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Posts tagged ‘divorce’

Step Back From The Edge, TrojanFan …

Look – you knew this day was going to come. Pete Carroll sitting behind an SC microphone in Heritage Hall – but bereft of a single item of cardinal and gold in his wardrobe – explaining why he was leaving for the NFL. Don’t pretend you’re shocked or anything more than surprised by the timing. It was as inevitable as the sunset.

For all his success as the head football coach as USC – and you could easily make the argument for USC being the premier college football program of the last decade – Carroll was first and foremost an NFL guy. Remember, he came to the Trojans fresh off his firing as the head coach of the Patriots (where he was replaced by some guy named Belichick). He has two stints as a head coach totalling 4 years and a lot more experience as a defensive coordinator – and an itch to show he wasn’t a failure at the highest level. He never said he had no interest in returning to the NFL, just that the right opportunity hadn’t come along. Now it has.

There are those who will argue the timing of Carroll’s departure is questionable, and while he tried mightily to deflect those ideas in his news conference today they clearly remain. The Trojans are coming off their worst season since his first with them, and are looking at a significant rebuilding effort. They lost two key offensive weapons with the departure of juniors Joe McKnight and Damian Williams to the pros, and the NCAA will soon wrap up its investigations into issues regarding McKnight and former Trojan Reggie Bush and hand down some kind of punishment. Not the kind of situation you’d expect a fighter to shy away from, but it is what it is.

The big question now for USC is who’s next. Mike Garrett, the school’s athetic director, doesn’t exactly have a sterling track record when it comes to football hires – remember, Carroll was his fourth pick, and his only other coaching selections were Paul Hackett and a burned-out John Robinson. With rules compliance issues issues swirling around both the football and basketball programs, you can bet his choice will be heavily scrutinized.

There are a lot of names being kicked about as Carroll’s replacement, but two jump out in my mind. Jack Del Rio has head coaching experience (he’s currently the embattled coach of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars) and is a former Trojan. He also brings the same competitive fire the program knew with Carroll. The other potential candidate is Butch Davis, who is currently with North Carolina. He’s one of the long list of successful coaches who tried unsuccessfully to jump to the pros (Dallas) only to be beaten back down and forced to lick their wounds at a lesser school. But he was successful at pulling Miami’s fat out of the NCAA fire and might be just what the Trojans need right now.

Sometime tomorrow, the ex-Trojan coach will sit behind another microphone in another hall – this one in Renton, WA – outfitted in the green and blue of his new team, the Seattle Seahawks. He’ll say the same basic things and talk about how hard the decision was and how excited he is at the challenge. And if you’re a true Trojan fan, you’ll tip your hat to the man and cheer for his ‘Hawks.

Jon & Kate Plus 8 … Minus 1

Statistics say that I’m an outlier, in that I don’t particularly care for reality TV. To me, most of the drama seems pre-fabricated and there’s nothing even close to reality to be found. It’s like porn without sex – “OK, now you stand here, and you stand there, and … action!” – and they make it up as they go.

For at least one Pennsylvania family, however, the drama is all too real, and the reality is going to scar a lot of lives. Jon and Kate Gosselin were just another young couple struggling with the challenges of raising a lot of kids when the Discovery Channel came knocking. The Gosselins and their eight children – a pair of twins and a set of sextuplets – appeared in a couple of specials before getting their own reality series. Since it premiered in 2007, “Jon & Kate Plus 8” has provided a detailed look into the lives of the Gosselins – perhaps too close at times.

It was clear from the start that this was a difficult marriage. Kate had wanted kids while Jon was lukewarm, a problem only made worse when Kate learned she couldn’t get pregnant on her own. Their children were all conceived through artificial insemination, leading to the large brood. You could also see that while they might love each other, Kate was going to rule the roost, and Jon would either have to accept it or rebel. That could only lead to trouble.

More troubling, though, were the changes that came to the family over time. TV brings two things into every reality star’s life – money and demands. Jon quit his job as a computer analyst and Kate discovered boutique shopping. Products were suddenly being placed in the home to meet sponsors requirements – all driving a wedge between where lives go and where they’re meant to go. As Kate became more demanding and Jon more submissive, all the elements for disaster were in place.

The issue came to a head yesterday as the couple announced – via their show, of course – that they were separating “for the kids’ sake.” People Magazine reported that Kate Gosselin had filed for divorce earlier in the day, and Jon had recently been seen in New York City apartment shopping. According to sources, the kids will continue to live in the family home, and whichever parent has custody for the day will get the house. What a mess.

The show has gone on hiatus at the request of the network, ostensibly because of a lack of footage to make new shows. Gee – you mean the cameramen couldn’t get enough of the two fighting? Personally, I think it was all those sponsors who just a few weeks ago were clamoring to get their products on the set suddenly not wanting anything to do with breaking up a family.

I’d like to think this will serve as a cautionary tale, but I think I know better. Much like “The Truman Show,” where they were willing to let a man die for the sake of ratings, this stuff is gravy to the networks. They won’t take credit for creating the environment that effectively destroyed this family, but they’re perfectly willing to lap up the ratings.

And the people will just keep watching …