Old Coaches, Bad Bounces…. Watermelon Wine

October13/ 2007

…. This has zilch to do with “watermelon wine” except I’ve always liked that song.  College Football ’07 is one quarter done and the long knives and long faces are appearing like toadstools after a summer rain. We will review a few points getting lost in the teeth gnashing and provide a primer for those of you planning to be Div 1 Athletics Directors one day.

Usually I play the role of “step back off the ledge.  It’ll be OK.”  Which, of course, it will but not soon enough for any of you …. Or for Butch, Blake and The Beav …. Or for Erskine or Meez or That Damn Dicky ……. or even the venerable Mo Koury.

Everyone connected with UNC (and NCSU) Football kinda optimistically figured each would be 2-1 right now.  Sure, the hop toad faction was counting on a 10-12 Ws and saunter to the BCS in New Orleans because of that whole Charles Kuralt, “beautiful Franklin Street”, Old Well sleeping giant crap.  Those people don’t count.

Both UNC and NC State have committed to a full Football make-over including losing significant dead weight.  Both are in those see-no-results “first weeks” of the diet and you are pissed that you still can’t fit in those old favorite jeans.  Normal human reaction – CERTAINLY.   Realistic – CERTAINLY NOT!

A characteristic of many in the lunatic fringe is “they’re fat”.  They lack the patience and gumption to stick with a weight loss / fitness regimen.  Don’t you be a stoopid fat loonie.  Stick with Butch and TO’B.  FWIW …. the grumbling and griping from both fan bases is gonna get much louder in the weeks to come before it begins to abate.   Expect knee-jerk letters to the DTH and Technician, goofy YouTubes, and the usual RPGs from the Lunsatic Fringe.  Coaches may change but fans never do.

Regardless of the obvious shoulda coulda woulda this play that play those damn refs blah blah UNC is 1-2 and headed into a gauntlet of four games with only one being less than a double digit underdog.  Since Miami is likewise “renovating” their storied program, how we fare that week will be determined by the prior two games coming up.

South Florida is not renovating its program as it is so new all the warranties are still in effect.  Not only did Choo Choo not play USF ….. he never even heard of it before he passed away.

Any Tar Heel fan not bracing him/herself for another heapin’ helpin’ of “humility” this season isn’t paying attention.  There’s more wandering in the wilderness yet to be done.  Div 1-A O-linemen, 1,000 yard running backs and nasty-tempered linebackers do not grow on trees or suddenly emerge from Navy Field in mid-October.  T.J. Yates will be throwing into much tougher coverages from now on.

You know that phrase about “rocket science” or “brain surgery”.  There’s a reason that “coaching football” is not used as “a really complicated vocation”.  Football “fundamentals” are, well, pretty “fundamental”.  Pudge Hefflefinger’s 3-point stance was pretty similar to Ken Huff to John Hannah to whichever 6’5” Buick with no neck is “in the trenches” today.  “Arm tackling” has never worked very well.  Most on-sides kicks are recovered by the receiving team.  A “deep snap” is a high risk maneuver regardless of how many times its practiced in practice.  “Holding” can be called on every play.  And …. THE most popular player on every team to the fans is “the back-up quarterback”.  The most despised and reviled man on any college campus is, of course, the Athletics Director …. But #2 is the Offensive Coordinator.  Unless the Defensive Coord is Dave Huxtable.  The biggest “idiot” is whoever is in charge of the “run outta the tunnel” music and/or “Jumbo”.  And, of course, referees and “the media” is against “your team”.  All of these are football “fundamentals”.

There are 1,000s of men in America who understand the “fundamentals” of football.  The “best” might be in high school or Division III “small colleges”.  The 120+ men who are “big time college football” Head Coaches need knowledge well beyond “stay low and deliver a blow ….. move your feet, move your feet ….. OSKIE OSKIE ….. and wide as the widest man, deep as the deepest man.”

“Success” in “Big Time College Football” comes down to three elements: 

(1) Talent on the hoof  

(2) Organization 

(3) Lucky Bounces 

   Two of those three are controllable.  The odds on the third seems to get much better if the first two are in place.

The missing factor for both UNC and NCSU for the past six years has been ORGANIZATION.  Two prodigal son Head Coaches locked and loaded with “want to” but who waited too late in life to develop the executive level skill sets to oversee and develop a “successful” big time program.  Those executive skills take time and patience to develop.  In situations where mistakes are not deadly.  Getting the keys to the corner office in your 50s with no opportunity to fine tune those administrative skills in less unforgiving fishbowls is a recipe for a pink slip.  Yes, Charlie The Hutt will get his pink slip at South Bend within two years.  Into his 3rd year now, Weiss is floundering just like Burly John and Chuckles did.

