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  • Bill Chastain

TOYS AND GAMES: Cooter Calling the Shots

While vacillating somewhere between Thanksgiving comatose and consciousness on Thursday, I managed to catch a name during the Lions-Eagles broadcast: Jim Bob Cooter.

Sounds like a character from a Dan Jenkins novel, right?

Cooter hails from Fayetteville, Tennessee and graduated from Tennessee, where was as a backup quarterback for the Vols then served as a graduate assistant before moving into the professional ranks where he has coached with the Broncos, Chiefs and Colts prior to moving to the Lions.

Wikipedia tells us Cooter may refer to, among other things:

The Cooter turtle; Cooter, Missouri; The Great American Cooter Festival in Inverness (held in celebration of their local turtles), and, of course, it’s a slang term for a portion of the female anatomy.

Upon further investigation of Cooter–the coach, I found that he has been nabbed while while on the hunt for the latter.

In 2009, Cooter was charged aggravated burglary after he “climbed through a woman’s window, stripped down to his underwear and got into bed with the woman,” according to Knoxville’s WVLT-TV.

Obviously the incident was a misunderstanding since all charges were dropped.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Fun seeing Bart Star at the Packers game on TV Thanksgiving night. I believe the Hall of Fame Packers quarterback gets overlooked when discussing the all-time great NFL quarterbacks. Of course, that is the tendency for all things before ESPN, but he had skills, he was a leader, and he was the perfect guy to run the show for all those great Vince Lombardi teams. The Packers honored Brett Favre at halftime and it was nice to see him pay Star proper respect.

Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr (Wikimedia) Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr (Wikimedia)

Georgia’s Mark Richt headlined the list of coaching casualties over the weekend despite the Dawgs 13-7 win over Georgia Tech.

Richt averaged 9.7 wins per season en route to a 145-51 mark in 15 seasons. That equates to the best winning percentage in school history. In my mind’s eye, Richt simply had bad timing. Just like Charles Barkley, who played during the Michael Jordan era and came up empty where titles titles were concerned. Richt coached during the Nick Saban era at Alabama and never won a National Championship.

Virginia’s Mike London is also out of a job after the school’s athletic director and he “agreed that a change was in the best interest of the program.”

Meanwhile, Frank Beamer coached his final regular-season home game for Virginia Tech on Saturday and the Hokies came away with a 23-20 win over Virginia. Heading into his final game, which should come in one of the lower-tier bowls, Beamer holds a 235-120-2 record in 29 seasons at Virginia Tech.

Mark Richt (Wikimedia) Mark Richt (Wikimedia)

London finished with a 27-46 record and one winning season in his six seasons at Virginia. Given today’s coaching climate, Beamer probably would not have survived the fray after going 23-40-1 during his first six seasons in Blacksburg.

Moving on, you’ve got to wonder if either place has a coach ready to take over. Note to any school with a vacancy: Call Detroit to see if a certain offensive coordinator is available. Cooter can save a program.

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