Classic flip-flops come in all shapes and sizes

June 06, 2007|By BILL ORDINE

Billy Donovan's waxing and waning on whether to leave Florida and take the head coaching job with the Orlando Magic follows a long tradition, not just in sports, but in the public arena of flip-flopping. Or as Jimmy Durante once sang, "Did you ever have the feelin' that you wanted to go and still had that feelin' that you wanted to stay?"

Here are some other flip-floppers who come to mind:

Bill Belichick -- For several heartbeats in 2000, he was head coach of the New York Jets. But the news conference to introduce him turned out to be his exit interview. It wound up costing the Patriots a first-round pick when they subsequently hired him.

George Steinbrenner -- The mercurial New York Yankees owner hired Billy Martin as manager five times. It was such a familiar Abbott and Costello routine, they made a beer commercial out of it.

Dan Marino -- In early 2004, Marino was senior vice president for football operations of the Miami Dolphins. Three weeks later he quit, saying the job wasn't in the best interests of his family or the Dolphins - and that he just found out they would not let him play quarterback.

Kobe Bryant -- He wants to be traded from the Los Angeles Lakers, he doesn't want to be traded from the Lakers. Frankly, Kobe will probably say anything just to spend more time with Stephen A. Smith.

John Kerry -- Tagged as the flip-flop candidate by Republicans, the Democratic presidential hopeful's change of heart on war issues and defense spending as a senator helped cost him the election in 2004. A Kerry quote: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

Nick Saban -- "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach," Saban said just weeks before accepting tens of millions to do just that. Being around Saban is like living in the Matrix. Nothing is to be believed.

Michael Jordan -- Retired and unretired twice. The first time was in 1993 from the Chicago Bulls after winning a trio of championships to play baseball only to return to the Bulls in '95 and win three more NBA titles. Then after leaving Chicago for good in 1999, he returned to play for the Washington Wizards from 2001 to '03 after having served in the team's front office.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

Read Bill Ordine's blog, O, By The Way, weekdays at baltimoresun.com/ordine.

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