Zupp & Duffy From The Grave

January18/ 2000

… It’s not like they have real “credibility”.  One of’em INVENTED THE HUDDLE and COACHED RED “FREAKIN” GRANGE … and the other one coached in “The Greatest Game Ever In The Pre-ESPN Era”.  Both Bob Zuppke and Duffy Daugherty knew Diddley, Squat, Jack Sh*t AND Bo about Football and America loooong before there were “gurus” and Shineolas. … Tar Heels are feelin’ quite sassy today  ….  And BILLY RAY PENNY IS DEAD!

As the sun rose over the Eastern horizon this AM, it looked down upon a Tar Heel Nation as content with itself as Kevin Federline after his divorce settlement.  Yesterday was a Double Twin Spin Solid Gold Five Star Bonfire-Jumpin Lallapalooza … yep.

Like K-Fed, my fellow Tar Heels are feeling quite sassy on February 8, 2007.  Life is Good.  The Pale Rider & His Posse scooped up a messa mega-stars unlike any signing day scoop-athon ever in the history of UNC football history.  The last time this much potential football talent committed to come to Chapel Hill was just after Uncle Sam whupped Adolph and Tojo over 60 years ago.  Choo Choo and Art are now Paulus and Marvin and Greg and Dwight and ….. …. Maybe.

… and a few hours later, Ol’ Roy took his Hopefully Now Fully Awaken Team over to Cameron Indoor to play another of those meaningless regular season games … yawn, burp, snooze … zzzzzzzz.  Despite a career game by Duke’s latest hollow-eyed McCauley Culkin-esque guard (Jon Scheyer),  Ol’ Roy drove those 8 legendary miles on 15-501 back home with a meaningless regular season W in his pocket.   Hopefully he avoided the Franklin Street bonfires and mini-mob who were celebrating yet another meaningless regular season game victory.  So meaningless that not even a sacrificial Honda was offered up to the basketball gods this time. …. what was it I read recently about delusional fans who go nutz celebrating meaningless regular season game wins over rivals ???? … oops.

I never claim to be a talent or tactical expert on sports.  My claim to fame is evaluating fan behavior.  But if Brandan Wright had some Rasheed Wallace nastiness in him, wouldn’t Ol Roy’s job be easier?  While The Kid From Poplar Bluff is engaging 3-4 opponents in 40-minutes of no-hold-barred Ultimate In-the-paint Street Fighting (giving as good as he gets, I must add) shouldn’t Wright be snatching every errant rebound on either end of the court?  …. Oh, I just LUV Wes Miller.  Not in a Rob Christiansen man-crush on Apple Cheeks sorta way but in a fan to over-achieving scrappy little walk-on sorta way.


NOTE:  Billy Ray Penny died on January 20.  Billy Ray was the graveyard shift manager at Chapel Hill’s venerable Time Out chicken/biscuit emporium in the 80s.  I never knew Billy Ray Penny because Time Out was not of my era.  I knew Porthole Rolls.  If you did your time at UNC in the 80s you probably knew Billy Ray Penny … he was one of the characters  that make a college town special.  Apparently Billy Ray Penny’s thing was dishing out Rickles-esque insults with his chicken biscuits. …. No doubt 80s frat boys and Granville Towers residents will read this and say yeah, I knew Ol’ Billy Ray … and then go back to whatever they do these days … a character in a college town.


    Bob Zuppke INVENTED THE HUDDLE (and the Flea Flicker) and coached THE GALLOPIN’ GHOST w/ The Fightin’ Illini from 1913-1941.  And Duffy Daugherty’s Michigan State Spartans battled Ara Parseghian’s Fightin’ Irish to the most famous tie in the history of college football back in the mid-60s.  Zupp had philosophical remarks known as Zuppkeisms. The seven best known are as follows.

  1. Never Let Hope Elude You; That is Life’s Biggest Failure
  2. The Greatest Athlete is One Who Can Carry a Nimble Brain To The Place of Action
  3. Moral Courage is the Result of Respect From Fellow Men
  4. A Good Back Should Keep His Feet at All Times and Never Lose His Head
  5. Men Do Their Best If They Know They are Being Observed
  6. Alumni are Loyal if a Coach Wins All His Games
  7. Advice to Freshmen: Don’t Drink the Liniment.

Duffy was famous for being named Duffy and for repeating many of Zupp’s famous sayings.

I just heard a Zuppke-ism recently that had me shouting HELLO! … BINGO! … who is this Nostradamus who summarized Today’s College Sports Scene so perfectly over 70 years ago.  Messrs Meyer, Tressel, Spurrier, Saban, Carroll, Brown et al and now even UNC’s own Butch and Ol’ Roy would all hold hands and say AMEN ZUPP AMEN indeed.

“The hardest part of being a coach is that 

you are responsible to irresponsible people.”

    This simple says it all quote appeared in a George Will column this past Saturday.  Will was writing about Univ Miami’s new Head Coach Randy Shannon and his views on what responsibilities a Head Coach should show to the young men he recruits to play for him.  Shannon is one of those from the mean streets to the corner office stories in sports.

