Rarely can a parallel be drawn between Shamokin and Philadelphia, but the recent football coaching searches in both cities has brought out a number of similarities.

Unlike Shamokin Area, which has settled on Yaacov Yisrael to lead its gridiron hopes, the Eagles are still seeking a man for their vacant position.

The reasons not to want to be affiliated with either job are long.

The scrutiny can be overwhelming, as Mike Gurski can attest and he was only interviewed for Shamokin's job.

If a Super Bowl title in the NFL can buy you five years of unmitigated coaching peace of mind, then a District 4 title gets you about 10 seconds without being bullied.

But unlike Philly, which has never won a Super Bowl, thus has no reasonable expectation of a return to greatness, Shamokin has won a district title, although anything more has been a unicorn, and still turned on that man.

And still the expectations of greatness, of Shamokin matching Mount Carmel or Southern Columbia in state trophies, of Philly someday competing with Dallas, Washington or New York for number of Super Bowl titles exists. Fair or not, the people in both places want winners, not just a place to wear purple or green.

In fact, Shamokin Area Board President Brian Persing made it a point to ask Yisrael on Thursday if he knew what he was getting into. Only time will tell if he was as prepared for that as he reportedly was on how to defend the wing-T.

So, the question that comes up about both jobs is why? Why would someone of sound mind want either position?

Well, having been around a num-

ber of football coaches, I'm qualified to ask you to show me one of sound mind. There isn't one that doesn't have quirks or intricacies, and there is no disrespect about that statement. They have to be a little unique to devote so much time to a game that involves a ball with points that never bounce the same way twice.

The real reason anyone would want the scrutiny that comes with each position is because they're football coaches and there happens to be football teams that need to be coached.

Football coaches and football teams were made for each other, like meat and potatoes or the Super Bowl and questionable halftime performances.

And because both places are starved for a winner, the rewards for success at Shamokin, where a state title means a parade and an eponymous sandwich at Mac's, are on scale with Philadelphia.

The real question isn't why the coaches want to be there, but why haven't both cities learned a little patience.

Let me be one of the first to welcome Yisrael to the sidelines at Shamokin and say good luck, because if history is any indication, you're going to need it.

As for Philly, Rich Kotite is still available.