… It was a short meeting. … Al Campanis, Jimmy The Greek and Ben Wright over a plate of “feet and crow” in a sports bar in the Elysian Fields … Al spoke first … “Does Amato win our award this week” … The Greek replied “Absolutely … now can we get an order of fried mozzarella sticks?” …. and with that Chuck Amato’s latest squeaky blurt on “Partial qualifiers” entered the record books…. Chuck made a silly mistake that most first year coaches make …. in his seventh year…. And BobLee gets sports goose bumps at Busch Stadium and a good life lesson from Kid.
“Elysian Fields” is a mythological stopover for dead folks before they check into Heaven or Hell. We didn’t know Al, Jimmy or Ben well enough to suppose where they might be eternally.
96.3% of Earth’s population have read or heard Chuck Amato’s squeaky blurt out earlier this week about how unfair it was that he had to play Akron ”because they get to recruit ‘dumber kids than we get to recruit’ and everyone knows that the dumber kids are always the better athletes ….” We are paraphrasing Chuck just a bit but not much. … do ya suppose that is a motto posted in the Seminole locker room? The principal of Killian High School just cancelled Chuck’s hall pass.
Among the incredibly brilliant statements we make here (3rd team O-lines, etc) lets recall two relative to football head coaches …
The two skills most often deficient in a first time head coach are:
- Effectively manage his peers (aka “assistant coaches”)
- Learning not to make incredibly stoopid comments into a live microphone.
A casual observer of the head coaching career of Chuck Amato would say he might be behind the curve in at least two of these two areas. Burly John isn’t exactly at the head of the class in developing a stable and effective staff but BJ has gotten much better at not saying REALLY stoopid stuff into a microphone … the next few weeks will reveal if his “our program has turned the corner” comment was of the “shouldna said” variety. But for sure Chuck’s Akron stuff was.
Lets revisit the State v Akron game for a second. This was suppose to be a State W … not a wipe out but a convincing victory against a little-known “mid major” program from a city known for making tires. State trailed most of the game … rallied in the 4th quarter … then could not stop a desperation last minute drive ending in a “controversial” TD dive by Akron.
That’s fairly simple albeit disappointing right there … but this is NC State and nothing is ever quite what it seems at NC State …. there is ALWAYS a “but”.
Within 24 hours the Wuff Internet was ablaze with a still frame that certainly seemed to show the Akron ballcarrier’s elbow on the C-Finley turf outside the goalline … which would negate the winning score. NOTE: Jim Knight was NOT working the game and had an airtight alibi. ACC Supervisor of Officials Tommy Hunt (“a UNC alum” according to the black helicopter Wuff crowd … duh, of course) said “We saw it differently from all the angles we looked at” and then opened a blank envelope filled with unmarked bills and a cryptic note “good job Tommy” signed by Fred Barakat.
I’m not qualified to judge photos. I still wonder how the face of Jesus got in the smoke from “the Twin Towers” after 9/11. I do, however, love watching discombobulated fans’ heads explode be they red or blue exploding heads … so this all made for some pretty good discombobulated fan watching.
This latest transgression clearly proves that all elements of the sporting world are indeed in collusion against NC State. Why that is I cannot figure out. Maybe its all that UNC influence “everywhere” or maybe its simply that referees, sportswriters, conference commissioners, the NCAA, SI, ESPN, The United Nations, and all the ships at sea just “don’t like the Wolfpack”.
The “elbow photo” cannot be appealed but will exist for the next 173 years in Wolfpack Lore along with eye witness accounts of Dudley Bradley hitting “The Glide” with a tire iron as he mugged him at mid court in Reynolds about 20 years ago.
But elbow or no elbow … all that lost significance when Chuck did his discourse on “how do you expect me to compete when I can’t recruit really dumb players like Akron can …?”
At the precise moment Chuck said “NC State” and “really dumb athletes” in the same sentence the guys over at StateFansNation all muttered “oh no, here comes another Chris Washburn 475 reference …” and of course they are correct. References to Todd Fuller somehow just don’t quite fit. I can’t speak for other rogue journalists but I am NOT going to mention Charles “Amphibious” Shackleford in this column. ….. we also were going to be THE ONLY website on the planet NOT to run this classic picture of Chuck … but we simply have to now.
The bigger question is whether Grey Blackwell should update his N&O video.
Yes, Chuck was factually accurate (except that Akron lost their bowl game) but to whine that he labors under too stringent academic shackles sounded incredibly silly … OK, with “that voice” anything Chuck says “sounds silly” but he can’t help that Joe Pesci voice … he can help what come out of his mouth however .… this should not have.
Simply losing to Akron in the heartbreaking fashion he did should NOT have thrown Chuck into “frantic stupid statement mode”. That it did would indicate that Chuck is indeed “in the hot seat” and feeling it. If Chuck gets spanked in Hattiesburg can we expect another lollapalooza from him next week? I bet yes.
Some have suggested that Lee Fowler should have reprimanded him. That will never happen. I do not believe a public reprimand is called for … but a “have you completely LOST YOUR MIND?” memo or voice mail might be in order. I have no reason to think that happened either.
If we assume all twelve members of Little Johnny $wofford’s New ACC are under the same unduly restrictive academic restrictions … then how do Bobby, Larry and Frank manage to field successful programs? Burly John and algroh lost “quite a few” of their “highly ranked recruits” to academic issues. Burly John’s Offensive Messiah – aka “Forty Point Frank” came from Fresno State. Fresno has never been called “the Harvard of wherever the hell in California it is”. Hell, Fresno State has never been called “the Wake Tech” of wherever it is.
