ESPN’s Sir Mort called the 2007 performance of just-retired Joe Gibbs “a hall of fame coaching job.” Mort’s colleague, Len Pasquarelli, however, implying Gibbs was a tad on the decrepit side. While PFT suggests Pasquarelli’s disrespect is a byproduct of a petty grudge,’s Jeff Bercovici has another take entirely. To wit, Len’s simply an asshole.

I was curious to know whether Pasquarelli had received any harsh feedback from readers, or perhaps from the AARP. I also wondered how he could level such a charge in light of Gibbs’s recent accomplishment (taking his team to the playoffs on a four-game winning streak despite the loss of their best defensive player). Finally, I wanted to know at what age Pasquarelli believes a sportswriter like himself might be too old to write about the NFL. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to discuss this with him, because moments into our conversation, Pasquarelli accused me of trying to “ambush” him after hearing the sound of my typing. Was this meant to be an interview? he demanded. Of course, I said; that was why I had identified myself as “calling from Portfolio magazine.”

At that point, Pasquarelli demanded to know how long I’ve been working as a journalist. Eight years, I told him. He said our conversation was off the record, and asked, “Do you know what ‘off the record’ means?” Trying to avoid being baited by his condescension, I repeated that I was sorry for not stating at the very beginning of my call that I wanted to interview him. “I asked you a question,” he interrupted. “Do you or don’t you know what ‘off the record’ means?”

In other news I’m already getting sick of, Atlanta’s alleged pursuit of Pete Carroll does little to dispel any suspicion USC’s head coach is the college football answer to Rick Pitino. Aside from the lunacy of the Falcons returning to the college ranks for their next hire, there’s little in Carrol’s NFL resume to suggest adult players will buy into his schtick. Particularly those who are being paid less than Reggie Bush received at Southern Cal.