Tag Archives: Steve Spurrier

The Old Ball Couch Needs a Hug

So the University of South Carolina’s football coach gets criticized in a column and instead of shrugging it off, gets mad at all media and then get this, is now trying to get the columnist fired.  As Yahoo! Sports sees it.

Morris and Spurrier are enemies, we get that, but why penalize the entire media contingent? And why over this? Yes, Morris questions whether Shaw should have played in that game, but I think a lot of people were doing the same. Shaw looked pretty miserable during the bulk of the Vanderbilt game. He sat out the East Carolina game and many thought he should sit out UAB to be ready for the grueling SEC season.

In the end, Shaw’s shoulder proved not to be a big deal against Missouri as he completed 20 consecutive passes in a dominating 31-10 win.

So, I guess it’s kind of a “See, I was right all along” kinda thing to Morris, but still just another example of childish behavior by a coach toward the media, which seems to be happening far more often this year than in the past.

This is where it gets really stupid.

Apparently the contents of the article can not be tolerated by Spurrier in the future.

“I told my wife after the last article, ‘I’ve had it. I’ve had enough,’” Spurrier said. “‘I’m not going to take it anymore. I’ve had enough.’ Almost all of the Gamecocks say, ‘Coach, don’t pay any attention to him, he’s insignificant,’ which he is. He is not an important person. But they’re not having their name and reputation slandered. So, I’m the one. It’s not my mode of operation to not say anything about it. So, this is my voice here. He gets his voice in the newspaper, which he uses.”

The highlight of the segment comes in what Spurrier says next, where he eludes to the idea that he is going to get Morris fired from his job.

“I think we need to make some changes. I think some positive changes are going to happen,” Spurrier said. “They have a little problem over there that we know about, but they’re working on it. Our president and our athletic director, they’re all backing me in this.”

It’s hard to imagine someone saying they’d have taken a job somewhere else while in their current position, but that’s exactly what Spurrier goes on to say.

“When I came here, I didn’t know we had some enemies within our own city,” Spurrier said. “If Mike McGee, when he hired me, had said, ‘Steve, we’re going to give you a chance to run the football program at South Carolina. You hire your coaches, you do your thing, but you have to put up with the local media trying to trash you and try to ruin your reputation and they’ll try to portray you as a mean, evil, self-serving person.’ I would have said, ‘You give that job to somebody else. I’ll wait for the North Carolina [Tarheels] job to open,’ which opened the next year.”

Spurrier closes with reiteration of the idea that getting rid or Morris will bring the community closer together.

“I believe our city is going to be better off because we’re all going to get along better. That’s what it’s all about,” Spurrier said. “We’ve had some serious discussions about things. Basically, I said I’m not taking any more of this stuff that’s coming out of our local paper anymore. If that’s part of the job, I’ll head to the beach. That’s not part of the job. So, we’re going to get it straightened out.”

Like the calm before a storm, there’s a feeling that something major is about to happen in South Carolina. What does this mean for the future of the media that covers Gamecocks football? Will anyone who is critical of the team or Spurrier be subject to discipline? Who will the fans ultimately side with? Whether you like Steve Spurrier or not, it’s almost impossible to not look at what happens next.

I don’t know what the South Carolina media is like but I do follow the Notre Dame Fighting Irish media really closely and they criticize Brian Kelly, Charlie Weis, and even Lou Holtz when they are winning or losing.  It’s part of the job.  Ask Ken Miller how hard the media criticism can be and was one of the most successful Saskatchewan Roughrider coaches ever.  Only in the United States is the “football coach” a title and not a job.  

What’s sad is that this reverence for the “coach” is what leads to scandal like what happened at Penn State and like it or not, columnists like Ron Morris who question these guys are the counterbalance because the Athletic Director and university Presidents can or will not (notable exception was Arkansas in tossing Bobby Petrino).  Steve Spurrier makes $2.88 million a year and has one of the highest profile positions in the state.  With that comes criticism, not coddling.

The New Dan Snyder

Dan Snyder, the owner of a certain Washington based NFL football team that has a racist nickname, is threatening to sue a paper for an article posted if the author is not fired.  What’s funny is that the article is not that inflammatory.  While it is childish, it’s not any worse than anything written about any other owner of a struggling once proud team that is a national laughingstock (see Oakland Raiders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Pirates, or the USC athletic department).  There isn’t even anything that personal in there.

