BLS: ..Spurrier on Ol’ Roy… and Bye Bye Birdies!

    Spurrier History
    BobLee
    October14/ 2015

    I’ve told this story before but the occasion of Steve Spurrier’s “retirement / resignation” begs its retelling.

    I’m not good with dates and don’t want to bother googling it…. “That Year” that Roy’s Boys got walloped in San Antonio by Kansas – maybe it was 2008.   Hansbrough (or Hansborough for you “Matt Daugherty” illiterates) junior year.   Roy JayhawkOtherwise known as “Roy & The Jayhawk Sticker”.  It was BMT a/k/a Before Marvin Tweeted.

    We were at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach for Hootie & The Blowfish’s Annual Monday After The Masters Celebrity Golf Event.   It was one week after Roy “wore the sticker” on TV and everyone inside the Franklin Street Bubble was still in a mega-tizzy about it.   The rest of the pseudo-civilized sports world was laughing at the TruBlues for their manic-tizzification.

    Steve Spurrier and I were on the 13th tee…. a Par 3 as I recall.   Celebrity Golf Events are like filming a movie ….. 45 minutes of “just standing around” for every five minutes of doing anything.  It promotes conversational interaction, so I sez to Steve…..

    Coach, what did you think about Roy Williams wearing that Jayhawk sticker at The Final Four? ….. and he said:

    “You know, my wife and I were watching that on TV.  When I saw Ol’ Roy with that sticker I told her…. “Honey, I do enjoy pissing off our opponents’ fans, and do so whenever I can; but DAMN you don’t want to piss off your own fans.  I bet Roy’s gets hisself in trouble for that.”  (Paraphrasing Lewis Grizzard) – “I don’t believe I’da done that.”

    If I needed to embellish this encounter I would add that Spurrier then mighta said …..

    Speaking of pissed-off folks in Chapel Hill; I bet they still talk about that 41-0 Scoreboard Picture we took back in 1989.”   To which I would have replied…. “only on days that end in “y”.

    Scoreboard Picture

    NOTE: The 1989 Picture notwithstanding…. when “Burly John” Bunting was being burned at the stake, the UNC Lunatic Fringe was all aflutter that Steve Spurrier was being offered his pick of lots at Governors Club to bring his act “amid the pines”.   Gotta luv those loonies!

    That comment by The Head Ball Coach / Visor Boy confirmed what I had always expected about him.   He totally “gets” that he is a high-profile performer in the entertainment bizness.  Anything he says / does is going to attract attention positive or otherwise…. and he is a Master at orchestrating that publicity to benefit his objectives.

    “Most” high profile coaches begrudgingly accept their “celebrity” and the glaring spotlight they can never escape.  Steve Spurrier learned early on to embrace that reality and use it to his benefit.   It helped that he was/is “quick w/ wit and tongue” and “writes his own material”.   Actually I believe he is quick-witted enough that he doesn’t need to “write it”.   He can extemporize with the best of’em even in the emotion-filled crucible of a post-game interview.   He sees a “live mic” as his friend not as a pit viper poised to strike him in the jugular.

    With due respect to Peahead Walker, Abe Lemon, et al….. Steve Spurrier might be in the rarified pantheon with Al McGuire as Sports’ All-Time Glibbiest.

    He is not a raconteur with a homespun anecdote for every situation.   Steve Spurrier’s mind works in “sound bites” and above-the-fold headline “zingers” quotes.  And, yes…. in opposing locker room bulletin board fodder.

    One could argue that Roy also speaks in “sound bites”.  The difference being Roy doesn’t realize he “did” until the next day when his handlers are up-to-their-armpits in damage control.  Spurrier has never had or needed “handlers”.

    Steve Spurrier also understood that by making himself the focus of opposing fan bases’ pure unadulterated hatred, he diverted that hatred from his team.

    Coach K, Nick Saban, Belichek accomplish the same objective but one senses that Spurrier actually relishes that role while the others simply accept it as “comes with the territory”.   Calipari, I think, would like to be more Spurrier-esque but lacks the innate “glibness” to pull it off.

    The late, and sainted, Jimmy V certainly had the glib quippiness to more than equal Spurrier and enjoyed the spotlight like few ever have…. even pre-cancer.  “V” was more the consummate entertainer.  Open the refrigerator, the light goes on  – he does an eight-minute routine.   …… while Spurrier learned early that enraging one’s opponents’ fans, done artfully, was part of his overall coaching strategy.

    TruBlues’ permanent constipation over “That 1989 Scoreboard Picture” says more about their very fragile sense of self-importance than it did about Steve Spurrier’s departing poke-in-the-eye to them as he left Duke for Florida and his Destiny.

    I wish I had had more time to chat with Coach Spurrier that day in Myrtle Beach.  We share a mutual appreciation for the simple pleasure of gigging board monkeys.   Those goggle-eyed lost souls equating the outcome of a game to a D-Day Invasion or even greater importance.   When the outcome of a game, in which you have absolutely zero influence, is “all you got”, you ain’t got much going for you.

