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Commentary: Which non-sports figures could take over for Tressel?

Head football coach Jim Tressel stepped down Monday, and although his replacement most likely won’t be named until after the conclusion of the forthcoming football season, we decided it’s not too early to take a look at which prominent figures from the arts and life world should be considered for the gig.

Doug Funnie

The lead character from the hit, old-school Nickelodeon cartoon “Doug,” Doug might not seem like an obvious choice, but Doug and Tressel share one quality that doesn’t bond many others: They both wear vests. Though Doug would have to ditch his emerald vest for scarlet, all he’ll have to do is treat Michigan like Roger Klotz treated him, and he’ll be as golden as Patti Mayonnaise’s hair. Also, Jim Jinkins, the creator of the show, went to graduate school at Ohio State. Icing on the cake.

Pope Benedict XVI

Tressel was a man who was never afraid to hide his faith, even stating in his letter of resignation that God “has a plan” for he and his wife. In terms of conservative religious figures who have had to handle scandal and large groups of people, they don’t come much more perfect than the pope. And while there have probably been popes with less controversial backgrounds than the current one, there aren’t any other living popes, so Benedict will have to suffice.

Sarah Palin

One of Tressel’s staples as a coach was his ultra-conservative play-calling. In terms of high-profile conservatives these days, you don’t get much more famous than Sarah Palin. While she may be weighing a run for president in 2012, she can use those tough instincts she gained by shooting wolves from helicopters to kick ass on the football field in the meantime.

The Film Actors Guild from “Team America: World Police”

If we’re going to go for the politically conservative, we’re obligated to also look at politically liberal candidates as well. “Team America: World Police” offers up the finest selection of Hollywood’s most boisterous lefties, with Sean Penn as an obvious choice for head coach. Matt Damon could call plays to the players, shouting his trademark, “MATT DAMON!” much to the bewilderment of the squad. Tell them that every opponent will be made up of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush, and they will have plenty of ammo to try to win every game.

Brüno

From Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2009 satire about the role of homosexuality in America by the same name, Brüno would be a welcome change for those fans who have grown tired of Tressel’s conservative style. Brüno’s squad could replace running up the middle with “daintily skipping up the middle,” face paint could become glitter and the scarlet jerseys could become Nike-emblazoned lederhosen. I’m almost positive Buckeye fans would be completely OK with all of that.

Finding someone who can top Tressel’s winning percentage, wins over Michigan, Big Ten titles and BCS bowl wins might be tough, but when the end of next season comes around, plenty of well-qualified big names will be ready and waiting to fill his shoes. Athletic director Gene Smith and President E. Gordon Gee: You can thank me later for this list of recommendations.

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