Watching Steve Spurrier last Thursday was like watching Mack Brown his last year or so at Texas…. or like watching a family member “suddenly get old before your eyes”.
I am not inclined to nor in a position to observe Spurrier on a daily basis; nor Mack Brown his last two years at Texas. I see both several times/season on the sidelines and in the occasional studio interview.
For most of the past decade Spurrier / Mack basically “looked the same” year-to-year with little or no physical changes. If their hair was graying or thinning, it was gradual. If their body shapes were morphing that too was too slight to notice….. not unlike your hair or fingernails.
I don’t know the growth rate of hair or nails but one day you wake up and it’s time to trim your nails or “get a haircut”. How much could your hair/nails grow while you were sleeping…. really? It’s “just time” and you know it. Coaches apparently never “know it”.
I watched my mom grow older but she did not noticeably change mentally or physically from 70 into her late 80s…. then about 88/89 she “got old overnight” and it was like falling off a cliff how rapidly she deteriorated.
It happens to everyone not named Marilyn Monroe or James Dean. Live Hard …. Die Young …. and leave your audience wanting more is not a bad way to play it. Except for the “Die Young” part of course.
It’s like Willie Mays last “painful to watch” year as a Met. Say it ain’t so “Say Hey Kid”. Plenty of coaches have had success at ages beyond Spurrier’s 69…. Bobby Bowden into his 80s. So? Coaches are NOT in charge any more. Semi-literate 17 y/os are now “in charge”.
The Mack that coached in that classic Rose Bowl with Vince Young was not all that different from The Mack that left Carolina 10-12 years earlier. During the ensuing Colt McCoy Era I noticed a slight paunch growing and his hair getting a bit “crazy old man-ish”. He began to appear “out of it” on the sidelines as his teams grew more and more mediocre in every respect.
Mack’s final 4-5 games two years ago were painful to watch. He was just short of drooling Gatorade and forgetting where he put his headset. You expected to see two burly attendants frog-march him “away into the sunset” as he tried to sing “The Eyes of Texas” but couldn’t remember the words…..
Speaking of Mack…. Yes, apparently some members of the Franklin Street Sleeping Giant / Flat Earth Society are mumbling about Mack Is Coming Back…. to Take Over UNC Athletics. Those pinheads have been babbling that mythical nonsense since a week after Mack “lied to ‘dem boys” and went wheels up to Austin in 1997. …. some day The Rat will reopen…. and Neil Fingleton LIVES!
I’m seeing signs of that now with The Old Ball Coach who is actually 6 years older than Mack. Where Mack developed his old man paunch…. Spurrier is going the other way….. he is losing his muscle tone and looking like those emaciated old guys who wander the beach with a metal detector looking for buried treasure.
Now when Steve throws his visor on the ground in disgust over a blown assignment, a team manager has to pick it up for him. NOT a good sign.
That Crazy Old Uncle Mortie persona doesn’t impress semi-literate 17 y/os whose memories only go back maybe three years at most.
Spurrier had that run of 4-5 years of 11+ Ws when he could cherry pick the Marcus Lattimores and Jedaveon Clowny and go toe-to-toe with Saban, Richt and Florida’s coach de jour….. suddenly not any more. Like fingernails and hair. One day “it’s time”.
We all woke up one morning and Steve Spurrier had lost his MoJo and, like Little Bo-peep and her sheep…. “doesn’t know where to find it” ….. his Mojo, his car keys, his handicapped parking thingy.
Steve’s now getting the table scrap recruits from the Big SEC Powerhouses; not competing for the blue-chippers. Sure he can beat “Larry/Gene” if that is all it takes to satisfy the William-Brice mob….. but I bet it is not all it takes.
Maybe he still beats Dabo a time or two because he can psyche out Dabo….. but not like THE Steve Spurrier could a few years ago.
Maybe he still beats the bottom tier SEC teams but the juggernauts will steamroll him.
So now USC AD Ray Tanner has a problem. How to get Old Steve to “do us all a favor Steve and just go away”. Agree to name something for him and give him a Big Ol’ Fancy Dinner with a wheelbarrow full of plaques and crap.
It WON’T happen that way. It never “happens that way”.
Like with Mack….. we just watch’em start droolin’ Gatorade until the two burly attendants have to frog march them away kicking and screaming. ….. BUT BUT…. I USED TO BE STEVE SPURRIER !!!!
Steve Spurrier, since “Scoreboard” 25 years ago, has been on The Franklin Street Most Despised Short List with Coach K, Art Pope, Jesse Helms, Christian Laettner, Dan Kane, “Mary” and every now and then Me. We are an eclectic bunch for sure.
TruBlues will enjoy watching “Visor Boy” become “Old Visor Coot” because TruBlues will never forget “Scoreboard”….. but better laugh now Tru Blues BECAUSE…..
I can see this happening with Goofy Ol’ Roy in 2-3 years or sooner. Unlike with Spurrier / Mack it might be harder to tell….
When Roy starts “losing it” how will we know? Kinda like with Jimmy Carter. Roy (or Jimmy) hasn’t shared the same zip code with Reality for quite awhile. All that “clustering junk” I suppose.
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