    Once he identified his “foil” be it UNC or Florida State or Clemson or assorted SEC rival de jour’s fans, Steve Spurrier knew he could rattle their cage and stir’em up when ever it suited his purpose.  ….. and he did …. a lot.

    I kinda wish he had ridden off into the sunset on a more positive note…. but maybe this circumstance is Karma biting The HBC in the butt….. for taking that picture in Kenan Stadium 26 years ago.

    ###

     

    CardinalsSpeaking of “off into the sunset”.… those beautiful “Birds On The Bat” uniforms are being packed away ‘til Spring when the 162-game marathon will begin anew.   CardinalNation must, alas, settle for “only 101″ Ws this season.  PHOOEY!

    Victims of a two-day barrage of homers that MLB hasn’t witnessed since Josh Hamilton’s Home Run Derby performance in Yankee Stadium, the Men of Matheny were no match for Destiny’s Darling in The Friendly Confines.

    The exhaust fumes that the Cards had been running on the past six weeks finally ran out.  Too many innings pitched…. too many injuries. But – THAT’S BASEBALL!

    I suppose I could “blame it” on John Swofford or Jim Knight / Ron Cherry or Steve Bartman or “a billy goat” but that’s not my style.  The “better team” won in this short series.

    Winners tell jokes…. and Losers say deal.   “Deal”.

    I’ve never been into the whole “Chicago Thing”.   I’ve not had occasions to spend any extended time there.  OK, there was a rather harrowing experience at O’Hare on the morning of September 11, 2001.   As with San Francisco, which I also “know” only peripherally,  I don’t have a feel positive or otherwise for the city and its people.  Ergo, it didn’t bother me to see their euphoria as Piscotty grounded out in the 9th.

    If “God loves Beavers too” as He apparently did when Oregon State beat The Moochies in Omaha, then maybe He smiled upon Wrigley’s Faithful this time around.

    It’s also not my style to “cuss my team for letting me down”.   I’m pretty sure the outcome of the NLDS and the season is of significantly greater importance to The Cardinals’ players and organization than it is to me.   Now, Blondie and her St Louis-based family might disagree on that “importance”.

    As the Cubs 2-day HR barrage took on the intensity of Hitler’s V-2 Blitz of London, it got a bit “testy” within a certain Cardinal fan group to which I am related.  Avoiding rooftops and sharp-pointed scissors has been recommended for a few days.

    “Kid” who lives several miles from Busch Stadium is not at all disconsolate.   “Game day traffic” disrupts her daily schedule.   She is careful with whom she shares that opinion.   ☺

    I ordered a Cardinal windbreaker last week which oughta arrive today or tomorrow.  I shall wear it proudly on my daily treks.

    Not sure who I will “pull for” as the Playoffs advance.  I have attachments to both the Royals and Rangers so maybe one of them.  Or I’ll simply watch…. and count the number of Viagra ads.

     

    ###

    BobLee
    • Momo Reply
      4 years ago

      Interesting rumor that Spurrier bailed now so he wouldn’t have to face losing to Dabo. Of course it will never be proven but it’s believable because of his personality and pride. Payback would be hell to a guy that employed a strategy of “artfully enraging opponents’ fans.” Spurrier reminds me of a tournament golfer that no-cards or withdraws after an especially high round. Says a lot about their character.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        I’m going to guess you have “disliked” (!) Spurrier for sometime, and this is simply a chance to get in a final shot. Fair enough. You are not alone in that animosity for sure.
        .
        WHY would he want to go out with a “whuppin'” from his arch-rival?

        • Momo Reply
          4 years ago

          Wow. What a great vibe and morale booster for the players who still have to play the game. Oh, that’s right, it’s about the coach.

          • BobLee Reply
            4 years ago

            I got no problem with you bashing Spurrier. 10 of 1,000s have done so over the years and will likely go to their graves doing so. He’s a big boy and certainly used to it.

      • Doug Reply
        4 years ago

        Steve’s #1 fan, Ric Flair, The Nature Boy, WOOOOO! will be pleased to offer any Spurrier hater a one-time opportunity at redemption. For details on how to get your free hands-on demonstration with Ric inquire at Legacy Talent and Entertainment.

        • BobLee Reply
          4 years ago

          A MELEE …. a For Real MELEE !!! Oh The Inhumanity !!!

    • Chirs Reply
      4 years ago

      Peahead Walker!

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        Yes. I gave Peahead his due.

    • Doug Reply
      4 years ago

      For awhile at Florida, like Bear Bryant at Alabama, the HBC coulda taken his’uns and beat your’uns, then take your’uns and beat his’uns. He probably caused other SEC schools to upgrade coaches and when he arrived at USC THAT opportunity had quickly passed. He won many games and, as far as I can tell, never lost a press conference. I don’t fully understand why he and reporter Ron Morris Jr at The State Newspaper had a falling out other but would like to think RM Jr. wanted it to be about him or was trying to do a McClatchy hatchet job on him. As far as the 1989 41-0 photobomb, I’ve always felt that it was Mack’s job to not allow that to happen rather than Steve’s job to prevent it from happening. What it was, was football.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        With Sports (and often about Politics too) it is always about the ownership of the particular Ox in the ditch on any given day. Gator fans didn’t like SS too much when he got “Cocky”.

