“Get a parking ticket? You’re on your own.”
With that self-effacing line, Everett Withers won my support. Withers addressed several dozen of the fellas after Saturday’s scrimmage in Kenan’s West End Zone – scene of high drama in recent years. He was inviting us to visit him any time but with that single caveat.
I’ve heard Mack, Bunting and Butch address similar gatherings. Everett Withers comes across as very genuine just as the burly blue-bleeder did. Is “genuine” a good trait for a UNC Football coach or a mortal weakness?
I immediately liked the man as I stood arm’s length from him in a slight drizzle. Deems May stood ten feet away over my left shoulder. Goal Line Bomar had my six.
1,000s of football coaches know the X and O fundamentals of the sport. Only a few succeed at the CEO level under the unforgiving gaze of the all-seeing eye. A wry smile and a self-effacing sense of humor are valuable tools to bring to that task. Bon chance Coach Withers. Bon chance.
From high atop Xanadu, I pondered….
In hard hat and day-glo safety vest, I trod the five levels of Kenan’s controversial Blue Zone (aka Xanadu). “Steiny” was our tour guide. Worker bees were scurrying to complete punch lists. 98.7% complete, it is a very impressive large and lavish multi-use facility built with the promise of private funds.
In five years:
♦ Will it be a shining symbol of the realization of the illusive dream of big time football in Mr Kenan’s pumpkin patch?
♦ Will it be a mocking reminder of yet another setback of that ancient quest?
Touring the lavish academic support area, I did wonder (but did not ask) where would Jennifer Wiley’s desk have been.
A bloviating palooka in our small group tried to chew Steiny’s ear about Chancellor Thorp’s recent personnel decision. Palooka disagreed with the decision. Steiny deftly dodged the palooka’s screed with impressive adroitness.
Gazing about that stately pleasure dome, I pondered: What manner of 18 y/o will stand where I stand and contemplate his future here? Will it be Terrell Pryors, Cam Newtons and Marvin Austins …. or will it be Tim Tebows, Andrew Lucks, and Myron Rolles? It’s August 2011, I choose to imagine it will be the latter. Such is the prerogative of the optimist.
To paraphrase Robert Frost: “Two paths diverge from a towering edifice, the path we choose will make all the difference.”
In Xanadu I met a man…..
In my Tour of Xanadu, I met a banking executive from western NC. In casual chit-chat without formal introductions, I asked his thumbnail opinion of recent events. He proceeded to describe his spot-on analysis of what actually happened and why. Wow I thought, a BobLee Disciple. Tres cool!
“How did you arrive at that scenario?” I asked. Very impressed that he had.
“I’ve been in a corporate bureaucracy for 25 years. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Survival is a matter of picking ones battles and ones allies. When Butch played the “I didn’t know” card the second time (the tutor prong) I knew it was in desperation – the only bluff he had.”
I already bank with his institution. Had I not, I would be doing so on the morrow.
It’s Realignment Season AGAIN.
Conference realignment speculation out the wazoo again. That keeps board monkeys occupied and that makes our highways a little safer.
The SEC will expand to 88 teams. 22 divisions of 4 teams each and play a 24 game schedule from August 1 – Easter. The ACC will become “all the 4-year colleges in NC plus UVa and Vanderbilt”. And, I do like the designated hitter rule.
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An Infamous Cuban Dictator and ….
a roguish Internet Legend share the same birthday – 08/13. Blondie shares her with Hillary Clinton. Kid shares hers with AlGore. I’m the only way that ever brags.