The Idiot Patrol

The idiot patrol is whipping itself to an onanistic frenzy on Twitter with reports of Al Golden becoming Penn State’s next head coach, followed by denials that Al Golden has been offered the job, and then oh yes he has, then aiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee wheee look at that little birdie way, way up there. All the twittiots want to be first to say they were the first, so they can come back tomorrow and say, “See? I had it before ESPN!” They tweet it out of both sides of their keyboard, so their several versions will always be defensible as right.

Even old Phil Grosz of BWI has joined the insanity.

Here’s’s take on the ridiculousness.

Hard to say where these things start. Some obscure blog posts a “definite”, and lots of others believe it. Then, they embellish stories of their own with suitable bullshit and others believe them. Of course, behind them all are the ever credible (sarcastically intoned) “sources”.

Jeez, didn’t we just go through a couple day Twitter freak-out with respect to O’Brien leaving? Don’t you people have anything better to do than make shit up to see how many retweets you’ll get? If you’re not making shit up, you’re representing rumors as fact, which is worse. And shame on you, NBC Sports, for tweeting this:

@NBCSports: Miami coach Al Golden is reportedly expected to take the Penn State job.

This was before 8 PM Friday. It is now close to 2:00 AM. All we know is that we know nothing. NBC was getting its information from, a Rivals site. A competing Miami Hurricane “in the know” site later tweeted that Golden was staying put. Tearing your hair out yet?

The venerable Miami Herald recapped the collection of rumors, just so they could say they had a story — just in case.

This much is pretty certain. Penn State is interested in Al Golden, and Golden is interested in Penn State. The level of interest in either direction cannot be accurately gauged without pulling something completely out of someone’s ass.  Beyond that, we at the Turkey will offer no conjectures and we will make no representations based on Internet rumors, which are completely out of control at the moment. My personal take is that Golden is now a much stronger possibility than I had originally thought. If I can trust the information I’ve seen (other than wild-ass “he’s hired” rumors), he’ll be interviewed by the committee on Saturday. One “source” said the interview was originally to have been conducted on Friday, but the committee was snowed in. I can believe that much.

Another “source” stated that the committee scheduled an interview with James Franklin of Vanderbilt for Sunday. However, the original “source” said that Golden could be offered the job as early as Saturday. I dunno, seems like too much of a circus. Joyner said that the committee would move with due dispatch, but I don’t think that meant they would hire someone without conducting a single interview. Neither did I think that it meant they would pick one candidate and interview only him. Joyner has to make sure the search committee has observed proper protocol, has done its job, and has covered the appropriate bases (read: asses).

I’ve served on search committees at UCF. It was next to impossible to hire someone without conducting and documenting several interviews, necessarily including minority candidates. A search committee couldn’t be programmed by a particular figurehead to “pre-select” someone (the HR types even had a word for it) and then back into a justification. If Penn State has similar requirements, which is likely, they couldn’t hire Golden until they interview at least Franklin or Johnson, the minority candidates, and then meticulously document that Golden is better qualified. (This assumes that he’s actually interested in the job, which we don’t know for certain, either.)

Pay attention to all those conflicting tweets and you’ll get a headache. Go ahead, sit on the edge of your chair. You’ll have a sore ass and a headache. Maybe a lot of chewed fingernails, too. Or just smoke a joint and mellow out like your Turkey, dude. We’ll know soon enough. Like, why waste energy tweeting made-up shit when we can be smoking some? Our lazytime is imperiled here.

Such as. (I know, right?)

So, look. While we’re at it here, blasted out amongst the myriad tweets from the twittiots was a simple request by Penn State junior linebacker Ben Kline to read his letter and pass it on. The damn thing went viral, accelerated by all the attention focused on the coaching situation, further polluting Twitter with a veritable plethora of retweets, which attracted my attention enough to read it. It was well worth the time. Inasmuch as Kline asked that the letter be passed on, here is a link to Ben Kline’s letter. It is uplifting and demonstrative of a commitment by at least one player to uncompromised ideals passed through each generation of Penn State football to its successors.

In other words, Kline is saying, “Stay the course, boys. No coaching change is going to tear us apart. We’re the ones making things happen.”

Furthermore, he’s asking alumni, fans, and supporters to hang in there with the team and him. This, too, shall pass.

Please read it when you get a chance. In the meanwhile, smoke that joint, drink that scotch, pray to St. Joe, and go hug a teacher. When you wake up, Larry Johnson will still be Interim Head Coach and we’ll still be awaiting news of the permanent appointment.

Now, go to bed, already.


  1. K. John says

    I have a friend from college that graduated with a degree in journalism. While in college and shortly there after contributed to a number of publications. From dealing with some of these very people he has become very cynical of the entire industry. It didn’t take him long to get fed up with having to constantly report information he knew wasn’t reliable. He is now a web developer.

    • says

      If I could apply a Facebook “like” to your comment, I would.