Shannon is lamenting that while he will be evaluated almost totally by on-field success, he feels a higher calling to mentor the young men he recruits … that he has a much higher responsibility than simply preparing handfuls of them for The NFL.  How noble … How naïve.  Randy Shannon apparently realizes his naiveté but intends to conduct.himself so regardless.  I like Randy Shannon.

I have not met Butch Davis yet.  I read much of what most of you read plus I do get to chat with my network of for-real insiders.  My network of insiders are actually insiders … not Ken Browning’s barber you buy a beer for so you can claim you’re buddies.  I like what I am reading about Butch and his Posse of long time Butch Buddies.  I hope he wins a lot of games at Carolina.  I hope the games are exciting and it does not rain and is not too cold at most of the games.  I will probably see most of the games, home and away, in person because I like to do that and I can do that.  I also hope the players Butch recruits behave themselves both on and off the field … but I don’t really expect them to.  At least I hope Butch sets up a deal w/ CHPD so we don’t have to read about every indiscretion.

As we saw on Signing Day, Butch is now fishing in the same waters as the Big Football Schools.  Carolina has for the past 50+ years fished in the same waters as the Big Basketball Schools (because Carolina IS as big as a college basketball school can be) and done so quite successfully with only a modicum of unpleasant embarrassment.  Football is different from basketball.  With over-glorified basketball players, the primary concern is over inflated egos … with over-glorified football players one adds hyper-aggressiveness to the over inflated egos.  I hope Butch can control that.

Being The World’s Most Ethical Big Time College Football Coach rates right up there with being The World’s Tallest Midget or The World’s Nicest Dictator…. because that’s the way we’ve made it.

“… Responsible to Irresponsible People” … I do a little stage trick in my incredibly well-received BobLeeALIVE shows.  I make a contract with my audience.  I agree not to use profanity and not to discuss partisan political issues.  In return I ask that every member of my audience (1) have common sense … and (2) have a well-developed sense of humor.  I poll my audiences.  Do you have common sense and a well-developed sense of humor?  EVERY hand shoots up every time.  I’m not sure who is speaking to the constipated morons out there, but, Lucky Me, I’m just getting the cream of the crop of Blue Chip audiences … apparently.

Ask any self-admitted hard core partisan sports fan how they evaluate their coaches’ success.  You’ll get all the platitudes and homilies but except for the rare Wake Forest fan … its 95% BS.  Just Win Baby … Just Win … and it ain’t cheatin’ unless you get caught.

How do fans respond to student athlete misconduct incidents?  If it’s the rival school … GET A ROPE … they’re all a bunch of pervert thugs! … If it’s our boy scouts its POLICE OUT TO GET’EM … boys will be boys … marijuana should be legalized (at least for our kids).  … Responsible to Irresponsible People.

   Certainly I’m inured to the moronic dimwitted human hairballs on the boards.  Some of you need reminding so I remind you.  Those numbnutz while vocal to the extent you allow them to be by visiting their little cyber caves, really are not at the decision-making level yet.  Bob Zuppke and Duffy never envisioned that the squat and squawk crowd would hava any voice.  They knew about The Fat Cats.  Zupp and Duffy had Fat Cats even in their day.

Tar Heel fans cluck their tongues at Alabama Fat Cats and Tennessee Fat Cats and Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Southern Cal Fat Cats … and Tar Heel fans are doing backflips today because The Pale Rider has served notice he is now playing recruit poker with Big Time College Football Fat Cats.

Meanwhile TO’B and National Coach of The Year Jim Grobe are doing what they do.  Sorta kinda the same … but not really.  TO’B never harvested Blue Chip Stars at Chestnut Hill.  Mathias, arguably his most heralded Eagle, was a no-star who became a 1st Rounder.  Jim Grobe’s most heralded recruit, Ben Mauck, just left school without a full season of play, but with an ACC Championship ring.

Wuffs are perplexed.  Chuckie had convinced them that winning Signing Day was all that mattered, not those pesky Saturdays in the Fall.  After seven years, they finally saw through that.  TO’B and NCOY Jim Grobe will field very competitive teams EVERY year … somehow someway.  They’ll manage to coach’em up pretty well, I expect.  Meanwhile The Pale Rider is playing recruit poker with the Big Boys. ….. hummm!

Oh, amid all the star counting yesterday … did the phrase academically qualified come up?  YIKES!  … DRAT!  That AGAIN!

Toto, I don’t think we’re at Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Fresno State anymore …  … huuummmm … uh oh.

Methinks there will be some interesting days and seasons ahead … methinks.


Who was Duffy’s Head Hunting Linebacker in the 10-10 Tie w/ Ara ???


    The Tar Heels who wore The Helmet W/ The Horseshoe in Balmer were Don McCauley, Ken Huff, Robert Pratt and Donnell Thompson.

   Down in Texas, my friend Paul is agrinnin’ ear to ear over this column.  This one is for you my friend!

   BobLee will be in Carmichael tonight (Thurs) watching The Tar Heel Tadpole lead Sylvia’s ladies into battle agin’ the evil razor totin’ skanks from West Derm.  I‘ll have a great burger at The Loop first w/ Prince Albert, Danny, and The Henderson Hottie first.  

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