Print and Go Back ESPN.com: News & Commentary [Print without images]

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Buzz That Was: Farming out the blame

By D'Arcy Maine
espnW.com

Mike Shanahan
Mike Shanahan's reign in Washington came to an end with a lot of drama and a bit of breakfast.

In case you were too busy trapped in a "Best of 2013 in Memes" vortex (just me?) and missed out on sports, we've got you covered. Here's everything you missed last night.

Chewed up and spat out

As it does every year, "Black Monday" reminds us all that nothing in life is certain except death, taxes, the firing of a Cleveland Browns coach and drama with the Washington Redskins. It's good to have things you can count on.

Monday's big news was the firing of five head coaches -- Cleveland's Rob Chudzinski, Detroit's Jim Schwartz, Minnesota's Leslie Frazier, Tampa Bay's Greg Schiano and Washington's Mike Shanahan. A sad day for all, except those who actually like winning.

In unsurprising news for anyone who has watched three minutes of sports television this football season, it was Shanahan's dismissal that garnered the most attention. After a disappointing season and questions surrounding the coach's use of star quarterback Robert Griffin III, rumors swirled throughout Sunday's season finale against the Giants about Shanahan's imminent departure.

In fitting fashion, the Redskins not only fired their head coach, but did so with an over-hyped spectacle that would make the Kardashians proud. With high security, windows shielded from the media with shades and scotch tape and a tug-of-war fight over a microphone between a reporter and a public-relations staffer, the event seemed to symbolize Shanahan's rocky and somewhat bizarre tenure in the nation's capital.

#Redskins taking "security" to ridiculous extremes. Putting Scotch tape on windows, shooing photogs away. Acting like a 3-13 organization.

— Joseph White Jr. (@JGWhiteAP) December 30, 2013

Many of the players politely declined to speak to the media and quietly left the building after the news broke. Running back Alfred Morris, on the other hand, explained he couldn't stick around to chat because he had to make it to Chick-fil-A while they still were serving breakfast.

Alfred Morris said he wasn't talking today because he had to catch Chick-fil-A breakfast.

— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) December 30, 2013

I think that just about sums up the Redskins' season. Happy New Year, Washington fans. You deserve it.

Not even close

In "who on earth thought scheduling this game was a good idea?" news, Southern set an NCAA men's basketball record on Monday night by scoring the first 44 points in its 116-12 rout of Champion Baptist College. Please read that final score again. Sadly, it is not a typo.

Champion Baptist, a school so small and so obscure it violates the law of existence and doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, is located in Hot Springs, Ark. With astudent body of approximately 250, it plays in the Association of Christian College Athletics. Or, so it seems. The lack of a Wikipedia page and the obvious troll-worthy use of "Champion" in the name make me wonder if this whole thing is just a figment of our collective Internet and Twitter hopes and dreams.

Unfortunately for Champion Baptist and people who like basketball, there is adequate proof this game actually happened. Some fans, it seems, actually chose to attend thegame and documented it on social media.

Southern beats Champion Baptist in men's basketball by 104 points. SCOREBOARD pic.twitter.com/YGgImRiybp (H/T @lguilder, @SUJagAlum)

— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) December 31, 2013

Seriously though, if that's the Champion Baptist squad, I would hate to see the losers.

Steering the conversation

Mack Brown coached his final game from the Texas sideline on Monday night at the Alamo Bowl against Oregon. And while the Longhorns lost 30-7, Brown was honored in the most UT-way ever prior to the game.

That's right, folks. Bevo, the team mascot, rocked a custom, "MACK"-inscribed halter. If that doesn't say love in the Lone Star State, I don't know what does. Well, as much love as can be given to someone that was basically forced to resign but, eh, whatever. Details, details.

Bevo, to his credit, seemed so upset about Brown's exit and the loss, refused to leave the field in principle. Or because that turf grass is just really, really tasty. Way to stand your ground, Bevo. Literally.

Crowd goes wild

Over the weekend, Peeta Mellark -- er, Josh Hutcherson -- attended the Louisville-Kentucky game in Lexington. The "Hunger Games" star and Kentucky native is a known Wildcats fan and was acknowledged on the court before tipoff. Naturally the ENTIRE CROWD greeted him with the Mockingjay salute . Even those who are firmly #TeamGale have to appreciate this one.

Josh Hutcherson Showed Up To A Basketball Game And The Crowd Gave Him The Mockingjay Salute http://t.co/Rpd5DAEJXl pic.twitter.com/08nMKqKJIv

— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) December 31, 2013

See something worthy of inclusion on social media? Send it my way on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn.