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2009
8
Jan

Fredo Jags Off

logo-bostoncollegeIt is always amusing observing the goings-on at Boston College. Whether it is their latest point-shaving scandal, the riotous bragging done by school administrators about the high ethical standards they impart to their students as the same administrators engage in shady back room negotiations and outright lying, or the ever-increasing numbers of one-way flights out of Logan Airport added by airlines in order to accommodate coaches blowing town, there are enough zany antics on display on Chestnut Hill to rival a Three Stooges short. BC ain’t called Fredo for nothing.

The latest Fredo-induced slapstick comes, as it often does, from the football program, more specifically, the head coaching position. Most will recall that two years ago, Tom O’Brien was spotted boarding a plane at Logan, a direct flight to RDU. Days later, he turned up in the Murphy Center at NC State giving the finger to Fredo’s AD ‘Mean’ Gene DeFilippo and exclaiming, “I got away, you bastard.”

Mean Gene immediately set about finding a replacement, a chore that, along with his still campaigning for that statue of himself for getting Fredo into the ACC, kept him so absorbed that he didn’t notice when baseball coach Peter Hughes also escaped to Virginia Tech. You’ve got to keep your eyes on them every minute, Mean Gene.

Some time and a lot of begging later, Mean Gene announced that Fredo’s new coach would be Jeff Jagodzinski. As sportswriters, fans and most everybody else asked, “Who?” Mean Gene proclaimed that the coach called Jags would be Fredo’s coach for five years unless he was not.

Jags took over the team and quickly noticed that former coach and escapee Tom O’Brien had left him a roster chock full of quality players. Jags then proceeded to do what most any quality coach would do, won a lot of games. Twenty over two years, to be exact.

This kind of success attracts attention. In Jags’ case, it attracted the attention of the New York Jets. In need of a coach, again, and having noticed that Jags once coached Brett Favre in Green Bay and just might be able to con, uh, convince him to hang around a while longer, Jets’ GM Mike Tannenbaum gave Jags a call.

Jags was sitting around his office pondering ‘Vandy? We lost to Vandy?’ and noticing that half of the players left him by O’Brien were now gone and the recruiting pitch of ‘Come to Chestnut Hill and take a lot of long plane rides’ wasn’t working so well when the call came. It took a good two or three seconds of deliberation before Jags declared, “I’m on my way” and ran from Fredo’s campus at a sprinter’s gait. In his haste to get out of town, Jags seems to have forgotten one little thing, that being to inform DeFilippo of what he was up to.

That was left to a sportswriter who happened to notice while hacking into Tannenbaum’s Outlook that Jags was on the appointment list. The sportswriter gave Mean Gene a call to obtain his take on the situation.

Mean Gene was in his office watching the DVR of last Sunday’s basketball game and muttering to himself, “these Southern rubes are easy, well, except for those in Blacksburg,” when informed that his football coach was attempting an escape to New York. Mean Gene was jolted out of his reverie, bolted upright, exclaimed, “He what?” then angrily bellowed, “I gave that SOB his first head job and this is how he repays me?”

Ignoring the scribe’s opining that the head job must not have been that good, Mean Gene roared, “You tell that sorry sack of [expletive deleted] that if he even crosses the state line into New York I’ll fire his ass.”

Over the next couple of days, high comedy ensued. Fredo’s threats were duly reported in all media. Jags was so intimidated at the thought of losing the BC job that he went ahead and interviewed with the Jets.

Mean Gene spent his time dialing Jags’ cell number over and over, begging on voice mail, “Jags, call me” and whining to the Boston Globe, “I don’t understand it. He usually calls me back.” Mean Gene had not felt this kind of rejection since his secret ACC expansion deal blew up in his face and he kept calling the Dwarf Dyke of Miami to remind her of her promise not to leave the BE without him.

Mean Gene was sitting in his office wondering, ‘Why doesn’t anybody like me?’ when he noticed basketball coach Al Skinner, fresh off of making Harvard’s case for the #1 ranking in basketball, sneaking down the hall towards an exit. As Mean Gene yelled, “Just where do you think you’re going?” and ran out of his office to physically stop Skinner from leaving, he bumped into Jags, who laconically asked, “Been looking for me?”

There followed a meeting during which Mean Gene was true to his word, for perhaps the first time in his life, and actually fired Jags. It’s not every coach who gets fired after averaging ten wins a season, but, then again, we are talking about Fredo.

There followed the obligatory press conference in which Mean Gene thanked Jags for his successful, albeit brief, tenure on Chestnut Hill. When asked his reaction, Jags responded, “You want to hurry this up? I’ve got a plane to catch.” When inquiring media minds inquired as to what he would do if he did not get the Jets job, Jags said, “I dunno. I hear the weather’s nice in Seattle. At least I’ll be out of here.”

With Jags out of the house, Mean Gene once again needs to hire a coach. Well, he has had a lot of practice. With an eye towards salvaging a recruiting class that has been described as a train wreck or the recruiting equivalent of that meteor that crashed into the Tunguska River in Siberia a century ago, Mean Gene glanced around the Guantanamo Bay of a football office at the detainees.

He took a look at Steve Logan, who was strumming his banjo and singing the blues about the lousy barbecue in New England. Shaking his head, Mean Gene glanced over at Frank Spaziani, the guy passed over by Mean Gene the last time a football coach got away clean. Maybe. Spaz would probably be a guy who wouldn’t treat the BC job the way Frank Morris treated Alcatraz.

Once again, it has been great fun observing the shenanigans that always seem to come from Chestnut Hill. Affaire de Jags sure made watching Tyrese Rice shoot down Ol’ Roy’s ‘The Undefeated’ seem like a hoot. And, once again, we get solid evidence of why we call BC Fredo.

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