Turbulent Times by Bob Ryan

seat beltWhat a 10 day-2 week period it has been…while the general & myself attended a spectacular wedding @ Tahoe & added on a brief vaca to the Left Coast—the world changed….. the French attacks, Mizzou player strike, resignations @ Mizzou, and the continuing debates ….all that is handled in detail by political pundits with far more acumen than I. Let me stay in the safe..seemingly…sports world


While dodging the politics @ Mizzou….it does…in my mind… play a role in the sudden announcement by Coach Pinkel. Trying to take a broader look at his situation while keeping in mind…with first-hand experience in the last year of one of my siblings having a very similar disease as Coach Pinkel…here’s what I’m thinking..

…Coach P learns in May of his lymphoma….the hectic pace of the football season has dissipated during that time….he receives treatment @ Mayo for two reasons—1) to get the best available treatment (which is reason enough) but also 2) he wants to keep it unknown to his players, staff and school….he feels “OK” after the treatments…feels like he’ll be able to do the job…heck…he came into this league and snatched two SEC East crowns…his QB was returning, his O-line was experienced, his defense would be good…maybe very good… he probably felt like…I can do this. I don’t believe that he planned in May to hold a press conference the week prior to BYU to announce his resignation…


Things changed due to the turbulence of his own body, his job, his school…


….Coach P…I suspect….found it harder to maintain the pace required of these big-time college coaches…the treatments often have side-effects of quicker, longer-lasting fatigue.

…Once the idea is planted inside a person’s mind about retirement….I’ve ALWAYS observed and felt myself …it is much, much more difficult to “push yourself” in the same manner that one has done for years. All of the “little” things that make a person successful are questioned by a person who sees the work train pulling into the station which is now just around the corner.

….This Mizzou team fell apart….a first for Coach P…the QB had personal issues that tore apart the team unity and stymied the Tiger offense, the younger offensive players..especially the wide outs… were a significant drop-off from the previous corp of receivers…the offensive line seemed to regress in effectiveness…hopes of a division championship crumbled in early SEC games

….losing teams are ALWAYS more prone to have internal squabbles…players, coaches, supporters, general public, the press…it can become a bubble that a coach can’t escape

….when all the racial unrest bubbled over @ Mizzou and his team became involved actively and publicly several more factors developed or may have begun percolating…now…I don’t buy the “I wanna be with my family” line….it’s my own experience when that line is used that it’s inarguable…no one can fault you….so it’s used over and over again when in most….the vast majority… of times…it’s not the primary reason…it may be “a” reason but it isn’t the reason alone or even the primary reason

  • Coach P …I suspect…was worn down physically by the season….the extensive hours..the frustration with the results (which had to play a tough toll on Coach physically)..the thoughts of—can I really keep doing this? My health has to be my primary concern not if we can’t block, get open, cover, yada-yada-yada. ….would he have a repeat of 2015 in 2016 (and longer?)
  • Coach P had to support his team publically…he really had no choice
  • I suspect that this racial overtone @ Mizzou will really cost the Tigers in upcoming recruiting battles…don’t think for a SEC second that the other recruiters won’t remind future recruits about the tone at Columbia, MO…and maybe….even a few current players may transfer to rid themselves of the environment. At some point in had to dawn on Coach P…..what else can I do here….he turned around a moribund program and crafted it into a nationally recognized power, pushed the team…oops…he always calls it a program…into the SEC
  • I’ve read that some think that Coach P made his statement at this particular time to deflect all the “other News” coming out of Columbia….I don’t think I buy into that one…but one never knows



Coach Pinkel left a very positive mark at Mizzou…he’ll be remembered for all of his glorious years with an asterisk on his departure. We wish him good..long lasting… health and an enjoyable retirement.


Outside of Columbia….there are some other sports things going on…..

….the look of the 2016 Cardinals pitching rotation was also very turbulent this week. Gone for the season is Lance Lynn and for part of the season Anthony Reyes. John Lackey will demand a multi-year contract….the Cards may…unlikely as it seems to me….be shoved into a corner and bounty up. Couple reasons….1) Attaching the Qualifying offer tag….which requires a draft choice from any team signing Lackey hinders Lackey’s ability on the Free Agent market 2) I really don’t think Lackey & Manifesto Mike “hit it off” this year. The dearth of Cardinal starting pitching may…should… precipitate the Cards to alter their approach to off-season adjustments

…Rams 4-5…..it seems like Coach Fish either can’t evaluate QB well or can’t develop them well….going to Casey Kasem (and the top 50 of America..one of my favorites during my GI time in Germany) at QB doesn’t bode well for the last half of the season. To say that the Rams are in the midst of turbulent times seems redundant. I’m losing faith that Coach Fish can “turn it around”….he’s had long enough…we continue to have a plethora of penalties, up and down team performances, shuffling QB…btw…winning teams usually don’t shuffle QB…that’s usually a sign of a weak team

….Craig Kimbrel …moving to Boston for 4 minor leaguers….to me…shows that the Red Sox while acquiring an accomplished closer in the sunset of his career…don’t want to wait.. again for the youngsters to grow through the turbulent growing pains.

…coming out of turbulent times is Penn State…after the long litany of events hovering around the Joe Paterno dismissal….the Nittany Lions are 7-3 this year

….the Rams aren’t the only ones who have struggled in draft choices….the Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has been a complete bust this year

…suffering through several consecutive turbulent seasons the Fighting Illini..who have the same record as Mizzou at 5-5…need one more win to make one of the 41 bowls…that’s almost as many as we have at the table on Thanksgiving J

….Danny Haren’s retirement probably preceded a release….he recorded a very sound, productive big-league career

….don’t know what’s happened but ever since the Rams played Green Bay…they haven’t been the same team…falling into 2nd place in their conference…yes…it’s turbulent in Title Town USA

…the Ravens lose because of a face-mask penalty that extended the game for an additional play and allowed the Jaguars to kick a Field goal to beat them 22-20…bad teams do seem to find creative ways to lose games

….Free agent–Scott Kazmir may not be a “big name” but I think he would be a valuable contributor to most MLB’s starting rotations…maybe he’s asking too much?

….it’s turbulent in Denver….Manning went ONE year too long

….Bradford is hurt….Foles is benched…doesn’t seem to matter what uniform that they are wearing…things remain just about the same for them—turbulence surrounding them

….before you get too restless….thx 4 making it to the bottom





  1. John Rocco says:

    Bob, good stuff. Let’s hope the saying “time heals all wounds” applies at Mizzou.



  2. Fred Arbogast says:

    Great article! Their even talking about Mizzou football out in the great southwest and Pinkel’s reasons for leaving, so the effect is felt far and wide.



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