Heard it From Hoard: Column 13
A few years ago when the Reds interviewed me as a candidate to replace Joe Nuxhall, I was very disappointed when I didn't get the job. But a day or two later, I honestly felt that it simply wasn't meant to be.
If I had landed the Reds job at that time, my son Sam (updated photo attached) certainly wouldn't have been born in Boston with my wife Peg's parents and her closest friends nearby. As any first-time parent can attest, that support is worth its weight in gold.
Which leads me to some thoughts on the departure of Mark Dantonio.
I'm extremely sad to see him leave UC (check out my 5th column). He's an excellent coach and a better person, and I'll be rooting for Michigan State as long as he's there.
But consider the series of events that helped him land the job.
If quarterback Dustin Grutza didn't get hurt against West Virginia, Nick Davila would not have started against Rutgers. I think there's a decent chance the Bearcats would have upset the Scarlet Knights anyway, but it's hard to ignore the fact that Davila passed for 277 yards in his starting debut--a number Grutza has topped in one of his 22 starts.
If UC did not win that game, Coach Dantonio's record at UC would have been under .500. Even if Michigan State officials were smart enough to realize he was the right person for the job, would they have dared to pay big bucks for a coach with a losing record?
Perhaps his replacement will have a similar story of dominoes falling in the perfect order.
Contrary to some of the doom and gloom forecasts I've heard and read, if a coaching change had to happen, I think it came at a good time for UC.
Cincinnati has never been in a better position to hire a great coach. It's in a BCS conference, with great new facilities, a more forgiving schedule, and best of all, is loaded with returning starters for the next two years. The next head coach will have a legitimate shot at finishing in the upper tier of the Big East immediately.
So wish Coach Dantonio and his assistants good luck and don't despair.
Things have a funny way of working out.
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