I was traveling on Sunday. So, to add to the disappointment of another woeful loss, I get to also spend three days away from my family. But, for what it's worth, I overheard a conversation at LAX that I, quite surprisingly, found relevant to us long suffering Bruin football fans.
I couldn't really hear everything that the two young ladies across the airport restaurant were saying. But, I got the gist. Something about a break up, full of drama. And something about a new guy, who was different and fun, but totally wrong.
The new guy, of course, was this woman's rebound guy.
That got me thinking about the psychology of the Bruin faithful. You see, we're headed for a break up. And though I know some of you aren't as optimistic as myself, I firmly believe that KD is history. Sure, I'm literally knocking on wood while I write this, but dude is gone. You don't need me to tell you why. But, dude is gone. This past weekend was it. Sure, Wyoming or Arizona or Utah or Notre Dame were each enough to warrant it. But, until this weekend, there was some doubt. And don't give me any crazy talk about winning a share of the Pac-10 title. If you believe that will happen, you need to stop dipping into momma's Quaaludes.
So, be it tomorrow, or December 3, we won't be talking about KD (or CTS, as Fox 71 likes to call him). We'll be talking about KDR -- Karl Dorrell's replacement.
Given this, the question that should be most pressing on our minds is: will KDR be Mr. Right, or will he be the Rebound Guy?
We already have some good candidates for Mr. Right. But I'm way more worried that we'll end up with the Rebound Guy. And the guy I'm most worried about is DeWayne Walker. Mr. Rebound himself.
As with the end of any long term relationship, there are some raw emotions. There's a lot of anger, and resentment. Under the circumstances, Mr. Rebound might look pretty good right now. You see, Mr. Rebound is:
- Familiar. We know Mr. Rebound. That's way better than taking a chance on some scary stranger who might break our hearts.
- Different. Mr. Rebound isn't stoic; he's charismatic. He doesn't speak in clichés, but sentences. Mr. Rebound is full of promise.
- Comparatively Attractive. Mr. Rebound sure looks good compared to Mr. Wrong. He can sometimes stop a particular kind of offense. He has an actual personality. He can even occasionally talk about something resembling football.
- Mysterious and Exciting. Though we know Mr. Rebound, we don't know everything. We have a friend who says he can recruit like a motherf'er. He also allegedly makes Cheaty Petee sorta scared. And we're told all those recruits will stay on for him. Better yet, he's has a Nixon-esque "secret OC" waiting in the wings to revive the Bruin offense.
My answer: because, if we do, we'll end up with the Rebound Guy.
Before I go on, let me ask the opposite question. What would be gained by firing KD right now (as opposed to the end of the season)? Mostly, imho, it would be emotionally satisfying. It would also would eliminate the increasingly narrow (I say virtually non-existent) chance that KD somehow saves his hide. And, sure, it is the principled, logical thing to do under the circumstances. But, more practically speaking, there isn't that much. What I see, more importantly, is terrible risk.
Here are my assumptions. Sure, they shouldn't be true, but they are:
- DG won't hire the towel guy, or Dick Vermiel, or any one else, as an interim coach. If there is an interim coach installed, it will be Rebound Guy.
- If the Rebound Guy is made interim coach, there will be tremendous inertia to hire Mr. Rebound is as head coach.
- If the Rebound Guy ends the season on even a slightly promising note (a win against any of ASU, Oregon or Southern Cal), DG will not conduct a thorough coaching search, and after going through the Bob Fieldian motions, Rebound Guy will be our new head coach.
- Once the Rebound Guy is hired, he will be our head coach for at least four years.
My friends, we are at a critical juncture. Forgive the drama, but we are literally hanging on the precipice. The wheels are in motion. Our university has accepted a second cocktail from the Rebound Guy. And she's headed to his car to go for a drive.
We can't let it happen. We can do better. Way better. Mr. Right is out there, and can be hired. We just need to demand it.