The Prosser Problem

January17/ 2000

… John Swofford saw this problem coming when Skip Prosser was hired, but, like most of us do, he procrastinated hoping the “problem” would resolve itself.  Of course, that never happens.  Now The New ACC has an unprecedented mega Mess to deal with.  A much bigger problem than unbalanced schedules and long bus rides to Boston for chick field hockey teams.  In 50 years there has not been a dilemma on the scale of this one … (loooong damn article!)

Run through the list … McGuire, Case, McKinney, Bubas, Ye Olde Legend, Maravich, The Olde Lefthander, Holland, Sloan, Valvano, Odom, Cremins, Barnes, Williams and, of course, Michael Krzyzewski.  What do all these men have in common?

(1)     They were/are “successful” (broad definition) in coaching ACC basketball teams over the past 60 years.

(2)     They had reasonably obvious physical abnormalities and/or personality defects that made it so simple to “hate them with the burning heat of a 1,000 desert noon day suns”.  Small children, Benedictine nuns, and even Tickle Me Elmo dolls were able to work up venomous passion against these men with just the slightest provocation.

But not with Skip Prosser.  

 No one has come up with a sure-fire Skip-Hate incendiary device.

 Hey, wait a minute you say.  What about Les Robinson and even Herb Sendek?  Refer to qualification #1 above. … moving right along.   

   Skip is soooo “under the radar” that his immediate success at Wake Forest went undetected for his first several years.  He came to Wake from Xavier.  Xavier?  A school starting with an “X” … really!   Other than Horace “Bones” McKinney and “maybe” Dave Odom, who cares who coaches at Wake Forest?  Carl Tacy, Bob Staak, even Billy Packer was on the bench for a cup of coffee in the late 60s.  

   Skip has gone and done it now.  Sure the Deacons have beaten the Tar Heels before.  Balls hit overhanging scoreboards, guys named Randolph go unconscious, Charlie Davis, Skip Brown, Rod Griffin, Rodney Rogers, Frank Johnson, Tim Whatshisname, even a fella named Len Chappell way back when, all had their “win over Carolina” as their sports thrill EVER.  But no Wake team has ever been favored over a Top Five rated UNC team and beaten them.  To do so would require the Deacons to be ranked in the Top Four and, well, “pigs flying to Hell to ice skate” is more likely.

   Before we discuss the recent “32 out of 32” dismantling of Ol’ Roy’s Juggernaut Express, lets recall just 13 months ago in the most recent “greatest ACC game ever played”.  Yeah, Tom Burleson, Len Elmore, etc get real.  The game you remember was back in short pants and “no dunking” days.  That triple overtime mega-thriller in Ye Olde Legend Dome was “one for the ages” and Skip cut down the nets (well, he could have, but that would have be ostentatious … and Skip is not ostentatious).  And there’s THE PROBLEM.  Skip has No Negatives … nada!

   ACC Basketball Coach Hate-ometers are usually calibrated by either a man’s’ “odd physical features” or “extreme personality disorders”.  Prominent proboscis have been popular (ne’ Unpopular) over the year.  Misters Smith, Valvano, and K were/are hated, defiled, cussed, and ridiculed for their “big noses” … among 28 other unseemly traits … actually 47 other nasty traits and counting with The Polish Prince of West Derm.

   Lefty Driesell was bald and prone to overly-exhuberant sideline histrionics.  He followed in the tradition of the aforementioned Horace “Bones” McKinney.  In addition to a hairless pate and sideline stomping, Lefty-Hate was also fed by “the inadvertent quote”.  His “UCLA of The East” quote when he came to Maryland will surely be carved on his tombstone if “the old lefthander” ever does buy the farm.

   A fascinating sidenote w/ Lefty … in 1966 he came within a freckle on a frog’s hair of signing Charles Scott out of Laurinburg Institute.  Insiders still recall how Scott coming to Chapel Hill instead of going to Davidson may have been THE narrowest recruiting victory in the 35+ years of Ye Olde’s illustrious career.  Suppose that had happened.  Would it be Lefty Driessel’s picture between Rosa Parks’ and Harriett Tubman’s in the Civil Rights Pioneer Hall of Fame rather than Dean’s.  

Charlie goes to Davidson, joined the following year by Malloy, Cook, Huckle, Moser, and Kroll and Dick Grubar never goes to three Final Fours … and Lefty never ends up at Maryland … and Len Bias breaks Moses Malone’s scoring records at Cole Field House and then leads the post-Bird Celtics to 8 World Championships … wow, how did I get waaaay over there.

   So rival ACC fans hated Lefty because (1) he was bald … (2) he was emotional … (3) he somehow tricked Tom McMillan’s mamma … (4) some other stuff too. 

   Skip Prosser is not bald … doesn’t “stomp” or sing The Amen Chorus or even know Tom McMillan’s mamma.

   Really old ACC BB fans hated Everett Case and Frank McGuire in the 50s.  Ev Case was simply a crotchety old goat who looked like Freddie Kruger and recruited people from Indiana some of whom were Polish and some of whom shaved points in games.  Case also won a whole lot.  Beating other teams A LOT is probably #1 in why rival fans hate certain coaches.  It was Dean’s ace in the hole 880+ times. This might end up being Skip’s solution.