      Academia is a jungle, where the law of the jungle prevails. It doesn’t resemble the real world at all. Few outsiders realize how sordid the whole mess really is — “publish or perish” is only the tip of the iceberg.

      My experiences in acadème compare favorably with my experiences living in a third-world country. Priorities and values are ass-backward with respect to the civilized world.


      • K. John says

        There is a reason why I do not have a Ph.D. and never will nor will I ever work in Academia. Publish or perish is only the tip of the iceberg. Every academic department has an ideological enforcer somewhere. During grad school I clashed with several faculty members. One of which was the departments ideological enforcer. I referred to the class as institutional hazing. It did not end well. I have often said that some academics have egos that would give Terrell Owens a run for his money.

    • K. John says

      By ‘these very people’ I mean people (as opposed to any particular individual) who spread rumors via message boards to claiming to have a source. Those very people do the same thing with Twitter now. You know who I am talking about. The people who take to twitter regarding just about everything and retweet just about anything. I miss the day when an editor at least got a second set of eyes on a story before it was published somewhere. My personal opinion on the matter is don’t take anything seriously, especially if an editor hasn’t gotten eyes on it, unless they are willing to be a name to a source and that source could plausibly have inside information.

      • says

        Agreed there, too. My ranting post started off bashing them, then bashing search committees and how universities operate, and then settled down to post the link to Ben Kline’s inspirational letter and smoke some pot. It was all things to all men, a veritable cornucopia of bile and remission.

        Something I’ve noted, even in edited journalistic pieces is the modern penchant of referring to unnamed sources. We’re supposed to ascribe credibility to something in which we can’t check sources for ourselves? Yeah, I know that journalists have to protect their sources, but there’s just too much sloppy reporting going on out there. Hell, crooked journalists can get away with murder!


      • Joe says

        Sorry K. John, but I only see Bobby Engram and Gary Brown (2nd choice) as former Penn Stater’s and I think both would be great choices, especially Engram.

        I obviously am not counting LJ and hope among hope that Golden would not bring D’Onfrio as I think Miami’s defense has been terrible the last two years.

        So unless I’m missing someone, I think that’s it for PS alums.

        The rest look good on paper, but I don’t have their bona fides to be able to make a fair judgement on what they would bring to a new staff.

        • K. John says

          I think you misinterpreted my comment. It was meant to be a cynical “Really, they are doing that’ sort of comment.

        • says

          Bear in mind that this is something written by a guy who was admittedly pulling stuff out of his ass, meaning Poorman. So, it is to be taken as a strawman, and otherwise, with a grain of salt.

          If Golden or any other coach would look primarily at his old Penn State connections, then he’d be a secular thinker like most of us fans. This turkey don’t play dat. I want new blood and new ideas. Screw the Penn State ties! They might have been necessary for “healing” right after the Paterno/Sandusky period, to keep the alumni base from complete disintegration, but now is time to get back to business, and that means the new coach selects the best available assistants without the primary intention of appeasing alumni.

          You also make the assumption that the new coach would want to keep LJ, and that ain’t set in concrete. Not that I think LJ should go, but there better not be any such strings associated with the job. The new coach should hire his staff as he sees fit, within the usual university hiring constraints, such as they are.

          I would accept Penn State connected people if they were the best for the job, which is what I think Golden is. Let’s not get priorities ass-backward.


          • K.John says

            I for one wanted new blood before the Sandusky mess hit. I agree that the head coach should have authority to hire who he wants. However, I would hope the new hire realizes what he has in LJ and keeps him on. There is a reason O’Brien kept him and Vanderlinden.

            If I had to go with my gut right now, I think Al Golden will be the next coach and knowing there is a decent staff in place makes moves to keep keep whoever wants to stay in Happy Valley (I think most of them would stay for at least another year) including the two recently departed and brings in others from the outside.

            • says

              I think MOST of us wanted new blood before the Sandusky mess hit. Enough was enough with the Jay/McQueary/Hall offensive crap and Joe half out of it, just yelling at people when he felt the need.

              LJ should stay for lots of reasons. He’s still young enough at 61 to some productive years ahead of him, the players love him, the fans support him, he’s a great recruiter, he’s an excellent position coach, and, as Joyner said, currently, he’s the glue that’s holding the whole thing together. I’d like to see him play out his career at PSU and retire as a lifer.

              But that’s up to the incoming HC.


            • says

              My gut is presently too polluted by all the poisonous and non-nutritious tweets by the twittiots, so I’m not having any feelings in it other than gas.

              They have to interview Franklin and now, probably will interview Munchak. I’m certain that they’ll give LJ a courtesy interview, too. Among those guys will probably be the next head coach, but I don’t say that with 100% conviction.

              These guys have to actually accept the offer to create a contract. I know that Golden’s salary in Miami is less than what O’B was getting, but money ain’t everything. It’s nice and warm in Miami, so maybe that’s why the search committee was supposed to be going there instead of flying Golden up to State College. They don’t want to risk having him step off the plane, slip on the ice and say, “Fuck no!” to the cold weather.


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