The Lunatic Fringe has no clue whatsoever about executive management skills as relates to sports.  Those numbnutz think it’s just talk a buncha beat-your-chest crap and tell everybody to “go long”.   Napoleon Dynamite, Pee Wee Herman and Al Bundy are not exactly CEO-material themselves nor able to recognize it.

Both UNC and NCSU have proven and tested CEOs at their football helm now.  Both Butch and TO’B will get their programs shipshape and successful in short-order …. But never short enough order for even mainstream fans …. Much less the lunatic fringe.

Tar Heel and Wuffs are standing in front of a micro-waves yelling for it to HURRY UP.  Two minutes is TOO LONG to wait for pop-corn damn it!  Yes, I yell at my micro-wave too.  I understand the impulse.

I’m hearing from many of you that you are “worried” about Butch’s recruiting because he doesn’t have a bunch of “verbals” from local Billy Blue-Chips.  Boys and girls …. Think about this …. You say you’re “nervous” because Burly John usually had a buncha in-state verbals by this time.  YET …. The talent level that Butch inherited from John’s early commit bounty cannot beat UVa or any other upper tier ACC program.

   What you Nervous Nellies are really saying is You Want BUTCH TO …. Do it like Burly John did it …. Boink – Thud – Kerplunk …. and likely get the results Burly John got.  Is that what you want?  When any of us are not real sure what we’re doing, we rely on “Hot Air & Hope to get us thru.  Is that what you really want? ….. Hot Air & Hope?

   Have ya thought about WHY UNC HAS SUCH A YOUNG TEAM …. DESPITE “those highly rated recruiting classes” you got all jazzed up about over the past five years?  Where are all those “blue chippers” ???

   Have you forgotten THE HARGRAVE FOUR X TWO …. Boink – Thud – Kerplunk.  

   Yee Haa …. “highly rated classes filled with EARLY COMMITS that were NEVER competitive in big time competition AND that were loaded with LOCAL IN-STATE RECRUITS !!!!! ….. a formula for success ????   Yeah, RIGHT!

   The Old Blue Bleeder could probably teach Butch how to sing Hark The Sound after games …. but I believe I’d let Butch build the team HIS WAY! …. OK?

   Real CEOs don’t “bleed” …… They LEAD! 

  (…. yes, I’ve already copyrighted that one) 

   At least Wuff fans are NOT saying …. Do it like Chuck did it (raid the Florida detention halls and the back alleys of Albemarle) and get what Chuck got. …. TO’B has a system that works for him.  He’s using it

Ya think MAYBE Butch is going for sweeter fruit higher up in the talent tree?  Ya think?   You might think your local fleet foot is All World and “the next Natrone” but he isn’t.   There are bigger, badder, faster, stronger “out yonder” and Butch and Blake will find’em.

Not that UNC’s lunatic recruiting addicts would know this BUT ….. real college football head coaches don’t get all jervous and nerky about “verbals” and “early commits”.  Butch will send the Go-Get’em Guys out tween now and January to “tree’em” …. Then Butch and Blake will go knock’em out of the trees and bring’em home to play.  This ain’t Butch & Blake’s First Recruiting Rodeo.  Just because none of you have ever seen it, doesn’t mean they are not really good at it.  They are. ….. and TO’B’s guys know how he wants it done.  It would probably make Butch & TO’B’s jobs easier if they have 6-7 Ws this season but “easy” isn’t what Butch (or TO’B) expected.

None of this reality slap makes watching your team lose any easier as you sit there grim and glum.  This week’s game is an entity unto itself.  Just don’t do and say really stoopid whiny crap about your school’s program ….. Don’t be a “fat stoopid Loonie”!  You’re better than that.  You’re all BobLee Buddies (Blue & Red).  You know better …. at least now you do.


 In the song “Watermelon Wine” what are the first two items?


    Many of you are worried for my safety after the haymaker I delivered against The N&O.  Don’t worry.  They are oblivious to anything but their own opinion.  Arrogance does that to you. …… just remember it’s NOT their political bias that heaps shame on them – its their arrogance.  The N&O is entitled to an institutional opinion.  But arrogance is a vice that is shameful.

   That Alabama v Arkansas game was a humdinger.  Nick getting fitted for a Bear suit.

   I’m offering a BobLee CD to the first one who sends me an idiot loon post blaming Dicky for hiring Butch instead of Steve Logan.

   As expected ….. bunches of you want to come along on my next country church outing.  OK ….. but remember to KEEP YOUR FORK.

   Peter Paul Pie is made from Peter Paul Mounds and Almond Joy.  That it shares the name of two apostles is a coincidence.

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