Unless You're The Lead Dog....



Unless You’re The Lead Dog....

Nov 9, ’12:  
There a saying about being in a sled-dog team running the Iditirod:  “Unless you’re the lead dog.... the view is pretty much the same for all the rest.”  In today’s chapter of “BobLee way overthinks sports” we examine that point-of-view relative to the college football fan experience.... and the harsh reality of being a Head Coach. .......

Color & Pageantry 2012 is winding down.  The wheat and chaff (sheep & goats.... haves & have less....) is clearly separating.  The unbridled optimism of pre-season projections are giving way to the grim reality that sometime in mid-January there will be one lead dog..... and 100+ other dogs all looking up some other dog’s butt.

Some of those “other dogs” will take solace that the number of dogs’ butts they must look at is fewer than for all the dogs behind them.... but that will be little consolation as they ruminate why they are paying some galoot umpteen million dollars and their respective giant is still sleeping.  If their giant IS awake, he ain’t bigger, faster, strong enough to whup that dog holding that crystal football. ..... Just one winner telling jokes and a buncha losers grumbling and saying “deal”.

A few examples from various points along the sled dog line:

UNC’s Fighting Fedorians:  A quite odd situation where Larry’s Legions have been playing all season with a version of “house money”.   UNC has a realistic chance to finish 9-3 – the best record in 20 years including a dramatic W over its arch-rival.  The three losses all came down to one-two plays and a handful of points.  A “coulda been” of 12-0 in Year One of Era of Fedora will be a warm fuzzy thru early 2013.  

OK, there is that little matter of bowl ineligibility and the lingering dark cloud of Great Unpleasantness, and that “bad night at The Wally” .... but hey.... ain’t Gio something and ain’t it fun to watch Wuffies turn on The Marine.

Carolina's really on a sled dog team this year.  Probably “being on probation and ineligible” isn’t the ideal way to go, but all things considered it’s been a fun year.  What about the easy schedule with no FSU, no Clem, and VaTech going into the crapper, etc.?  Yeah, well, that helped too.

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WuffWorld:  Not a happy place these days.  Watching David Amerson chase Tenn Vols across the goal line in Week One was a precursor to another year of unrealized overly-ambitious expectations.  The high point (so far) of the big FSU win created a false hope that this really might be a special season.   Gio and then the woeful Hoos bitch-slapped that notion to smithereens.   Probably a “Christmas In Shreveport” still looms but who much cares..... “We’re a basketball school now....”

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The Dukes of David:  Ahhh, here’s a fine example of simply moving up in that dog sled line.... still looking at lots of other dogs’ butts but at least not all the way in the back-of-the-line.   It matters.... 6-6 would drive a Sooner or a Gator fan to stay away from sharp scissors, but it’s a treat for a WallyWorld fan.

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The Deacs of Grobe:  Pretty much where they always are.  In that 6-7 Ws spot in the dogsled line.  Not going to be one of those “lightning-in-a-bottle years”, but they don’t expect those.  They simply enjoy them when they happen.  Unlike their neighbors in West Raleigh, they accept who they are in the BCS World.

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The ‘Neers of Morgantown:  Dangle a brass ring in front of those sofa-burning hillbillies in Sept then jerk it away in October.  Luckily that crowd isn’t into contemplative thought.  WhatsHisName their SuperQB went from Heisman SureThing to being #56 behind a punter from Ball State and a nickleback from Northwestern. ..... the guy that got hurt the most in their fall into the abyss is the fella who sells used Sertas in West Virginia.

++++

Traditional Powers Like..... Georgia, Michigan, Clemson, Florida, USC, Texas, Oklahoma:  Sure they’ve had “pretty good” seasons but not by their fans’ very high expectations.  One/two early Ls and it’s over for them.  Like UNC in BkB, it’s all or none and that means usually none and that means looking up another dog’s butt.

Semi-Traditional Powers..... Iowa, Auburn, VaTech that have gas-piped really bad.  No one outside of Iowa much cares about paying Kurt Ferentz $5,000,000 to finish .500 but some Hawkeye alum that owns a dozen muffler shops in Des Moines & Cedar Rapids ain’t too happy.  And the trees in Toomers’ Corner ain’t the only thing dying in Auburn. ...... Betcha Gene Chizik isn’t getting too many attaboys and backpats these days,  Gene was a One-Cam Wonder ..... In Blacksburg, Beamer & Bud will survive just fine. Well, maybe not fine.... but they will survive.

In mid-January, if Nick is hoisting yet another crystal football.... maybe K-Staters will be happy if they're #2 and maybe there'll be some "we're back" if it's the Golden Domers, but the Nike Ducks won't be happy.  In the end, only the Lead Dod Laughs.

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I’m not sure what all the above means in the grand scheme of things, but how often does one get to write about “looking at dogs’ butts” in a reasonably erudite fashion?

Our guest on Good Sports this Saturday at 10:30 on WCHL 97.9 FM is legendary Sports Illustrated scribe – Curry Kirkpatrick.   But Art & I are the REAL STARS of the show, of course.  ...... (Chansky likes it when I include him... hehehehe).

A very special VIP will be visiting The Choo Choo Lounge at the Half on Saturday.... in addition to The Fabulous Comparato Twins.

TeamBobLee deep in think tank mode about some changes around here.  Better use of “social media” and fewer long-form columns.  Everything is on the table except “going away”..... that’s not an option AT ALL.

