WWBDD …. Pied Pipers & Pale Riders

October21/ 2007

…. Nature abhors a vacuum and sports fans abhor no “raging controversy”.  While for real wildfires rage in SoCal, an imaginary one threatens to engulf the Tar Heel Nation…. WWBDD – WhatWillButchDavisDo …. Your favorite smoke jumping Internet Legend to the rescue …. and a Chancellor update. ….. AND A REALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT TOO!

The REALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT is at the bottom.  First we have to deal with silliness like Pale Riders and Chancellors …..

I am writing this particular column on several levels.  BobLee’s Inner Circle Buddies (The Elite Republican Guard ?) can guess where I’m going after three notes …. Casual Drive-By Readers will only “get” about half the nicknames and tongue-in-cheek references …. And the “blood-sucking newbees” who will be drawn to this particular column by an unquenchable lust for more rumor fodder (think vampires to a blood bank) will be even more confused than they normally are.  In other words …. Just another day on the Internet frontier where the WAG is king and “facts” get trampled to smithreens by the stampeding Oompa Loompa mob.  (Note: WAG = Wild Ass Guess …. Oompa Loompas = Oompa Loompas / Shineolas)

Lets set the scene …..  I LIKE BUTCH DAVIS.  I’ve met him briefly on several occasions.  I have the personal e-address of “Pamela” his most trusted aide de camp who guards the corner “holy of holies”.  I’ve met and conversed with most of his greatest staff in the history of college football.  I am quite impressed with Team de Butch.  ….. (Note: If you thought “Greatest Staff Ever” was Marvelous Marv & Forty Point Frank you have been asleep for at least a year)

If my alma mater is hell-bent to play high stakes BCS poker, I think they have selected a quite acceptable individual to lead that effort.

Butch Davis is a nice guy.  Butch Davis is, I believe, what he appears to be and what he wants you to believe him to be.  Butch Davis is an experienced “big time” college head coach.  Butch Davis has “cred”. Butch Davis knows what it takes to win consistently among the elite programs of College Football 2007.  There are several dozen “Butch Davis types” in America today.  One of them is currently the Head Football Coach at The University of North Carolina. ….. that being said …..

Butch Davis IS A MERCENARY!  A Pale Rider,  A Pied Piper.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being any of these, unless you really think he came to Chapel Hill because of the lasagna at The Rat ….. he didn’t. 

There is a very valid reason I nicknamed him The Pale Rider when he was hired eleven months ago.  I knew this day (and days yet to come) was coming.  The Clint Eastwood character was hired by desperate townspeople to rid them of a scourge.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  The PTBs around UNC decided that competing at the top levels of college football was their objective.  They learned the hard way that promoting assistants and well-meaning burly prodigal sons was not gonna achieve that objective …. so they melted down their gold teeth, sold the beach house, raided the kids college fund and hocked grandpa’s gold pocket watch and grandma’s sterling silver tea set to lure a pale rider to “the southern part of heaven”.  

Butch The Pale Rider did not need the job.  Pale Riders with Butch’s cred are always in demand.  There are ALWAYS desperate townspeople willing to sell their souls and sterling silver tea sets to solve a perceived dilemma.   The burgermeisters of Hamelin were of such desperation when they sought the services of a certain piper.

Do you really think that pied piper of folk legend came to Hamelin because it had a really cool Old Well or because a chubby philandering TV correspondent had once lived there?  Nope ….. Pied Pipers and Pale Riders are the ultimate realists profiteering in a world full of starry-eyed sentimentalists.  (Yikes …. Yet another BobLee money line phrase for the ages!).

The cardinal rule when hiring a pale rider is LIVE UP TO YOUR END OF THE BARGAIN.  Rest assured that he took really good notes when the deal was struck.  Pale Riders circa 2007 hire really sharp agents with really sharp pencils for including fine print in “the deal”.  Fine print ALWAYS trumps quaint streets, sticky-floored beer bars, winsome nubile coeds, and obscure local legends named Choo Choo ….  The two phrases most often misunderstood in deals between Pale Riders and desperate townspeople are Whatever It Takes” and “In Due Time.

Among the Pale Rider Fraternity they laugh about “…. but our school is special because ____ “.  Yeah right, you have some silly old campus landmark …. you have pretty girls …. you have a list of B-list whozits that matriculated there …. and some fabled yahoo named Doak or The Gipper or Slingin’ Sammy or The ItalianStallion.  Or Flutie or ChooChoo or Roman.  Or Ace …. The Tyler Rose …. Bullet Bill …. The Juice …. or The Gallopin’ Ghost blah blah.  Pale Riders roll their eyes and pinch themselves to stay awake when the old grads start yackin’ about “the old glory days here at Whatzamatta U”. ….. burp, gurgle.

Pale Riders care about fat cats digging into their deep pockets to continually UPGRADE FACILITES …. EXPAND STADIUMS …. And Admissions Departments that have well-used rubber stamps that say APPROVED.  When the money stops flowing, the pale riders start packing.

What part of that does anyone not understand?

