Flip Flopping Phenoms

January17/ 2000

… Good night Miss Agnes! …  Our column on “Signing Day After” rocked the Internet breaking previous one day view totals.  Tar Heels are flummoxed by the Flip Flopping Flim Flamming Phenoms … Everybody is cryng about “Integrity” and “a person’s word”.  Coaches and phenoms know the simple rule … Every Phenom For Himself! … It’s time naive fans wake up!  This is THE LAST RECRUITING COLUMN!

   This was going to be a column appraising the value of Pete Gillen’s house in Charlottesville because that is certainly going to be needed next month.  But NO, I have to give you folks another whop up side your head about “Recruiting Virtues”.  Maybe, just maybe, a handful of you will finally figure this out.    

   John Bunting is back on the “hot seat” with some fans because he didn’t sign a bevy of “phenoms” on Tuesday.  He says he signed a number of fine student-athletes that will contribute to Carolina Football victories in the years to come.  I believe him.  John and his staff have infinitely more skill in evaluating football talent than yours truly and the entire UNC message board world will ever have.  But we don’t matter. … … John needs to know more than his rival ACC head coaches. He needs to attract as good or better athletes and coach them as good or better than the guys on the other sideline.

   IF competing and winning in The New ACC is UNC’s institutional objective then he has to put thoroughbred horses on the track.  I am fine if he only recruits Eagle Scouts with minimum 1200 SATs.  Create a “Southern Ivy League” and me and several 100 others will still show up on Saturday in Kenan.  Filling those other 55,000 seats might be a real challenge though for Phineas T. Teague and His Merry Marketing Men. … … Lets save the Southern Ivy discussion for later.  


You really should sign up to get this column by e-mail. 

It’s free, it’s fun, 

you don’t get these candid comments anywhere else.  

Over in the right column …  simple, even Wuffs do it!


   I received dozen of e-mails all whining “somebody needs to teach those sorry kids some INTEGRITY and what “your word” means.”  That in response to the highly publicized “signing day surprises” we noted in the prior column.  

Teach WHAT to WHO … and WHY?

   WHO is supposed to teach these virtue-deprived phenoms those admirable character values?  Don’t even think “their parents” … one’s around maybe and she works three jobs?  Their high school coach?  Sure, if this were 1955 and Clair Bee was the coach.  That leaves us with role models Snopp Dogg, Randy Moss, and Ron Artest … pick one.

   WHY are “core values” even necessary IF everything goes according to the basic Phenom Life Plan.  

  • 3 year starter at BCSorBust University w/ lots of national TV exposure  
  • Heisman in year 3, 
  • Top draft pick by a legitimate Super Bowl contender in a warm weather city, 
  • $100,000,000 contract with enough of a signing bonus to buy a killer ride with a monsta sound system, a huge plasma TV, some bling bling, and maybe a new dining room table for Grandmamma.   
  • If you got enough In-come … you don’t need In-tegrity.

   There is no Plan B.  Well, there is but its dismal … the street corner back home. … Most young phenoms’ vision of the world isn’t quite the same as Kevin prepping at Woodberry Forest and already a legacy pledge at the Phi Delt House.

   Is every highly touted “phenom” a street jock?  No.  Are these 11th hour flip flops a new phenomenon?  No.  Is this consistent with the ethical paradigm shifts in our overall society? Yes.  Is this going to be a lecture blaming Bill Clinton for Montario Hardesty going back on “his word”?  No, besides it was Barbara Boxer.  Lighten up, folks.

   From previous treatises on recruiting you know that recruiting is as slimy as okra from every viewpoint … players, coaches, gurus, and idiot fans.  Casual core fans give it tertiary attention until we hear “that really good running back from New Bern LIED to Coach Bunting” … “OH LAWDY!  How could he LIE to Big John. Doesn’t he know that Coach Bunting “bleeds blue”, Franklin Street is cool, our coeds are Hot, we have a great microbiology department and Charles Kuralt wrote a poem about “the well and the wall”?  What’s the matter with that kid?  How could he do that?”

   Montario Hardesy does not give a Hummer full of Randy Moss replica jersies about Charles Kuralt.  He could not spell “microbiology” if Vanna White gave him all the vowels and 5 of the 6 consonants.  He liked the part about “Hot coeds” but Tennessee told him Little Kim, Beyonce, and Dolly Parton were Volunteer cheerleaders. He will “major” in NFL Wannabee and Tennessee has a fine department in that; plus 100,000 crazy fans to watch him go to required class on Saturdays in the Fall.

   Phenoms have no interest in relics such as Famous Amos Lawrence, Kelvin Bryant, Choo Choo Justice, Don McCauley, or Alexander Julian.  Even UNC’s fabled NFL “bad boy” Lawrence Taylor is two eras and 10 years removed from relevant.  If its shown on ESPN Classics rather than SportsCenter … fergitit!

   Carolina fans get discombobulated over anybody NOT falling in love with “their version of Carolina”.  Daddy is corporate counsel for Duke Energy, and a former KA.  Mamma is a Junior League Legacy, former debutante class of ’75, and a Chi O.  Granddaddy was Insurance Commissioner under Governor Dan Moore. Go to Carolina, get an AB in Poli Sci, 3 more years of Law, marry the daughter of the Chief of Surgery at Moses Cone (debutante class of ’03).  Slide right into that junior partner slot at the intersection of Trade and Tryon.  Sweeeeet!