I wondered at the time Frank was hired if BJ mentioned about that “on path to graduation” thingie.
You long time SSays readers know that I totally agree with Chuck that the most successful “big time” college football teams are indeed stocked with the “less academically inclined” members of their respective student bodies. The trick that successful coaches master is to sneak’em in under the SAT/NCAA wire and then bounce’em around useless “eligibility electives” until their eligibility expires, they blow out a knee, or they leave early “for the league”.
Every Spring every coach gathers up his handful of walk-ons that actually went to class and graduated … and takes them and the 2-3 “scholarship players” that were determined to be actual “student athletes” and takes a cap & gown photo by a campus landmark. The rank and file alums see that photo and grin really big and think arrogant thoughts about themselves.
WOW … did I have a MEGA-COOL DAY on Thursday. As y’all know I get to go to lots of neat places and do lots of neat stuff … standing on the 1st tee at Augusta … pit row at Bristol … sideline at The Orange Bowl … use the little boys room in Clota’s trailer at the Clubhouse Tailgate … you name it and BL Swagger has likely been there. But today still hit my “Wow Button”.
I appear at a number of fantasy camps for Bank Of America … NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR … BOA invites 30-50 VIP clients to the venue and they get to run around and do Walter Mitty / George Plimpton stuff on the actual field. Tuesday I was at Texas Motor Speedway for BOA … and Thursday I was standing at Home Plate at Busch Stadium (see picture).
I’m not a die hard Cardinal fan or anything but this one did give me goosebumps. Former Redbirds Scott Terry, Ken Reitz, Rick Horton and a few others put the BOA VIPers thru their paces. The St Louis Cardinals may be THE best run organization in baseball. Their love affair with their Heartland fans is legendary and easy to understand why.
How “moved” was I? Before I left I visited their “Fan Store” and bought me an OFFICIAL red Cardinal New Era cap. It won’t surprise a one of us to learn I have “a big head” (duh!) … 7 7/8 … and they had one in my size. I think I’ll wear it Saturday night in Kenan. I’ll wear a blue shirt so “the real fans” won’t get pissed … of course if we lose to the Paladins again I’m pretty sure my choice of headgear won’t much matter to anyone.
I drove over to Columbia to check on Kid at Mizzou. She is doing SOOOOO well I just can’t explain it. She had her first “college test” and got a 105 ! … Highest grade in the class! She just “really likes it” at Mizzou. I figured out her secret is her totally non-cynical approach to life’s daily challenges. She does not get caught up in dissing and complaining about all the authority figures and numbnutz that all of us have to deal with in life. She just “deals with it” and moves on. She has her space just the way she wants it in her dorm room … she makes her organizational lists and her daily / weekly “to dos” and she holds herself accountable for her own daily happiness. I take little to no credit for her maturity … Mizzus was her primary mentor. I just tried not to confuse her too much … both of us apparently succeeded. We most definitely “gave her wings”…. and she is soaring!
All the above having been said … she “still needs her Daddy”. We made a Target run and spent $160 on dorm room stuff she “had to have”.
I got a note today from good buddy Dave Glenn. Dave references moi on occasion on his show having nicknamed me “Mr Truth”. A quite irate WuffLoon took exception to my F-Bomb Alley comments and felt it necessary to remind Dave and “Mr. Truth” that Chapel Hill also has “issues”. “Irate WuffLoon Named Dave From Erwin” apparently is not aware of my rather frequent saturation bombings of “quaint Franklin Street” and “the genetic mutant farm” known as Carrboro.
You may recall my recent suggestion that all it would take to straighten out Carrboro was “a small nuke and a bulldozer”. Another well-known media celebrity said that was my best line in the past three weeks.
Yes “Irate WuffLoon Named Dave From Erwin” Chapel Hill / Carrboro does indeed have “issues” relative to Combustible Hondas and Hooligan Halloweens and Drive-by Apple Chill shootings. PLUS Henderson Street Psychos PLUS “Non-Terrorist” SUV drivers in the Pit. When I am annointed Emperor Of The Triangle I’m going to behead all those hooligans too. And lets not forget all those fine felons in Derm … actually let’s DO forget them just this once.
As Dave and Joe Ovies and “Mr. Truth” all took great pains to point out … the hooligan behavior in F-Bomb Alley is hardly unique to NC State. If UNC had a similar festival parking situation on Gameday, hooligans would try to infest it too. As it is … they crawl out from under their rocks at every crowd gathering they can.
In a related story … a Hokie fan got coldcocked by some moron at He’s Not Here last Saturday … BFD, who HASN’T been attacked by at least one moron at He’s Not Here.
Hooligans are an ever-present reminder that “the Guillotine” was not necessarily a bad thing.
What team nickname was given to the Cardinals in the 30s?
BLS sez … it is impossible to drive a car in heavy traffic, talk on a cellphone, change a CD, and eat a hard taco all at the same time … but it’s always exciting to try.
David Caruso left NYPD Blue thinking he needed “a new direction”. He now admits he was darn lucky to get a 2nd chance with CSI Miami.
Our last column got linked somewhere and bazillions of new readers met Mr Swagger for the first time. No indication if Cameron Sexton’s parents were among those new readers … or Dawn Bunting!
BLS has been “on the road” all week … ready to get me and all my “lotions and gels” back home. And even Mizzus has been traveling … on EIB1 to “the Southern Command Center” … how cool is THAT!
Want to e-mail BobLee?