   Also in the 50s, non-UNC fans (and UNC AD Chuck Erickson) hated Frank McGuire.  He dressed too fancy and spoke with a Bronx Irish brogue.  Speaking like a Yankee never wins friends on Franklin Street (nor having a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker on your Hummer … but I digress).  McGuire won a National Championship in 1957 but never could tell the difference between eastern and western North Carolina barbecue, nor ever tasted either.  Even UNC fans turned on Frank when he moved to Columbia and brought in “the thugs from Hell’s Kitchen” (aka Roche, Ribock, Owens, Standard, Cremins, Joyce, Grosso, et al).

   Bobby Cremins being “a hated Gamecock” in his youth aged well into being a hated rival coach at GaTech in the 80s.  Stealing Kenny Anderson away from Dean helped fan the Cremins-Hate a lot too.  Cremins had prematurely white hair, always wore that SAME navy blazer, and also spoke “too Yankee”.  Skip Prosser speaks like a local news anchor in Council Bluffs and wears a variety of unobtrusive sport coats.

   Being easier to caricature always helps in ACC BB Coach-Hate.  K The Rodent has countless versions and counting.  Jimmy V was getting a nice unflattering collection going before his untimely departure.  Jimmy V also had the gift (“curse”) of being “funny” contrasting with Ye Olde who was a lot of things but “funny ha ha” was not one of them.

   Norm Sloan was always “Stormin’” and wearing those plaid sport coats.  Wonder if Chuck inherited Norm’s keen fashion sense?  Norm also had the “won a whole lot” reason to hate him.

   Terry Holland had Tom Smith’s Food Lion commercials haunting him … stole Big Ralph from Dean (stealing key recruits from Dean is a Top 5 reason to hate a coach … which a REALLY BIG reason for K-Hate) … and made that remark about naming his dog Dean.  Mainly he beat Dean too much in the Ralph years.

   Beyond physical deformities, the easiest way to establish an eternal Hate Legacy is via “The Incident”.  This one is called The Rick Barnes Method.  It’s harder to do with him living in the basement now, but “chesting up nose to nose” with Ye Olde Legend with sideline cameras rolling will send one to the Hate Hall of Fame in a jiffy.  

   Every Tar Heel youngan by age 5 knows two stories … (1) Rick Barnes called Dean Smith out in public … (2) Mack Brown “lied to da boys”.  For those incidents alone, both men have permanent bounties on their heads within one mile of the Old Well.  Coincidence that both ended up as Orangebloods in Austin ??? … There are No Coincidence in ACC BB … everything is predestined!

   Wonder if Skip could duke it out with Ol’ Roy?  Ol’ Roy is not The Diety that Dean became but he’s the closest we got right now.  

   That leaves us with Gary and Mike.  Gary “sweats like a whore in church” and throws more long range public F-bombs than anyone EXCEPT, of course, Mike.  “Sweating, Cussing, and winning a National Championship” guarantees Gary pretty permanent Hate-a-lots.

 …Why is Mike Krzyzewski hated by even more people than hate Dickie Baddour, Dick Paparo, Dick Vitale, and probably Dick “Night Train” Lane combined?  If you have to even ask that question you wandered into this website while looking for an Ashlee Simpson Nude Prom Pics site … keep on moving, this ain’t it.  Beyond his rodent-esque F-bombing, relationship building, fake back surgeries, and bogus Laker offers … Coach K has snatched about 20 key recruits away from Chapel Hill over the years … has already passed Ye Olde in “rings” … and in about 6 years will bring about the end of the world as we know it when he passes Ye Olde in total wins.  That WILL BE the day that Silent Sam sticks his musket in his own mouth and blows out the back of his head.

   OK … listen up Skip … either stop this consistent winning by building excellent teams with non-phenom recruits or you HAVE TO develop some sure-fire Hate elements … really quick.

  •     Dye that red hair Cremins white … 
  •    Get some of McGuire’s French cuffs and a Sloan ugly blazer … 
  •    Get a “Huckleberry” hound and name it “Roy” … 
  •    Work on your stompin’, sweatin’, and really loud cussin’…  
  •    Turn in Roy for bogus recruiting violations …
  •    “Moon” the Cameron Crazies…  
  •    Whine that “the media” gives you no respect and claim the refs are “out to get ya”.

…Yo Ron Wellman … while Skip is upping his Hate-alots to a level befitting his on-court success … you need to call a meeting with Arnold Palmer, Tim Duncan, Jay Haas, Ricky Proehl, Brian Piccolo’s widow, and whichever Reynolds heirs are still vertical and ante up ever how many millions it will take to keep Skip.  Jim Grobe is a nice over-achiever and all; but Skip Prosser could actually bring you a really impressive banner to hang in the rafters of LJVMC.  Just a suggestion … get on it!


Swagger’s Stumper

What “fraternal group” comes to mind 

with Clemson Basketball?

(old codger question)


    EVERYBODY knew Phylicia “Huxtable” Rashad married Ahmad “Bobby Moore” Rashad (now split, alas).  Phylicia’s sister, Debbie, married Laker guard Norm Nixon.  Rumor has it that when Ahmad became an active member of MJ’s party posse his days with Phylicia were numbered. 

   BobLee ALIVE was in Monroe on Wednesday.  Super Nice Folks who laughed at all the rights times.  First time EVER in Monroe and Union County … seems like a pretty nice place.

   Upcoming BobLee ALIVES in Henderson and in Rocky Mount in February.

   Does your civic club need a guaranteed attendance boost?  Contact TheGuys for Swagger’s availability.  Just one criteria … NO MORE CERAMIC MUGS! …  

[email protected]

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