Highlights of the Mike Haywood era

I wrote earlier that it's easy to make jokes at Pitt's expense. So easy that I just can't resist one more.

Here's a look back at the highlights of the illustrious Mike Haywood era at Pittsburgh:

Dec. 16: Pitt officially announces Haywood as its head coach. Athletic director Steve Pederson throws around words like "character" and "integrity." Haywood doesn't crack a smile throughout his news conference and says the Panthers will play like Freddy Kreuger. Little did we know he was offering a hint that his hiring would prove to be a nightmare for Pitt.

Dec. 18: Pitt assistant Jeff Hafley declines an offer to stay and be a part of Haywood's staff and instead takes a job at Rutgers. Hafley is probably also one of those guys who knows when it's going to rain because he feels a pain in his knee or something. The rest of Pitt's staff is dismissed, getting a head start on Haywood's fate.

Dec. 19-30: Tranquil times. Haywood is presumably working on assembling his staff, getting to know the school and the players and even watched a practice or two.

Dec. 31: Haywood is arrested in South Bend, Ind., on charges of domestic abuse. Pederson's New Year's Eve party is officially ruined. Dave Wannstedt's New Year's Eve party became much livelier.

Jan. 1: The day's events can be summed up by one amazing, probably unprecedented headline in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "New Pitt coach released from jail, fired." The story neglects to mention that Haywood finished his Panthers career undefeated.

Thus ends a storied era in the annals of Pittsburgh football. Penn State has Joe Paterno, who just completed his 45th season as head coach and insists he'll be back for more. Pitt will always have Mike Haywood, who lasted 16 days.