The Jones rumor mill never stops
SO I was minding my own business last week, watching the Channel 8 news, when the sports report led off with an alarming announcement: June Jones might leave UH!
Well, then it went on to say that there had been a report that if the NFL came calling with a good offer, Jones would be willing to listen. To which I had the following reaction:
I think we all know Jones' feelings about the NFL. I think we all know if he got a can't-refuse type of offer, well, no one could blame him if he couldn't refuse it. I think we all know that until something like that were to happen, this is pretty much the greatest coaching situation he's ever going to have in his life (just, for example, imagine the reaction at any other franchise or program, college or pro, if the head coach were to say he wanted to unveil a new theme song he'd been working on).
I think we all know you would have to actually get one of those offers first, which does not happen all that often for any coach, never mind Jones in particular.
I think we all know the run-and-shoot has been out of fashion in the pros for about a decade now.
So, no, my pulse was not exactly racing at the news.
Then, Channel 8 went on to say the report came from ESPN.com.
Well, that's just something that happens every so often. No need to be alarmed. ESPN.com will have something that says so-and-so team might be interested in Jones, or should be, or he might be among the list of possible candidates for possible openings. And every once in a great while, it might say that Jones himself might ponder the possibility of leaving UH for the NFL or some other job (remember Georgia Tech?).
And then when Jones is asked about it here he always says he loves Hawaii, there's nothing to it, etc. But it's already out there, national, on ESPN.com.
I think most local observers have stopped getting too excited about these occasional blurbs. In fact, I tend to get a little chuckle out of them. Here we go again.
I liken it to the terror alerts -- that every time people start grumbling about the president a little too much, it's suddenly Code Orange, or something.
Channel 8 went on to report that it had in fact called Jones and he said he doesn't know where these things come from.
Well, the byline says they're coming from ESPN.com senior writer Len Pasquarelli, who just happens to have written every single one of these "Jones could get another job" rumblings over the years. Now, Pasquarelli knows his stuff, and is a lot of fun to read, and if you haven't checked him out on the Internet, you should. By all accounts he is a sharp writer, great reporter, kind to animals, probably a lot of fun at parties. You know. He's been NFL beat reporter of the year twice. Big time.
He also used to work at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution during the years that Jones was on the coaching staff there.
I tracked down an e-mail address for Pasquarelli (there isn't one on the ESPN site) just to let him know I'd be having a little fun with this, and to see if he wanted to talk about, you know, what is UP with all these intermittent "June might go" mentions. Nothing yet. That's cool. I'm sure it's all "sources" and stuff like that.
The latest one, published Oct. 28, which was last Friday, said this: "Punts: There are rumblings that University of Hawaii coach June Jones, a former head coach with the Falcons and the (Chargers) and one of the game's best offensive minds, would listen to offers to return to the NFL, even as a coordinator. Jones resuscitated the program at Hawaii and has become an iconic figure in the islands. But he might have taken the program, which continues to run a financial deficit, about as far as he possibly can."
Well, I guess you could say tha -- what? Hold on, somebody's trying to tell me something. "Iconic" means what?
Well anyway, I don't even bat an eye at this stuff any more, as I'm sure most don't. People are pretty akamai about this sort of thing, these days.
It's the way the world works. In fact, I have to turn to another ESPN.com guy, Jason Whitlock, who summed up this scenario perfectly yesterday: "According to my sources, there are rumors that there will be rumors that NFL teams will make a strong bid to acquire the services of University of Florida coach Urban Meyer, who has led the Gators to a red-hot 5-2 start.
"Based on these rumors of rumors, and in order to prevent potential recruits from worrying about these rumors of rumors, and because Meyer is clearly a better coach than the coach Florida fired for incompetence, it only makes sense for Florida to extend Meyer's contract immediately, months before there are any NFL coaching vacancies and before these rumors of rumors become rumors.
"According to my sources, it is rumored that Meyer is willing to accept a new contract and millions of dollars because he is deeply committed and loyal to the University of Florida."
Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, I'm not begrudging anyone. I'll be honest -- I just want in on the action.
You can help.
Just let it slip in your national forum that Sports Illustrated is making yet another run at me (50 cents an issue, plus a long-sleeve T-shirt featuring the NFL team of my choice).
Plus, I've been feeling pretty iconic lately.