can back it up.
This season, that didn't happen.
Despite Rex's numerous proclamations about how talented his Jets were, they failed to live up to his hype. In control of their own playoff destiny, the Jets lost their last three games to finish 8-8 and miss the postseason. In addition, the team followed his lead down the stretch. From silly celebration penalties to flare ups on the field, the Jets showed a total lack of discipline.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys mimicked the Jets' late season slide. Dallas lost four of its final games to finish 8-8 and also miss the playoffs. Rob's defense was one of the biggest problems. In their four losses down the stretch, the Cowboys allowed an average of almost 27 points a game. Even worse, five times Dallas blew fourth quarter leads this season, three of them double-digit leads. Obviously, a large part of blame for those problems belongs with Rob and his defense.
Next season, the Ryans might want to tone down the talk until their teams show they can walk the walk.