Today ESPN reported two little nuggets from Trojan Land. The first was that Southern Cal is returning Reggie Bush's Heisman and essentially purging all memory of him from the annals. Unfortunately this doesn't mean that Reggie actually has had his Heisman taken away, but it is nice to see that he's now essentially been frozen out by his alma mater.
The second--and more relevant to Notre Dame fans that aren't current students--is that the indescribably delusional Mike Garrett has been replaced by former Trojan quarterback and current ND home game color commentator Pat Haden. Many on message boards are rejoicing the fact that Haden will be leaving the NBC telecasts because they claim he had an anti-Notre Dame prejudice (a natural thought I suppose given his alma mater).
I really never had a problem with Haden--in fact, I thought he was pretty good. He was articulate, clearly knew his stuff, and was for the most part very concise. I never thought he showed any anti-Irish bias. If they did something bad he called them out for it. If they did something good he praised it. If there was a bad call against them he'd react with the proper degree of outrage (specifically I remember the "roughing the center" call from earlier in the decade).
Now I obviously didn't see the '05 Bush Push telecast so I don't know how he called that one, but if people say he was objective then he could do anything objectively. I appreciate his efforts over the past decade and appreciate even more the fact that last season he uttered the line, "Kyle Rudolph's hands are the size of small dogs."
The person that really needed to be replaced this offseason was Tom Hammond. There are some people that are not made for High Definition television and Hammond is at the top of that list. It's "seriously, get the kids out of the room so they don't have nightmares" bad. Combine that with the fact that he constantly screwed up names and seems to be losing it a hair and it's time for him to go.
We don't know whether he'll follow Haden out the door, but we can begin to speculate on who the new color guy will be. Let's throw some names out there:
* Joe Theismann - Should they choose to go the ND alum route he's available and I'm sure itching to get a microphone in front of him. I'm not his biggest fan but I wouldn't be upset.
* Aaron Taylor - He's incredibly articulate but really turned me off the past few years by piling on ND. Just my opinion, but he crossed the line between objective analysis to hater. After spending so much time in the studio with John Saunders I guess I can understand how the hate would spill over though.
* Chris Collinsworth - He used to do ND games back in the early 90's but he's now the centerpiece of the NBC Sunday Night Football telecasts so he wouldn't be a legitimate candidate I don't think (though he does have a kid on the team so he'll be there anyway).
* Bob Davie - I've never muted the TV to listen to the radio (even though I loved Tony Roberts), but I absolutely would if Davie were the color guy. He's actually a great color guy, but he's someone that demonstrates time and time again that he doesn't understand Notre Dame and I could see him making 2-3 comments per season that would lead me to put a hole in my living room wall.
* Jesse Palmer - He's pretty good, I just can't see him leaving ESPN.
* Craig James - He'll be too busy attending Texas Tech games and talking with Tommy Tuberville through a headset telling him to play his son.
* Petros Papadakis - Whoever suggested him must live under powerlines. I'd rather have a picture-in-picture of Hammond's face in the upper right-hand corner of my TV screen all game than listen to Papadakis.