++++

How is AgentPierce doing these days?
Not the best of weeks for “our side” but AP is still
Kickin’ Butt and Takin’ Names
(and intends to keep on doing so)
AP’s “Day After” Column Went Viral - CLICK


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Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:20 AM by SaidWHATMedia | with 6 comments
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Comments
ncsu1987
Folks, I just read a long-form article about sniffing dog butts. And yet, somehow, it works. Only at bobleesays.com!

"Unlike their neighbors in West Raleigh, they accept who they are in the BCS World."

Let me fix that one for ya: "Unlike their neighbors in West Raleigh and Chapel Hill, they..."

Fortunately our leadership in Raleigh does not depend on monkey boards for their strategic vision. I'm happy with most aspects of T'OBs tenure. Yes, the inconsistency and the WTF games drive me insane, but the overall success is moving in the right direction.

Next year will be crucial to his long-term options.

____________

BL: As often noted.... the only difference in knee-jerking bottom-feeders is the color of their car flags. .... UNC's loonies are on the warpath for Larry's Def Coor now. .... Bubba is well-aware of "monkey-board prattle" vs "those who matter" as, I'm sure, is Frau Yow.
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11/13/2012 9:24:45 AM

thailand
I hope you don't drift too far away from your Bobleesays format--Always enjoy your prose and the commenter's too--even when I don't reply--look forward to the twice-weekly chuckles.....:-) I'm a long way from the daily chatter......

.......Digressing--Once went to the Alaskan Shootout (over Thanksgiving week, spending nine days in Anchorage and surrounding countryside in snow and about eight hours of functional daily sunlight......One afternoon I drove about thirty miles north of the city to go dog sledding down wooded trails......I had nine dogs in my team and their names were pointed out to me--I still remember them......happy work dogs that loved the run......I had the sled driver stop and let them rest a few miles out from his farm as I was in no hurry......We came to a stop at an open snowy meadow at the edge of the wood--the dogs took pause and joyous yelping ceased as all of us watched in the sylvan silence as a large full-antlered moose sloshed across the trail in front of us.......we continued on a few minutes later, the lead dog Super Hero leading the way, me bundled up on a leather mesh seat, the driver standing above as all nine of the barking huskies raced us home......Fed the hungry dogs huge bowls of meat and fish at the end of the run......Not so bad following good leadership, wagging tails and all......Went to watch Les and the boys that night at the University of Alaska's basketball arena.....Don't remember who State was playing or if we won or not, but I do remember those dogs.......

Fans are a hoot about all this firing of coaches ......Remember the Mack Brown jokes, then the pleas for him to stay......Don't think the cheering crowds at Kenan and Carter were really thinking about Gio's or Tobias' GPA either as both dashed to pay dirt......Tom O'Brien should stay until he retires--firing, smiring......Larry will one day have to decide whether he wants to stay or not......Digressing again--must be the jet lag of staying up all night following college football.........And Gio and Tobias may be on the dean's list for all I know......:-)

From Pattaya (President Obama visits Thailand next week)

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BL: If I tweak the current format at all it will just be "a tweak" and not an overhaul. The primary audience demographic here is not that "into" social media (Facebook & Twitter) and I happen to really LIKE this primary audience. :-)

The kneeejerk "FIRECOACH____.com bunch lies close to the surface in all fan bases.... even Alabama and LSU. That said, TO'B's public persona (stoic & bland) will never endear him to the bloodlust zombie-crowd. Good point that TO'B would likely prefer to retire at State whereas LF may have loftier dreams.
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11/11/2012 4:28:54 AM

Mr. Red Bull
BL,

Here we are, almost at the end of week ten, and the Heels and Pack are both 6-4. The Pack gets to go bowling and we get to stay home and watch the Wuffs sweep us in basketball. Can we not find a football coach that understands defense wins championships? Today's game was like a pinball machine or an Xbox replay.

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BL: College FB has turned into pinball machine games. There are dozens of 50 pt games every week. 50 is the new 30!

UNC has had 2.5 years of "damaged recruiting" which has effected the overall talent obviously on defense. I'm sure LF will be concentrating on that in the off-season.
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11/10/2012 7:22:07 PM

58 Wolf Kennel
Surprised at the paucity of comments to the non-lead dog view of life. Many of Agent Pierce's friends probably in mourning. Little known fact: Conn. Senate candidate Linda McMahon is from New Bern. Even less known is whe was Maid of Honor in my sister Jennie's wedding. Wish I had some of her discretionary money. Sorry you can't go to the Wuff-Deac game today. Something definitive will happen. Go Pack!

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BL: I knew Vince attended ECC, but did not know re: wife Linda. I suspect TO'B will rebound today.
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11/10/2012 10:33:51 AM

wolfbuff
Fair shots on the unrealistic faction of State fans. Most reasonable people are at least going to see how the season ends before sending TOB to the beach house.

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BL: As all reasonable people should.

Your other suggestion was a very valid one.
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11/9/2012 11:10:37 AM

RowdyBlueTarHeeler
OK BL, You have teased us enough. It's time for you to produce and post some photos of these mythical The Fabulous Comparato Twins for the great unwashed fans of yours that will never grace the halls of the B L U E Z O N E.

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BL: That's in the works. I spoke with Comparato #1 (aka Nicole) yesterday and alerted her to the planned photo op. She giggled.

BUT.... it's not the snooty BLUE ZONE but rather the Choo Choo Lounge on the South Concourse. No wine & cheese but rather chili dogs and sweet tea.
.

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11/9/2012 11:10:04 AM

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