The Week That Was: Bye-Bye Bowles

     The New York Jets did the right thing by both firing Todd Bowles and waiting a few hours to make the inevitable announcement on Sunday so that he could leave Foxboro, Massachusetts after yet another humiliating loss to the New England Patriots, and have the ability to talk with his players privately.

     In his four years at the helm of the Jets, Bowles was never able to get the Jets into the NFL playoffs and his record the last three years was a cumulative 14-34. He was aware of the inevitability of his fate as he said “The record is what it is” and “You win or you lose. It’s not horseshoes” during the week leading up to the last game of the season.

     Following the gregarious Rex Ryan as Jets head coach isn’t an easy feat for most NFL head coaches but every postgame press conference with Todd Bowles was painful to endure. The now former Jets head coach always came off as preferring to be at the dentist for a root canal than to be talking with the press about his team.

    Bowles always had a painful expression when whipping out his one-sentence cliches such as “I have to look at the tape” and “We have to get better” when respodning to every question posed to him following a Jets loss. He wasn’t much more expressive after a rare Jets win.

    Few would have cared about his tight-lipped drill sergeant shtick had the Jets been winning or just playing smart football. What was most bothersome was that the players did not respond to his quiet tough guy persona as exemplified by the countless penalties they committed during games as well as the fines that had to be levied for being tardy for team meetings. 

    New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur did not have a great first year at the helm of Big Blue as his team finished with a 5-11 record. Shurmur was a bit more at ease with the media than Bowles was and even joked with the press following Sunday’s 36-35 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. “I am sure that you are all great reporters even though I never read what you write!” to a smiling press corps who somehow doubted the veracity of that statement.

    I asked Eli Manning, who in all likelihood will the Giants quarterback yet again in 2019, if he was still as passionate about football after having now been in the NFL for 15 seasons. “Not being in the playoffs is getting harder but I still love competing especially in those final two-minute drives of a game. Besides being a quarterback is the only thing that I know!”

     I have a feeling that Eli was being facetious about last point. He was thinking about attending  law school after graduating from Ole Miss where he was an excellent student.  

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     The Pinstripe Bowl, which was held last Thursday at Yankee Stadium, celebrated its ninth anniversary and has quickly become a part of the New York City holiday week fabric. New York Yankees president Randy Levine estimates that the game helps generate between $25 and $30 million for the New York City economy.

    Unfortunately it was a stinker of a game for the nearly 38,000 spectators who witnessed it as the University of Wisconsin rolled over the University of Miami by a score of 35-3. Four days later the Hurricanes head coach, Mark Richt, tended his resignation. I guess deep down he knew that his team shouldn’t be allowed to play in a locale where the temperature is less than 70 degrees.

     The best bull riders will be coming to Madison Square Garden this weekend and that’s no bull as the Monster Buck-Off kicks off the 2019 Professional Bull Riders season. The goal for each rider is stay on these wild bovines for at least eight seconds in order to earn a score from the judges. It is very exciting and some of these bulls are total hams as they will parade around the ring soaking up the applause after tossing an aspiring rider on his derriere before heading back to the pen. The CBS Sports Network will televise the action on Sunday.

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