With sports becoming a multi-billion dollar industry in America, it has put a lot of money in a lot of pockets — and not just for players and others associated with the teams. Thousands of people make a living covering sports too, often a very good living.
For all the organizations that cover sports 24/7, or even 16/5, if there's one thing they all have in common it's the need for an endless supply of storylines and content. Sports coverage, it seems, is not as much about quality as it is quantity, particularly when it comes to online sports coverage and sports talk radio. A story must be produced, even when a story does not naturally exist.
Perhaps this explains how the idea that this season Kyle Whittingham will be fighting for his job from the proverbial "hot seat" came to be.
Short of severe off-the-field problems or becoming completely non-competitive, it's an insane idea.
Coach Whittingham is a legend, and basically he's earned the right to go out on his own terms.
He is unquestionably the face of the modern Ute football program. And for good reason.
Name the biggest winner in college football over the past 12 years. One could make an argument that it's the Utes. How many programs have increased in prestige and value more than Utah in that span?
Not many, if any.
And Whittingham has been an indispensable part of it.
He became the defensive coordinator for Utah in 1995 under Ron McBride, and remained in the position through the Urban Meyer years before replacing Meyer as head coach in 2005. Technically, Whittingham was even co-head coach for the Fiesta Bowl win over Pittsburgh since Meyer had already accepted the coaching job at Florida.
Whittingham's 2009 Sugar Bowl thrashing of Nick Saban and Alabama was far more impressive than any win Meyer had as the Utes' head coach. That win is Utah football's all-time signature on-the-field moment.
Whittingham directed it.
His Utes have defeated former big brother BYU four straight times.
He's managed the program generally with integrity and class and run a relatively clean program.
He's put more than his share of players into the NFL.
And above all, he led the Utes to the promised land of college football — all the way to the Pac-12 Conference, where their future is secure.
Sure, maybe good luck and good timing played a part, but it doesn't matter. It also doesn't really matter if the Utes ever win the Rose Bowl. They've already won.
Athletic Director Chris Hill has to realize this, no matter what he says in public. The fantasies of a minority of the fan base can't change reality.
It's highly unlikely Utah will ever be a destination school for five-star recruits or hot coaching prospects the way some of Utah's Pac-12 brethren are.
The reality is that as long as the Utes hail from Utah, running a clean, respectable top-50 program with the occasional big win (like Stanford last year) and all-American candidate (like Star Lotulelei) is what it's all about.
Being better than BYU is still a big deal, too.
If a miracle season comes along every 20-30 years, then so be it. But that's not what it's about.
The Utes are in the best spot they've ever been. Coach Whittingham deserves more credit for that than any other individual person. It's about time he got the recognition he deserves as a legendary college football head coach.
If the university was to fire him, it would be a disgrace. Unless some off-field scandal came up or the Utes started losing to FCS teams, it would be laughable.
Kyle Whittingham has earned the right to go out on his own terms.
Nate Gagon is an opinion columnist featured by the Deseret News, and writes a regular sports feature called Utah Sports Ruckus. He shoots roughly 94 percent from the free-throw line and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @nategagon.