A whirlwind coaching carousel to start the week
Somehow it’s only just now Friday, as we’ve had multiple cycles worth of coaching drama & movement distilled into the first half of the week. Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, and Pete Carroll are all moving on; the former retiring and the latter two parting ways with their existing teams (though Carroll could return to Seattle in a front office role). Saban and Belichick are Mount Rushmore figures for the NFL and CFB, respectively, while Carroll found success across both, and while not held in quite as rarified air, was one Marshawn Lynch handoff away from a combined 4 Super Bowls//National Championships.
The NFL is a monolith, and will continue to plod forward with or without the old guard of Belichick and Carroll. But, regardless of your opinions about Saban the man & coach, it’s hard not to feel sadness in his departure and extrapolate what it means for the future of College Football: We have officially entered into a new era. Players have always deserved to get paid, and it’s extremely promising and exciting to see them finally getting compensation for the value they create. But the way in which NIL has been unleashed - no real rules, limits, or playbooks - has created an entirely different sport, one that Saban was no longer interested in operating in. It mimics consumption patterns of a new generation, the constant player movement and conference realignment mirroring Tik Tok, where people doomscroll for the latest dopamine hit. There was something about watching your program recruit and develop players and chemistry from the ground up, and playing your rivals and regional counterparts - the things that made the sport great - that has all but been lost. Some of it is NIL, some NCAA incompetence, and some TV contract mayhem and greed. Maybe we’ll eventually return to that world with improved guardrails that allow everyone to get their piece of the pie, while retaining some semblance of stability in the sport, but for now, I’m pouring one out for Nick Saban, and also for myself, as this is the first time I’ve examined my fandom and realized that I, at 34 years of age, am old.
Art/Sports I’m Into
This will be a weekly segment featuring something from art and/or sports that I dig
Retro Bowl College
If you work at EA Sports, FUCK YOU. An otherwise boring National Championship game would have been fully salvaged by dropping the NCAA Football 24 trailer, but the powers that be decided that Joe and Jane Public don’t deserve nice things. Luckily, I’m here to tell you there’s still a way to get your college football offseason video game fix. Retro Bowl is pocket nostalgia; a lite version of a college football video game that still has a surprising amount of depth, including ‘recruiting’ and dynamic gameplay. It’s free in the app store, and only $1 to get additional functionality - it’ll be the best money you spend all year. Plus, as a Vanderbilt (Nashville in the game) fan, it’s the closest I’ll get to sniffing success.
Shoutout Ebukam, the only bright spot on an otherwise lackluster defense
Artist of the Week
This will be a weekly segment featuring an artist who’s work I enjoy
It’s worth noting that some of the artists here will be fresh, some will be established, some will be from the 1600s, etc. Bisa Butler falls into the category of skyrocketing, which is extremely exciting given she first came across my radar a few years back when she did a show at my hometown museum, the Katonah Museum of Art.
Three Kings, by Bisa Butler, 2018, image is from a random fan at Wimbledon last year
Put simply, Butler makes magic by creating quilts that look like realistic paintings. Try to see her work in person, which shouldn’t be hard nowadays with her pieces deservedly popping up everywhere.
This isn’t an ad - they reached out to me and offered to send me a free pillow no strings attached, which I’ve now used for a few months and can honestly say has been life-changing, so figured it’d only be right to give a shout-out. Though I value Mike Lindell for his comedic levity - the man is a walking crackpipe and him dating Jane Krakowski is up there with Baron Davis & Laura Dern as the wildest celebrity couple of all time, My Pillow doesn’t have shit on Pillow Cube. I have no idea if they’re reasonably priced; tbh I can’t remember the last time I even bought a pillow. All I know is that I’ve been sleeping better than I ever have, and that’s probably worth a decent amount, plus they decided to send me something for free, so kudos to them.
Bonus Belichick Memes for Paid Subscribers under the fold
This moment, but in meme forms, below