Pale Riders are very well-paid to produce Ws.  Not moral Ws …. Not almost Ws …. Not Ws in the sweet by and by.  Not build character or turn boys into men.  Patience in the pale rider world is, at best, the first year.  By the first game of his second second, it is LATELY as in what have you done for us lately?  Nice guys, burly/squeaky voiced prodigal sons, sons of ____, guys named Urban …. Whatever.  By Year Two it’s WIN or someone get a rope.

To paraphrase Lee “Buck” Trevino …. Three species who won’t survive …. (1) dogs who chase cars …. (2) PGA pros who putt for pars …. (3) Pale Riders who don’t win Early and Often.  To win early and often in high stakes big time college football every Pale Rider needs horses ….. not Rhodes Scholars, not boy scouts, not future dentists, accountants, and junior partners in daddy’s law firm.  Horses are fast, strong and highly aggressive meat on the hoof.  If the horses can read a stop sign, count to ten without using their fingers or toes and know that Moby Dick is NOT an STD that’s nice but not necessary.

My alma mater decided last November to ante up for a seat at the high stakes table in BCS poker.  Like the VIP backroom at The Bellagio, if you sit down to play you better have a fat wallet on your hip and be able to withstand losing every penny of it.  A card laid is a card played in this game.  If you wanna bet the 401-K or next month’s rent no one much cares but cryin’ and whinin’ ain’t allowed.  All bets are settled on-site.  When you are tapped out, someone else takes your seat.  It’s cold …. It’s cruel …. It’s not for the lily-livered or the naïve sentimentalists.

In BCS Poker …. Winners wear rings …. and Losers keep calling Chuck Neinas.  Not everyone wins, but sooner or later everyone loses.

1,059 words and I haven’t told you WWBDD yet.  Well actually I have but it is in code.  Butch Davis WILL LEAVE and when he does he will still have no clue who Hinton James was nor will he have ever read Look Homeward Angel.  Neither Bill Dooley, Dick Crum, Mack Brown nor Burly John ever read LHA either for what that’s worth.

BUT …. I do not think Butch Davis will leave THIS YEAR.  If Houston Nutt had self-destructed eleven months ago, Butch (along with Blake, The Beav, et al) would be in Fayetteville AK right now but he didn’t and Butch isn’t.

John Tyson and his Razorback pals can outbid Mo Koury, Paul Fulton and Friends but it won’t come to that.   Make no mistake about it, Butch Davis IS a hired gun.  Think Jack Palance in Shane if you want a more ominous metaphor than the Pied Piper.

For the Loon Faction that still can’t get over Mack “lyin’ to dem boys”, Butch “did it” in Coral Gables and he very likely will “do it” at UNC some day.  Take all that flatulent crap about Chapel Freakin’ Hill being so special (cough, cough) and stuff it up Sweet Baby James’ butt.  Don’t miss a deposit to Butch’s swiss bank account and keep feeding the insatiable beast called “facility upgrades” and keep stamping APPROVED on every  blue chipper application and Butch will stick around. ….. until one day when Butch will leave. ….. and that day WILL COME without much warning ……. but not this year.

I’m saving this column for an annual reprint.  Loonies going bat-sh*t over such issues is as predictable as mildew in a damp basement.   My favorite part of Loon Hysteria is when “they” start dissecting every syllable of every word in every sentence that the party of the first part said or meant to say.  Slice every word into micro-layers and run it thru a “lyin’ recognition” detector.  Meanwhile “lets go lynch that damn Dickie Baddour jest in case …”

Even though most of you know better you will continue to lurk on those infernal cyber sewers and then e-mail me that “you’re hearing” such and such and so and so.  I got over 50 calls / e-mails on WWBDD in the first 24 hours of this latest Oh Me, Oh My …..  When you call in panic, I will ask for a credible source and you will sheepishly admit it came from your idiot brother-in-law who works down at the rendering plant with Little Cletus from Lillington. .…. Oh, I checked the Reliable Sources Directory and there is not one “Eddy” on the list.  For what that’s worth.


Chancellor Search Update ….. Nelson’s Gang has hired a high-dollar headhunter.  That is a VERY GOOD idea for several reasons.  Not the least of which is because the N&O is having a hissy fit over it.  Anything that causes a hissy fit with that gaggle of pusillanimous nabobs is a VERY GOOD IDEA.   The Op/Ed wuzzles at the N&O have no experience whatsoever at anything except flatulating their arrogance to anyone desperate enough to care to read it.  I do it for free on their website so you don’t have to. ….. using a headhunter for a stalking horse in such a matter is classic Ersky / Nelson MO.  The headhunter has back channel sources to do due diligence that will prevent some smooth-talking uber-loon from silver tonguing his/her way into South Building.

A familiar name being floated is Gene Nichol, former UNC Law Dean and current prez at William & Mary.  Gene is a uber flaming Lib of EPIC proportion.  It was Gene Nichol that made UNC a national embarrassment with his slimey deal w/ Apple Cheeks to finance his campaign HQ under the pretense of The Poverty Center. …. At W&M, Gene’s most notable resume enhancements are (1) trying to outlaw Christianity and (2) allowing a full frontal aberrant sex fair on the W&M campus.  Needless to say, Gene Nichol would be welcomed back with glee by “the Carrboro Crowd”.  Just say “No”, Nelson.

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