Gucci Sam & The Death Squad

January17/ 2000

… Only Dan Durham or Bob Heymann might remember Sam Gilbert.  Before there was Myron Pigge, before there was the Fab Five , before the Texas “Death Squad” there was Sam “Gucci” Gilbert – notorious “SugarDaddy” to the UCLA Basketballers of the 60s and 70s.  In 2005 a new breed of “just trying to help” meddlesome fan has emerged.  Unlike Sam and his ilk, this latest incarnation doesn’t use hot tubs, hot coeds, and dead presidents.  You owe to yourself to learn about this latest plague on college athletics..

   Everyone connected with UCLA knew about Sam Gilbert.  Everybody who wasn’t a “wizard”.  Every Bruin basketballer knew Sam and how much he loved the Blue & Gold and those annual National Championships they stacked up like cordwood from 1967 until the mid 70s when DT and Monte and Tommy finally broke the streak.  No Bruin hoopster went hungry or without a nice ride or nice threads or female companionship … just call Gucci Sam.  Ten plus years of palm greasing and sugar daddying and Ye Olde Wizard of Westwood claimed he never knew a thing about it … and who would dare question John The Wizard .  

   When Sam’s interference became so blatantly obvious to even the ostrichs at NCAA HQ, they ordered Sam “not to do it any more” and Coach Wooden exclaimed “don’t do WHAT any more?”

Then we had: 

·         The bookie in Ann Arbor making sure C-Webb and Jalen and Jawan had walking around money in case they needed to buy a floor length mink or a dozen Rolexes or something.  

·         Street Agent Myron Piggie bankrolling Corey Maggette.  

·         That enterprising Crimson Tide supporter who paid off a Memphis high school coach to deliver his blue chipper to Tuscaloosa.  

·         That Blue Devil fan in Durham who pays REALLY well for clerical staff if said clerical staffer has a son under contract to Michael Krzyzewski

   A very special wing in the meddling fan Hall of Shame is reserved for those Fat Cat Mustang Boosters in Highland Park, Texas.  Alls they wanted to do in the early 80s was help Bill Dooley’s good buddy Bobby Collins beat the Longhorns.  Instead they forever linked Bobby to the  “Death Penalty” like Tommy John is linked to elbow surgery. Condemning SMU to perpetual shame.  Even Gucci Sam didn’t pull that off.   .

   “The Wizard” comes the closest to UNC’s Ye Olde Legend in abject deification.  If “The Wiz” didn’t know about Sam … could there have been similar shenanigans in the back alleys of Franklin Street that escaped Ye Olde Legend.  Say it couldn’t be BobLee … say it could not be. 

   All any of these meddling fans wanted to do was “Help Our Team Any Way I Can” … to contribute to the war effort … like collecting aluminum foil in 1941.  Meddling fans who “just want to help out” have been as much a part of college sports as round heeled coeds waiting passionately outside the locker room.  

   These overly zealous meddling fans share several characteristics.  Quite often they are “sidewalk alums” who never attended their adopted institution.  They achieve “Fat Cat” status through rough and tumble “cash businesses” … “the porta-john king of Eastern Tennessee” … “owning 127 pawnshops” … “a string of used car lots in Valdosta”.  Their world is loosey goosey and high rollin’.  Their wives and girlfriends (usually several of each simultaneously) sport D-cups and lots of foot jewelry.  These hard scrabble entrepreneurs have little use for “alphabet organizations” like IRS and NCAA.  If they want to grease Eric Dickerson’s palm with a fistful of Benjamins then they darn well will.  If Billy Blue Chip can tote that pigskin, then by gosh let’s convince that ol’ boy he needs to be awearing our jersey.  What’ll it take … a car, some bling, a new job for his mamma, his pick of the litter at the PussyKat Klub? 

   You never see or hear of “respectable city father” alum/fans as part of these meddling goings on.  UNC’s Mo Koury, Johnny Harris, Art Pope, Paul Fulton, NCSU’s Wendell Murphy, Smedes York, The Carters, Finleys, Kenans, Days, Vaughans, et al.  These are men and families with reputations to consider.  Yes, they hate getting ribbed by their rival associates but they have “real lives” to retreat into when 18 year olds “let them down”.  What a concept! They support their academic institutions with generous donations for facilities and programs … not with shadowy shenanigans with semi-literate 18 year olds.

   The “porta john king” KNOWS he is in the freakin’ porta-john bizness and knows that Daphne on his arm is a freakin’ bimbo.  But IF he can buy his adopted school a big old dumb jock, maybe he will gain some respect? Maybe “Coach” will even call him by his first name and accept his offer to go bird hunting.

   In recent years a new incarnation of this meddling fan breed has emerged and these “cats ain’t fat” at all.  Welcome to the carnival sideshow world of geeks, freaks, and the “Cliff Clavens and Al Bundys” – those 45 year old Little League rightfielders.  Yep, those lovable loonies, “The Internet People”, are the “just trying to help” meddling fans of The New Millenium. 