   Yeah, THAT scenario had lots of relevance for a Montario Hardesty growing up black in Craven County !!!  Surely his dreams when he was being home schooled in Integrity and “what your word means” included pledging the Phi Delt House and marrying a debutante.  

   Three years ago he could not have told you where UNC was located or identified a picture of The Old Well.  But for the past year he has been treated like a rock star around Craven County with the recruiters arriving like pilgrims to the shrine at Lourdes.  Not to mention 268 recruiting guru geeks calling him every night to ask for his “short list”. 

   Its difficult to discuss The Canterbury Tales in class when the intercom keeps blaring “Montario please go to Coach HardRock’s office and meet Coach Whitebread from BCSorBust University”.  Montario may not know much Chaucer but the boy knows when Coach Whitey is blowing jive-smoke up his butt.  Phenoms are world class at playing “jive ping pong” with butt-kissing recruiters.

   He learns not to fall asleep when Coach Whitey pulls out those ubiquitous brochures dripping with ethnically diverse students walking across “the quad” on their way to dialogue with tweedy professors preparing those ethnically diverse young minds to be America’s Next Generation of leaders.  He notices that one of the fine ladies in a picture looks like Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child.  He makes a note to want her as his “hostess” on his Official Visit.

   Phenoms are fed more BS than an A.M.E. Zion congregation listening to John Edwards and John Kerry a week before last November’s elections.  His BS-ometer has been fine tuned for months.  He wakes up saying “more lobster and another steak”.  He knows he can get anything he wants … he’s a “BlueChipper”.

   EVERY time Carolina loses a Phenom we hear the same old “that other coach cheated” whine.  Blue ostrich crap! The Fayetteville flipflopper Jon Hannah snockered one of UNC fans’ favorite supposed cheaters Frank Beamer.  Hannah scammed old Frank slicker than old Frank scammed The Dickster four years ago.  ADMIT IT! You never even saw that one coming did you. Swagger is a cagey rascal.

   Hannah flipped Beamer and signed with “Visor Boy” Steve.  That same low-down cheating scoundrel that so many Tar Heel loonies were willing to give up their beachfront cottage at Figure Eight to get for Carolina.  For NORTH Carolina that is.  Would you love Spurrier stealing “verbals” FOR us?   It calls to mind Duke Buck’s description of his Blue Devils’ Christian Laettner … “Yes he was an SOB, but he was our SOB.”  

   If you DEMAND that John Bunting win 7+ games a year, including beating State, and go bowling then you better allow him to put real bait in his recruiting tackle box.  Dead roving reporters don’t cut it … “dead presidents” do.  Holding him to some mythical “high ground” has him fishing with an empty hook.  Phenoms aren’t signed on “the high ground” they are signed in the streets and if you’re not “street smart” then you won’t bag your limit in phenoms.

Regular Recruiting is to Phenom Recruiting 

like your Friday night poker game is to playing The Matador @ Binion’s

High Stakes & No Cry Babies Allowed!

   Considering the dearth of 5-star BlueChippers signing with Carolina over the past three years, John Bunting may be the cleanest, straight shootingest recruiter since Jesus Christ Himself went looking for His 12 good men.  Of course, even Jesus got fooled and wasted a scholly on that Escariot kid from Galillee High.  He did much worse than smoke pot and shoplift.  

   Again, I am perfectly fine with UNC’s football program recruiting Eagle Scouts who actually use the Library for something other than peeing and scoring chicks.  I expect I am in the minority on this one.  Stow the holier-than-thou crying about Montario Hardesty or Jon Hannah or A.J. Davis or Ryan Perrilloux or all the phenoms who flip flop every year and will next year.  John is in impressive company of coaches who got snockered by Phenoms on Wednesday … 

Mack Brown … Frank Beamer … John Bunting

The coach UNC had … the coach UNC wanted … the coach UNC has.

Three good men with differing “styles” in recruiting

… … You never made that connection either DID YOU?  That’s why I am the Writer and You, my dear friends, are the Readers.

OK, That’s It …


I have to go wash my hands and brush my teeth … yuck, Nasty Stuff!


Swagger’s Stumper

Original Mission Impossible Team

Barbara Bain’s character’s first name was _________?


   Do you ever watch that “Tumor TV” where they have these people from Kafirystan or Neptune or Pine Level wherever with these giant watermelon sized tumors growing out of their face?  That’s awful.  Thank goodness medical technology can help those poor souls BUT I really don’t want to watch it in High Definition during supper.

   Just think … come Monday morning, nobody will care “will TO play or not”.  Truthfully, I don’t care now.

   Bret Maverick traveled “from Natchez to New Orleans living on Jacks & Queens …”

If we could just get this year’s Final Four moved to the Dean Dome, I’d bet the entire Swagger Fortune on Ol’ Roy’s Boyz.  Dickie, get to work on that, OK?

[email protected]

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x