Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Spurrier is COCKY.....

My god, how many times are we going to have to hear that or some variation on that statement in the next 5-10 years. And no, I'm not bitter...really I'm not at all. Let me explain...

There is a growing sentiment among the Gator nation that Spurrier is a traitor and that we should all hate him now that he's agreed to be the Head Coach at South Carolina. That he can't possibly love the University of Florida and still coach one of their division rivals. What a bunch of crap. First off, South Carolina is NOT one of the University of Florida's rivals. Florida may have as many real rivals as any school in major college football (FSU, Georgia, Tennesee, even Miami or possibly LSU), but South Carolina isn't one of them. Its tough to call something a rivalry when one tean wins EVERY YEAR and usually by wide margins. I guess that makes Vanderbilt one of our rivals as well. Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Spurrier IS the University of Florida in many ways. So many people have forgotten that before the Head Ball Coach came back to Florida from Duke that the Gators were alternately crappy or on probation, sometimes managing to do both (much harder than one would think). Florida was a middle of the road SEC football team, at best. Spurrier came back and immediately delivered Florida to the top of the SEC in 1990 (though the Gators didn't go to the SEC championship game because they were....Surprise! On probation). Over the next 12 years, Florida was a consistent Top 5 team nationally, going to two National title games and winning one in 1996 (against FSU no less). Oh yeah, and the guy won a a Heisman at Florida as a player and had his jersey retired. That's a pretty fair resume and I think that entitles him to a little leeway when it comes to his career plans. I may be in the minority but I will ALWAYS love Spurrier and appreciate what he did for my alma mater.

One last Spurrier note: If you had the chance to go coach at a school with impossibly high standards for their football program and coach or one where 8-9 wins a year will make you a living legend, where would you choose? Thats like asking if you would rather screw a hot stripper or a really hot virgin.

A few more things about this Pistons-Pacers Fight:

Ron Artest is going to lose $5.5 million in salary as a result of his suspension. Does anybody else think that he might be applying for a job at his local Circuit City?

I am a big fan of Bill Simmons aka the Sports Guy but he was WAY OFF on a couple of his observations of this whole fiasco. First, Simmons contends that the NBA shootaround crew (I can't believe I'm defending THEM) was off in their assertion that any NBA player would've reacted that way. He backs his point up by saying something to the effect of "Grant Hill would never do that." You're right, he wouldn't, but Grant Hill is about as far away from the AVERAGE NBA player as Ron Artest, just on the opposite side. For chrissakes, Hill played piano on Letterman after his rookie year. Maybe its just me but I have a VERY hard time imagining Quentin Richardson or Rashard Lewis doing that. On the other hand, I find it much more plausible that those two (or any number of other players) would have charged into the stands in similar situations. Maybe not all, but most NBA players WOULD have reacted in a similar fashion as Artest.

My next beef with Simmons is his contention that the Pacers have Ewing Theory potential without Artest. The Ewing Theory says that when an overrated/media hyped player leaves a team that the team will play better in their absence than when they had said player. In my opinion, this does NOT apply to Artest. Artest is the best defensive player in the league and an extremely underrated offensive player who brings a toughness and attitude that nobody else can consistently bring on the Pacers. If anyone is a candidate for this Theory, it is Jermaine O'Neal. He is a very good player but not the great player that the media makes him out to be, as he is an average rebounder (for his size, especially in the East) and lacks a go-to move in the post. I'm just saying.

To add to this point, Fran Frischilla commented yesterday that Ron Artest basically lifted the St. John's program by virtue of his competitive nature. Great point. Think about it, St, John's was average at best in the years before Artest came there. They became a consistent Top 10 team in his time there with only one other NBA level talent, Erick Barkley (who I, by the way, grossly misjudged in his ability to play in the NBA) , even making the team a hot ticket in New York, which is very hard to do for a college team. After Artest left though, St. John's has fallen past their former mediocrity all the way to just plain bad. I don't think I'm the only person who doesn't attribute that succes to Lavar Postell.

I already thought that Ben Wallace deserved more than six games for overreacting to what really wasn't that bad a foul and then further inciting the Detroit crowd afterwards. Yet, now that we have found out that it was a memeber of his posse who was the guy rabbit punching Fred Jones in the head, can't we get a new ruling from Stern. Wallace is getting off EASY. By the way, who knew that Ben Wallace even HAD a posse? I bet that they're a real wild bunch. I mean, this is a guy who plays with remote control cars as a hobby.

If Jonathan Bender can't make a significant splash in the next 25-30 games then can we all agree that he is a monumental bust?

So they've identified the "cup thrower" and it is a guy named John Green who has a past conviction for felony assault and three, count 'em, three DUIs. As my friend Joe said, "Sounds like the greatest guy ever."

Somebody referred to this as a "black eye" for Detroit...you've got to be kidding me. This isn't Dallas we're talking about...its freakin' Detroit. You're lucky that nobody got shot.

I know the Rashad McCants jail analogy has been beaten to death but I have just one question...What state's correctional program allows for all expense paid trips to Maui for the Thanksgiving holidays? Because I'm definitely going there before I commit any future crimes.

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