I’ve been planning to bring back the Wednesday Whine for months now, but it just hasn’t happened. I haven’t had the inspiration from what goes on in daily life. Maybe I need to put myself around more idiots and watch the complaints come flowing back.
If you havent’ followed this blog at all, last year I had a weekly installment called the “Wednesday Whine” where I’d pick a topic that bothered me and essentially talk junk about it. Seeing as how this is a blog on the Internets, I feel like calling people out is just how it works. I feel really tough behind this keyboard. I talked about the N.C. State Fair, things I despise about Christmas and, most famously, spandex. Thanks to the beauty of search engines, that spandex rant still gets a good number of hits each week.
I’ve been looking for an excuse to bring it back, and on Tuesday, Steve Spurrier delivered. Thanks HBC, I really do appreciate it.
If you’ve missed it, Steve Spurrier lost his mind before his weekly press conference, essentially disassociating himself from The State columnist Ron Morris because of some “negative” articles Morris has written in the last six months. Spurrier threw a little tantrum and ended with “well I’m not going to talk if he’s in here.”
I’ll let you watch it for yourself and then, for my whine, I’m going to break it down play-by-play style.
Because of when the GamecockAnthem camera operator hit record, we don’t see Spurrier walk through the door, but as soon as the video starts you can tell Spurrier just isn’t happy. Steve’s rocking the green golf shirt and pleated pants, and if I was a betting man I’d say he probably had on brown loafers (no laces) with no socks. Hands in his pockets, Spurrier just kind of paces for a second, as if he’s thinking of how to start. He doesn’t sit down, which is abnormal as well. Then, the throat clear, which can be translated as “y’all shut up now, I’m about to start talking.” It should have been clear after the first 10 seconds that something was about to go down.
After Spurrier’s done with his “I’m a golf pro on the side” entrance, he jumps right into the intro, or the “getting this off my chest” portion of the 2-minute rant. He does that with a history lesson, which let everyone know that he was upset with columnist Ron Morris for writing what Spurrier called a “completely fabricated” story nearly six months ago. That raises my first serious question. Why in the heck did this take so long? If Spurriers was so upset, why not take Morris to town in the spring, or better yet, why not take him aside, one on one, and tell him how you felt? No, no. Steve waits until mid-season, after Morris has written several more pieces criticizing Spurrier’s ability to run the South Carolina offense to blow up. Sorry coach, but that’s not how it works.
Anyway, Spurrier goes on for 45 seconds or so giving background for why he’s angry and even bringing up Larry Guest, the other writer he’s “disassociated” himself with in his 26-year career. He continues to pace during this portion of his speech, as if he’s addressing a class of children who didn’t stay in single-file line.
Finally, after more than 90 seconds of getting to the point, Spurrier arrives at the conclusion that he will no longer be talking to Ron Morris. Fine, great, do what you have to do. But the way he begins this part of the presser is a bit weird. Spurrier says “and then I’ve learned that he sits in on all these meetings,” referring to Morris, essentially allowing Morris the chance to contributing writing all this negative stuff. STEVE, Morris has covered the team all year. You’ve learned? Come on man.
Anyway, Spurrier moves on to the real reason for his entire two minutes of car crash public relations: to say that Morris isn’t welcome at press conferences or around his football team.
“I’m not going to talk while he’s in here, that’s my right as a head coach” Spurrier said, pointing to his chest. ”I don’t have to talk to him, and I don’t have to talk to him when he’s in here.”
Just so we’re clear, Steve doesn’t have to talk to him, whether he’s in the room, not in the room, or whatever. He just doesn’t have to. That’s his right and that’s all that matters. It almost feels like Spurrier is sticking his tongue out at Morris like a 2-year-old. “Na-na-na-na-na, I don’t have to talk to you.”
And I’m right there with Spurrier in the sense that he doesn’t have to talk to Morris. He’s right, he doesn’t. It wouldn’t be the first time a coach tried to freeze out the media. Spurrier just chose to do it in the least flattering way ever, making himself look like a complete idiot. During my stint with NC State’s Technician, the volleyball coach tried the same thing. It lasted a few weeks, until she got fired for never winning matches. Worked out well for her though, yep.
This is when the ‘ol ball coach makes an appearance. He claps his hands, as if to say “alright, let’s go team” and offers one-on-one interviews to all the television crews in attendance. The speed of his pacing picks up, almost in attempt to get everyone in the room excited and behind him. He even asks “everyone alright with that?” What are they going to say, Steve? He speaks to who I would assume is his media relations director (poor man) to find out what room to go to, and then he kind of rushes out, hoping a group of Columbia, S.C. television reporters are following him to victory.
Spurrier’s Tuesday rank is not even close to as good as some of the other classic coach-to-media moments, but it might be the dumbest I’ve ever seen. Airing dirty laundry with a columnist who hurt your feelings isn’t a good look, even if the story was fabricated (which no one really knows, to my knowledge). I would expect a coach with 26 years of experience (thanks for pointing that out, Coach) to know better. Oh well, it’s not like it was the best PR day for South Carolina football. The Gamecocks dismissed Stephen Garcia from the team right after Spurrier’s press conference.
I’ll leave you with some of my favorite coach-to-media rants. Mike Gundy will live forever.