    I can’t take credit for the name “The Internet People”.  Current blue chipper Chris Johnson of Southern Durham did that last week to the N&O’s Tim Stevens.  He and his coach complained how he was being harassed night and day by “The Internet People”.  

   This broad category includes the semi-legit “recruiting gurus”.  I count several of these gurus as friends but I wish they would switch to honest work like holding Michael Jackson’s umbrella. 

   The rank and file of these insidious “Internet People” are the ones who actually contact and badger every Billy Blue Chip they can track down.  Once they have Billy’s number, then the real fun begins …

Ring … Ring … Ring …

 Hello. Blue Chip residence.

 Hi, can I speak to Billy?  This is ReallyRabidWuffie-FranklinStreetFrank. I need to talk to Billy RIGHT NOW … I have some very important news for him.

 Just a moment, please.  Billy, it.s another one of those crazy “Internet People”.

 Mom, do I have to talk to him.  Is this a State nut or a Carolina nut?  

 Who knows and what difference does it make … talk to him and record it.  Remember that nice Mr. Swagger said he would pay us $25 for the most bizarre call we get.

Hi, this is Billy Blue Chip.

 Billy, oh hi … I can’t believe I am actually talking to you … oh wow!  All the fellas at InsideWulfHeelBlueRedNation say that you are thinking about signing with that lying crooked jackass coach at ______.  YOU CAN’T DO THAT. He is a demonic space alien and will be arrested any day for pistol whipping orphans.  He is fat. He wears funny shoes.  All his players smoke marijuana. He cusses.  His wife shoplifts from Goodwill.  He belongs to the Mafia, the Communist Party, and the Ku Klux Klan.  Everybody at “their school” is a cross dressing transvestite redneck Jewish Baptist from Hyde County and has relations with homosexual farm animals.  All their coeds are flat-chested pigs with no ankles.  Blanche Taylor Moore was their Homecoming Queen.  I can go on … tell me you won’t sign with “them”.

 Well Mr Crazy Internet Person I have a question for you.  Could you tell me why I should go to “your school”?

… … … gosh, I don’t know.  Can I check with all the “experts” at InsideWulfHeelBlueRedNation and get back to you? 

 No, tell me right now.

 Uhhhhhhhh … Somebody said we have the best curriculum in African American Leisure Communication Theory in the ACC.  You get an A if you can name the three original members of Destiny’s Child.  Our sorority houses have brass stripper poles in the social activity room … but I’ve never actually been in one of them.  Did I mention that their coach is a lyin’ crooked jackass and his wife shoplifts from …  

 Yes, you mentioned that already.

 Oh … you need to come to “our school” because we win EVERY game we ever play except for the times the stupid media, the crooked referees, our idiot AD, our idiot Chancellor, our stupid Admissions Director or the stupid campus cops cost us the game.  Our coach is a GREAT MAN.  One time he looked up in the stands and, I swear, he looked right at me and we bonded.  Is that cool or what?  One time I was getting gas at the Happy Hugo’s out on the bypass and Charlie Russell walked in.  Well I ‘bout died … Charlie Russell was the 4rd string walk-on nickel back on that great 1987 team and once actually held for an extra point in a Spring Game.  Well, he walked up and bought a Nutrageous bar and a Snapple and he waited his turn just like everybody else … CHARLIE RUSSELL.  I mean WOW!  All our great players are like that … just as humble as they can be even legends like Mr Russell.

 Mr. WulfStreetFranklin Whatever I have one more question.  An hour ago some other pathetic soul named UNCNCSU666DevilDeac4Ever called.  He said he had a sweet potato that looked like Michael Jordan and David Thompson and Tim Duncan playing dominos on a park bench.  He said he would give that to me if I sign with his school.  Can you beat that?

 … … … … You mean it!  The famous “DT MJ Tim dominos sweet potato”.  I thought that was just a message board myth.  GOLLLLEE!  Did he leave his number?  I need that for my collection of Famous ACC Vegetables.  

 Click … Mom, call Mr Swagger.  I think we just won ourselves $25.


   The latest trick of “The Internet People” is to call Billy Blue Chip and, of course, be the standard obnoxious and delusional meddling fan … but claim to be representing the rival school.  Ergo … all the “credit” for wasting Billy’s time accrues to “those lyin’ crooked jackasses over yonder at that overrated no-count institution”.

   There is no effective way to stop these meddling morons.  It’s public access unless Billy gets an unlisted number.  The $25 bounty for the bizarriest call is a possible way to at least make it worthwhile for Billy.  Any “adult” who would call an 18 year old kid out of the blue (or out of the red) to chat is auditioning to play Micheal Jackson in a how-to video for pickled perverts.


 Swagger’s Stumper

 __  __  __  __  __  __  __ , __________ 

makes the very best … CHOCO-LATE!


    Dapper Dan and Fopp are/were hair pomades.  George Clooney was definitely “a Dapper Dan man”.  Any man who is not a solid fan of “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou” and “Raising Arizona” probably is not worth getting to know too well.

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