Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What the heck is a "hot seat" anyway?

Been saving up my earnings from publishing this blog for a while, and while I'm still a couple pennies short, I figured I'd throw in my two cents to this "discussion" about Mark Richt possibly being on the proverbial hot seat.

At this point, you doubtless know the various numbers and percentages of Richt during his tenure at The University of Georgia, so I won't rehash them here. Suffice it to say, he's among the top 10 of active coaches in virtually every important category. Whether Georgia fans and the administration have a right to expect more is a topic for another day.

What seems to be going unchecked on these Internets is the frivolous, profuse usage of the term "hot seat." It used to be, a head coach would be on the hot seat toward the end of (yet another) disappointing season. If he finished up poorly, it probably meant he was getting canned. This made complete sense insofar as we, the football fanatics, are in constant need of something with which to occupy our time when not hanging on every word out of a 17 year old QB's mouth, or photo-shopping pics of Tim Tebow's head on an apostle's body.

Then, the usage of the term slowly migrated toward the beginning of an actual season. Such and such would be on the hot seat if fans, GM's, AD's, etc. perceived him to have underachieved for a few years, or grossly underachieved the previous year. A little bit of a stretch, being that the season had either just begun, or was only a game or two old.

Now, though, the term has taken on a life of its own. We've got every blogger, columnist, and joker with a keyboard (like me) debating whether a coach will be on the hot seat in the upcoming year, or if another lackluster season will land said coach on the hot seat.

What? Did I miss something (again)? The hot seat itself is enough a position of conjecture enough as it is, since it's basically used to describe someone who is potentially in danger of losing his job. So, by trying to predict if a coach might possibly be on the hot seat, we're suggesting that he's in danger of being in danger (of being in danger) of being fired.

Imagine a married couple, and the gossip queen says, "Uh oh. If Peter and Lois have a couple more arguments, they could be 'having problems.' If they start having problems, and continue to have problems, they could get divorced."

What's the point of all that?

I'm not going to address Richt's hot seat status in particular. There's still a season to be played (and it's 4 months away).