    • BR-W-S Reply
      4 years ago

      it never occurred to me I had a fragile sense of self importance, but I did think it was classless to run up the score on a bunch of nineteen year olds by leaving your starters in a 41-0 game. previous dook coaches like red wilson and vic bubas won with lots more class in my opinion. I would be shocked if david cutcliffe would do the same, and if a UNC coach ever does that I would not be happy. suffice it to say, last year’s post game paint job by our team was a huge disappointment, and I was embarrassed by that.

      I was surprised SS bailed on his four loss team knowing there easily could be four more coming………..texas A&M, florida, tennessee and clemson. I’m gonna send him more just for men as a retirement gift, and I don’t think what he’s using now makes him look any younger than 70.

      how can you not pull for the cubs? I’m a dodger fan, but I’d really like to see a title at wrigley……………been way too long.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        I equate “Scoreboard” more with “Logo Stomping” than “Locker Room Trashing”.
        If Wuffs are still hating LF about Logo Stomping in 25 years I’ll admonish them too.

        I think SS was more concerned with his own 19 y/os than with Mack’s. I bet most of’em still have that pic!

        The rumor is SS is bailing now rather than after Dabo wallops him in W-B in November.

    • Tom Jones Reply
      4 years ago

      Enjoyed the column. With a daughter in Chicago I have come to love the city. Great fans and walking around Wrigleyville is an awesome experience. Every bar flys a University or college flag on football days and you can pick your bar based on loyalty. It is not unusual to see a Clemson flag flying in front of one place and a Notre Fame flag next door.

      Cubs are remarkable and seem destined to go far. After your Viagra comment and the disclosure that Lamar Odom is in intensive care after a “four day viagra binge ” at a Las Begas brothel I am beginning to think that you might have some special prognostication ability.

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        I don’t have any negatives about Chicago fans… not enough info to form an opinion. Cubs seem to be a bunch of excited young kids “Living the Dream” under wily old Joe.
        .
        Guess Lamar figures after a Kardashian its all downhill. Of the now FIVE Viagra ladies, I prefer #2…. brunette on the pool deck.

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      4 years ago

      Nice column. Agree with your comparisons. Spurrier does fit the into the “Mikey” box. Many UNC and NCSU fans often think of Mikey as the “anti-Christ” or Darth Vader. Spurrier was that to a lot of UGA and other SEC fans. He is also a couple of months my senior and his wife of 48 years or so and his 4 kids and GK’s probably would like to meet him.
      I knew that being a HC was grueling….but the Fridge’s comments in an article where he could not go on with getting up at 4:30, working 18 hours, 7 days a week for 15 weeks, then going to a 65 – 70 hour week for the rest of the year really rang true. Having been retired for 9 years, it ain’t my idea of fun.
      Good comparison to Jimmy V. Your Cubs comment also tweaked a JV story. When JV was fired, he went in early and was cleaning out his office. It was around 6:00 or so. In walks a vagrant and JV panics. The guy said he was down on his luck and needed some money. He was “on the lamb” as the FBI and CIA and AT&T were after him and had to make a get away. JV said that his life was bizarre enough without being killed in his office. He also knew how serious the guy was as he was wearing a Cub’s baseball cap and that Cub fans could endure a lot and when they exploded…it was ugly
      Somehow, with his gift of gab, he convinced the guy to leave….gave his some money for coffee and breakfast and told him to come back later. He told him that he knew Ex-President Reagan and also had an AT&T VIP phone card….which he showed him. He said that he needed time to straighten it out…
      When the guy left, JV called Campus Security….and after they got there, they tried to call the Campus Shrink as they felt that JV had “lost it”. Finally, the morning cleaning lady happened to walk by or whatever and commented that the guy sort of “lived” in the building at night and seemed harmless.
      I developed a whole new understanding of Cubs fans after that…..
      Your column on Spurrier was really great….I will not comment on the ORW angle. Spurrier, other than BS’s Bling Boy (OMW’s buddy), seemed to be pretty straight up. He should have ample funds to retire. He has also been generous to SC and other charitable causes. He chose to leave under his own power, without an O2 tank or battery powered scooter. GOOD FOR HIM!!!

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        Best way to Be Hated on Franklin Street is to (1) Beat them regularly… or (2) Be A Republican. I suspect Spurrier and Coach K qualify on both counts.
        .
        Some are saying SS is leaving “right now” to avoid his last game being a beat-down by Dabo in Williams-Brice in late November. If so, who could blame him?

        • DrVinnyboombatz Reply
          4 years ago

          In your opinion would Mr. Hat want to go and coach the Gamecocks?

          • BobLee Reply
            4 years ago

            Perhaps. I bet he would “take Ray Tanner’s call” at least. “Cocky” fans might not be that excited about LF. The back half of Larry/Gene might be even more interested …

    • Van Reply
      4 years ago

      CUBBOOM!

      • BobLee Reply
        4 years ago

        10-12 CUBBOOMs… I lost count.

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