Smart Notes 1/14/2010

1 There’s a new book out there that I highlight recommend: Coaching the Under Front Defense, by Jerry Gordon. It’s a very nuts and bolts approach to the “under front,” a very common shifted variant of the traditional 4-3 defense, which is the defense of choice for teams and coaches as diverse as Charlie Strong (Florida, now Louisville) and Pete Carroll (USC, now Seattle Seahawks). I hope to have Jerry contribute to the site soon.

2. Haiti. EDSBS collects links on how and where to donate for Haiti. Please do.

3. American Needle round-up. In addition to my post from yesterday, there has been some other great work on yesterday’s oral arguments. The consensus with all seems to be: The NFL won’t get what it wants, though it may ultimately win the case on narrower grounds. From the NFL’s perspective, it was kind of like going deep on second and short: could have been a big play, but as it stands they’ll probably get the first down. If you read one thing, I highly recommend Josh Levin and Dahlia Lithwick’s piece on Slate, where they note how little the Justices seem to know (or care) about football. Both Justices Breyer and Sotomayor disclaim knowledge of football, and Breyer keeps turning the hypotheticals into ones about baseball. Justice Alito, who is a huge baseball fan, doesn’t seem too interested either. (The Court’s biggest football fan, Justice Thomas, is more of a college football fan — his favorite team is the Nebraska Cornhuskers — and in any event he rarely if ever asks questions at oral argument.) Other good takes on the case from: Adam Liptak (NY Times), David Savage (L.A. Times), Jess Bravin (WSJ), and Ashby Jones (WSJ Law Blog).

4. “Depends on what the meaning of ‘is,’ is.” Check the 1:30 mark of Lane Kiffin’s press conference.

5. Speaking of books, I’m currently reading Hilary Martel’s Wolf Hall: A Novel (Man Booker Prize), a sort of reiminaging of the court of Henry VIII. I recommend it.

  • Dee

    Chris,

    thank’s for the heads up on the book! I have looked for somebody to write a book on just the Under defense. Going to buy right now!

  • http://www.spreadoffense.com Spread Offense

    Jerry Gordon is a great defensive coach, he actually wrote an article for me on defending the spread option at: http://www.spreadoffense.com/ssp/defend_spreadoption

    Keep spreading e’m!

    –Mark

  • Rob

    It’s “extremely” nice to see that Kiffin is “extremely” excited to be given an “extremely” big opportunity to coach an “extremely” great “extreme” college football program like USC. :D

  • House

    I’ve just received jg’s book and it’s a great summaty of the 43 Under. It’s a long shipping time to Oz!
    Now we’re in the “long dark teatime” of the offseason I’ll be lurking here, stalking Brophy and chasing Huey for my football fix…