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A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

November 24, 2000|JAY CHRISTENSEN


Freedom of the press may belong to those who own it, but it seems as if everybody has a Gutenberg these days.

Numerous sites have cropped up on the Internet advocating the ouster of a coach, but the best and most entertaining of the bunch is, which brings them all together.

Where better can the downtrodden fan go after yet another loss? Reaching for the keyboard can release that pent-up frustration. And besides, it's much cheaper than therapy.

"If you are tired of seeing your favorite team lose on a regular basis, or if your team is just average and you see no hope of ever becoming one of the elite teams, you have come to the right place," the Las Vegas-based site's mission statement says.

Not that is in the business of promoting hate.

"We understand that in today's sports world, it is hard to win and we sympathize with coaches who have to put up with poor attitudes and lazy players," it states. "Our hope is that if a coach gets his name on our site, he works even harder and proves us wrong."

Bob Simmons of Oklahoma State wasn't the recipient of such luck. He will coach his final game Saturday against Oklahoma, and that's not soon enough for the Cowboy faithful, who have a clock on the "Fire Simmons" site ticking down the seconds until his tenure is over.

Penn State's Joe Paterno might have 322 victories--one shy of former Alabama coach Bear Bryant's all-time record for major college coaches--but that doesn't score points with Nittany Lion fans. A 5-7 season at University Park has many chanting, "Joe Must Go!"

USC's embattled Paul Hackett also made the links list, and there is no shortage of messages on the "Fire Hackett" site.

Locally, some fans have joined in the fun. After the Trojans lost to Arizona, 31-15, on Oct. 7, Brian Saini created

"A .500 record doesn't cut it at 'SC," said Saini, whose site has received more than 22,000 visits since its creation.

Not everybody is in Saini's corner. He has received e-mails asking him to take down the site, which he says he'll do if Hackett is dismissed.

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