Here are some of my favorite bits

Fan Appreciation Day: Gimmick used in 2006 by Snyder to draw people to FedExField, where he charged $25 to park to watch the team scrimmage and hear an address from Vinny Cerrato. The parking charge was not mentioned in the advertisements the team produced for the event.

Hill, Pat: Down-on-her-luck 73-year-old grandmother—and five-decade Redskins season-ticketholder—who was sued by the Redskins in 2009 because she could not afford to keep up payments on the 10-year, $50,000-plus club seats contract she’d signed.

Kennedy, Robert F.: Namesake for the former Redskins stadium—and current “party deck” at FedExField. Tickets to this standing-room only section cost $152.50 and include access to a cigar bar and a Hooters, among other come-ons. Snyder dropped “RFK” from the marketing pitch after Kennedy family announced its displeasure in Washington City Paper.

Redskins Unfiltered: Feature on Redskins.com designed to “offer fans an a la carte menu of information,” as Snyder told The New York Times in 2006. In practice, Unfiltered was mainly used to rebut everything written about the team by The Washington Post. Immediately after the Post ran a story that mentioned players eating “fast food” at Redskins Park, for example, Snyder staffer Larry Michael produced a long video in which team employees testified that Baja Fresh was NOT fast food. Unfiltered came back to haunt management when players used its video as evidence in a union grievance over “contact drills” during voluntary workouts. “You know how we caught them?” said NFLPA chief Gene Upshaw. “We saw it on their Web site.”

Vanilla: Flavor of ice cream that Snyder left to thaw in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s office TWICE in one season to let the coach know the owner felt his schemes were simplistic, or vanilla. John Feinstein wrote that Snyder’s second delivery, after a loss to Dallas, consisted of “three giant canisters of melting 31 Flavors ice cream” and a note that said “I do not like vanilla.”

Even the Washington Post has gotten sucked into this one.

According to several people with direct knowledge of the situation, Snyder’s attorneys contacted The Post last week and asked the newspaper to preserve e-mails between Post sports blogger Dan Steinberg and McKenna.

The attorneys said they intend to explore whether there was any agreement between McKenna and Steinberg to cross-promote McKenna’s pieces on Snyder. Steinberg routinely links to sports content across the Web.

McKenna and Steinberg are former neighbors and longtime friends, a fact disclosed by Steinberg when he linked to McKenna’s City Paper article on Steinberg’s D.C. Sports Bog blog in November. At the time, Steinberg called McKenna’s article "an encyclopedic takedown of Snyder’s decade of Redskins ownership, with just about all the horror stories gathered in one place."

McKenna, in turn, occasionally mentions Steinberg’s work in his City Paper columns and blog postings, referring to him as "the Great Dan Steinberg."

Steinberg declined to comment Tuesday, as did The Post.

Dan Snyder continues to be the most tone deaf owner in the NFL who has managed to turn a frivolous sports rant into a national story bringing attention to how inept he is.  If I was the defense attorney, I would just point to Dan Snyder’s record as the owner of the team, toss a couple of years of sports stories from the Washington Post, some game film of Jeff George playing and Steve Spurrier coaching and say, “I rest my case”.

Payroll

Coach Steve Spurrier Every second Friday I have to do payroll for my department.  It takes 20-30 minutes and for some reason I was thinking about the fact that most NFL coaches work 100 hours a week during the season.

I work a 40 hour work week.  If someone is sick, I may have to work extra shifts.  I occasionally work from home but that is generally on a proposal or often an idea that needs to get fleshed out that is bugging me but no where near the 100 hours a week NFL coaches are working.

I wonder how many bad decisions are made at the end of games because of fatigue and the inability to process information when you are that tired.

I know one of the reasons that Steve Spurrier didn’t work out as the coach of the Washington Redskins was that he didn’t work hard or long enough and therefore wasn’t prepared for the complexity of the NFL game (having Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews as his QBs didn’t help either) but how many times have you seen the clock winding down in a close game and the coach miscalculate his options.  We saw it with New England Patriots coach Bill Bellichick during the Super Bowl loss against the Giants.  How much of this is cracking under pressure and how much of that is straight fatigue?