Prince Armani, A Peanut & A Churchill

January17/ 2000

 We’re setting another precedent for Internet commentary … an insightful analysis of a “former” Div 1-A BB coach, PLUS a former President, PLUS a current grandson of a 20th Century Giant. Quin Snyder’s resignation proves “something” but what?  Being “A Former President” is an easy gig impossible to screw up … or is it?  Hearing a Brit say “Whitehall” and “#10 Downing Street” is quite cool.  

   Quin Snyder stuck a fork in himself on Friday.  He is DONE as Missouri’s Head BB coach thereby saving the Mizzou firing squad a bullet in March.  Immediate reactions were predictable from interested observers.  Why do I have a morbid interest in following Quin’s death gurgles way off in mid-Missouri?  We’ll answer that question AND MORE … right now.

    BobLee has followed Quin @ Mizzou because I have a direct connection to that segment of “Fly-over Country” having (1) worked there for Dan Devine in the early 70s … (2) Mizzus Swagger taught in their esteemed J-School in the late 70s … (3) Kid will be a Freshman there in September.  Had Quin gone to UCLA or Delaware or Washington my interest would have been considerably less.  My “inside sources” in Columbia MO have kept me appraised of the “The Suicidal Saga Of Prince Armani – The Gucci-shoed Dandy Via Durham”.  

    Quin arrived in Columbia seven years ago but, alas, the suitcases carrying his humility never got there.  He enjoyed March dance success early and even held his own versus a certain monkey-toting huckleberry over in Lawrence KS.  Quin succeeded Norm Stewart at Mizzou.  I knew “Stormin’ Norm” (Every “Norm” is nicknamed “Stormin’ regardless … but Stewart was prone to sideline fury).  Norm was a star player at Mizzou in the 50s and a well-respected local legend ‘round town for 40 years. He never owned a pair of Guccis and never paid more than $12 for a haircut.  Quin tipped more than that for his manicures.  Well, actually he never tipped but rather exuded a most unappreciated arrogance from Day One.

   “Likability” can be an embattled coach’s most valuable “chip” when storm clouds inevitably gather. Matt Doherty lacked it.  John Bunting has “it” and “it” has sustained him through his storms.  Quin was “too slick”. “Slick” can work in smoozing but never plays well in mass media imaging. The “Amato Likability” quotient is an intriquing paradox to examine some day, but not today.  Columbia MO and Quin Snyder were about as compatible as Bill Cowher coaching the Lakers

   BB historians will recall Quin’s esteemed mentor’s admonition as he took the reins at Mizzou … “I sure hope he has a good compliance officer”.  Alas, he didn’t.  Used to flashing a Duke business card, Quin jumped right into the “fast lane” competing for Top 50 kids; but unlike at  Duke, Quin, the rookie Head Coach, specialized in “character question marks”.  It’s well documented that the good ship Quin hit its fatal iceberg when it ran into Ricky Clemons.

    Ricky had WARNING – DANGER – DON’T TOUCH written all over him but Quin was “bullet-proof” or so he thought.  And here the UNC connection enters in.  The Missouri University system was modeled after North Carolina’s as crafted by the legendary Bill Friday.  The President of their state-wide system is now Elson Floyd who is a native of Henderson NC (one of BobLee’s favorite towns!).  About everything Elson knows, he learned at Chapel Hill, and was himself a few years earlier a candidate for the UNC Chancellor job eventually handed to a certain Nebraska organist.  So UNC’s Elson landed in Columbia MO with Duke’s Quin.  First thing ya know …

    Ricky Clemons, as everyone predicted, quickly ran afoul of the local law and ended up assigned to Pres Floyd’s mansion as his half-way house.  Suuuure, that happens all the time – right?  One night Ricky took Pres Floyd’s ATV (??) for a joy-ride around the grounds of the Presidential estate, all the while wearing his Martha Stewart “we know where you are 24/7” ankle bracelet.  That got really messy.  

Anybody know if UNC Prez Ersky has either a parolee OR an ATV at his Prez Mansion in Chapel Hill?  Just curious

    While Ricky was a trustee at the Presidential manse, Elson’s wife, Mizzus Floyd, decided to counsel him on his dating habits.  Ricky, a frisky young African-American stud, had a taste for ‘white girls”.  That’s no biggie in our enlightened society, until Frau Floyd publically advised Ricky to “stick to your own kind”.  She herself being a Phylicia Rashad lookalike. That pretty much meant every possible demographic segment of the Mizzou family was now pissed as hell at Quin, Ricky, The Prez, and Frau Floyd  … and Paige Laurie and her idiot Billionaire Daddy were still awaitin’ in the wings.  The Jatyhawkers over in Lawrence were enjoying all this foolishness a whole lot more than they enjoyed Quantrell’s Raid in the 1860s.  … Comparison = how NCSU and Dook folks so enjoyed “Matt Mess”.

   NCAA investigators were coming into Columbia so frequently they bought a condo figuring it was cheaper than renting hotel rooms.  That’s a bad sign if you are an AD.

