Column: Thankful for coach's taking a hard stand

By Staff
Josh Taylor / staff writer
Nov. 30, 2003
Ah, Thanksgiving. Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and Keyshawn Johnson deactivated for the rest of the season.
What? Did I hear that right? Has Jon Gruden really deactivated one of the top receivers in the NFL for the rest of the season in the midst of a Tampa Bay fall from grace?
Have you seen the commercial on television with the running back answering questions in the locker room after a game? It starts off with the reporter asking the player how he thought the game went. The player, Leon, says that football is a team sport and for that reason he lays the blame squarely on the shoulders of his offensive line, his coach, and his quarterback.
The reporter then asks him about the four fumbles he had during the game and his response is, "if someone else would have jumped on the ball we could have won.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this is how most conversations go between Keyshawn Johnson and anyone who will listen. Didn't he have these same problems with the New York Jets before coming to Tampa Bay?
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful that there are still a few coaches left in the NFL with the courage to do the right thing.
Tampa Bay may be better with Johnson, but the Buccaneers are a better team without him.
Around The League
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the things in our lives that we are thankful for. The NFL is no different. Here are a few thanksgiving offerings that could be heard around the league.
The Kansas City Chiefs are mighty thankful for Priest Holmes. This guy has racked up 1,015 yards and 15 touchdowns for the 10-1 Chiefs. Holmes is the backbone of this team and the main reason that they have dominated most of the league. Having Dick Vermeil as your coach doesn't hurt either.
The Baltimore Ravens are thankful for all the referees of the world. A shady clock management issue in last week's game allowed the Ravens to take a 44-41 overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks and retain a tie for first place in the AFC North.
Who would have ever guessed that a referee could make a bad call? St. Louis should also be thankful for this turn of events as it allowed them to take over the top spot in the NFC West.
The entire City of Dallas is extremely thankful for Bill Parcells. He has managed to turn around a mediocre team headed nowhere and aim them at a
wildcard spot in the playoffs. The Cowboys are still not the powerhouse team they were in the mid 1990s, but they are getting there a lot faster than anyone
ever thought they could.
The NFL is thankful that Detroit actually brought their team along for this year's traditional Thanksgiving Day game. The Lions have consistently played bad football on Thanksgiving Day, along with the rest of the season. This season's game was a pleasant surprise.
Last but not least we should all be thankful that ABC had sense enough to take Dennis Miller out of the commentator's booth on Monday Night Football. I have no personal ill-feelings for the guy, but I don't want to hear references to Macbeth when I'm watching football. A better idea would have been to clone Howard Cosell and give him his old job back. I'm sure that he would have had a few choice words for Keyshawn Johnson.
This Thanksgiving holiday I am extremely thankful that I have a good job, a warm roof over my head, an outstanding son, smart coworkers, and a wife wonderful enough to put up with the vast amount of football I watch.
Trust me. I have also watched enough figure skating in return to kill a horse.