Longtime SSays readers will recall the bizarre saga of “celebutante” Paige Laurie and her idiot billionaire Daddy and the naming/unnaming of the new Mizzou arena.  Idiot Daddy Laurie was the one guy in Columbia that hated Ol’ Norm so he cozied up to Quin.  That malevolent mating pretty much “did it” for Quin along with a rapid succession of losses, at the Not-Named-Paige Arena, to schools so obscure that Dick Vitale has never heard of them.

   Billionaire Idiot Daddy got the “billionaire” part by marrying Sam Walton’s niece. Locals say he was born with the “idiot” part.

I had an over-under bet with my Columbia MO insider whether Quin would survive the season. I figured when he survived being pelted with popcorn BY HIS OWN FANS after a December loss to Illinois that he might make it.  Alas, a current 6 game losing streak spelled c-u-r-t-a-i-n-s for Prince Armani.  

Quin takes hemlock and before his whistle assumes room temperature the hootin’ and hollerin’ had begun over on Franklin Street.  IF Quin Snyder’s UNsuccess as a Div-1A  Big Time Head Coach PROVES the clay-feet of the entire Krzyzewski Empire and Coaching Tree.  Then OBVIOUSLY … Buzz Peterson’s and Matt Doherty’s recent UNsuccesses as Div 1A Big Time Head Coaches signify likewise for Ye Olde Legend’s Empire and Tree … oops ???

We offer this more reasoned retrospective.  While it’s true that one area coach DID make the transition directly from assistant to successful “Big Time” college HC (aforementioned Lawrence “huckleberry”) it is a prodigious career jump fraught with peril.  Most guys need a transition step.  Tommy Ammaker and Mike Brey used Seton Hall and Delaware as stepping stones amd are doing just fine.

Both Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas rushed forward to declare their support of the embattled Gucci-shod Prince.  No word yet from Quin’s ex-father-in-law “Suitcase Larry” Brown.  Larry has been known to make room on his bench for out-of-work ACC-pedigreed coaches so who knows … at least Quin’s designer wardrobe would work better at MSG.


    Whats with Jimmy Carter?  One never says “so and so” is THE biggest embarrassment to Jimmy’s political party.  Howie Dean and Teddy have a headstart on him but Mr Peanut From Plains is a contenda. Jimmy is feisty. obviously has no shame, and is apparently quite senile … a tough combination to beat.

Unable to finagle a live mic during the Alito Hearings, he had to wait for a National Funeral. Mrs King obliged.  Sharing a dais with Reverend JJ you better bring your “A game” and Jimmy sure did. Being “President” is a tough job.  Jimmy is not the first nor last to flunk that test, but DAMN  … “Ex-President” is the easiest gig on the planet. Jimmy has managed to screw that up too.

Best excuse I’ve heard for Jimmy’s shameful display was “he musta hit himself in the head with a hammer building one of those “habitat” houses.  That or “Bert Lance made him do it.”  Who woulda figured that Brother Billy would turn out to be “the smart one”?

    Ann “The Blond Bomber” Coulter also said something she shouldn’ta last week … but she’s not a former President.


    Me and The Mizzus had a rare treat Friday night.  We were VIP guests for an invitation-only confab with Winston Churchill’s grandson Winston Churchill.  A “cool dude” who you get the impression has “been around” and know some stuff about world events.

He says look for the Israelis to “take care” of Iran’s nuclear threat regardless of what anyone else does.  Since Iran has vowed to “blow Israel off the face of the earth” it stands to reason there might be a sense of urgency from Tel Aviv.  Pissing off The Mossad has never proven healthy for anyone who’s ever done it.

We not only heard from Mr Churchill but also from Jon “BeoWolf” Sanders who was honored as “Knight of The Right”.  Like a modern day, Lazarus, young BeoWolf rose from his sick bed so as not to disappoint his adoring public.  

Afterwards we swapped lies and silliness with other assorted media notables … WPTF’s Kevin Miller and Bill Lumay, The N&O’s token “right-wing firebrand” columnist Rick Martinez, and John Locke Foundation journalists George Leef and Donna Martinez.  A good time was had by all.


 Swagger’s Stumper

She was “Schultzie” for Bob Cummings, but gained greater fame 

as Housekeeper for what “bunch”?  


   Bill Guthridge (no “e” in the middle) … Brad Daugherty (not Dougherty or Doherty or Lord knows other illiterate aberration)

   Many of you recall that Mizzus and my willingness to let Kid go to Mizzou was  predicated on Quin NOT being there.  What influence did BobLee have in all this?  Moi?… … speaking of “Quin” wonder if “Brady Quinn’s sister” ever got her Playboy gig?

   We finished our fifth Matthew Reilly rip-roaring adventure novel.  # 1 and #5 were “off the chart” GOOD.  After you’ve finished 7 Deadly Wonders we’ll tell you how to attack the others.  Sequence is all important.  How good was this latest one ??? …. we copied one segment where “Scarecrow” and “Knight” were discussing being “warriors” and we plaqued it on the wall of BobLee’s Inner Sanctum. 

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