….Green or Purple?

football stadium crowd
December05/ 2007

We’re going to get “deep” today…. A socio-cultural angle on the Michael Vick Mess that has not been beaten to death.   BobLee links Todd Turner to Bobby Petrino in a one of its kind commentary on college sports…. A suggestion to Little Johnny on the ACCCG ….  And some other juicy “bon bons” to get you thru the day ….

Little Johnny Swofford is moving the ACC Championship Game even further away from 95% of any one who might ever care to attend it.  The ACCCG will be in Tampa for the next two years before moving to Charlotte for two years after that.  Blah blah blah ….. it will still have 30,000 actual paying people in the stands plus a bunch of local Boys & Girls Club kids with freebies.

Yo Little Johnny …. Here’s the “empty seat” solution to your problem.  Have the game at the home stadium of one of the participants.  Alternate it by Division so the site is decided pre-season.  As in “in 2008 the ACCCG will be at the home stadium of the Atlantic Division champion” …. In ’09 the Coastal Division champion, etc.  Allow the visiting team access to a minimum of 10,000 tickets for several days.

Boston College could not get a “good bowl” this year despite having a very good team because (Taa Daa) Boston College’s traveling fans are “seven guys named Moe in a mini-van and their pet squirrel named Flutie”.   Only 4-5 of the ACC schools “travel well”.  Make the tickets free and include coupons for a free Bojangles FRANCHISE and you still won’t draw 40,000 human beings.  Hell, even The Oprah can’t fill a neutral site for this “just for the $$$” silly extraneous game.


   What brings out the flaming hypocrite in sports fans quicker than playing “the race card”?

Mention “race” among any group larger than three people and the pavlovian response will include the colors “….. green or purple” as in “I don’t care if they are white, black, red, brown, GREEN OR PURPLE they should (insert pompous dictum) ….”.  “Green or Purple” ?????

I thought all the “purple people” were eaten by that one eyed, one horned flying whatjamagig back in the 70s?

Several weeks ago SI did a lengthy and insightful article on the Vick Case relative to “ghetto loyalty” and why “ditching the posse” is not as easy as us honkies from the cul-de-sac think it should be.  Go to your local library and read it.  The issue with Kansas FB on the cover.

The article did not excuse Vick or suggest that he is being persecuted because he’s black.  Those levels of commentary are left to small time media midgets in local/regional outlets (who wear funny hats and quote Fred Sanford a lot …).  What it focused on was the cultural chasm that exists between many of the performers in sports, especially football and basketball, (who are black) and the vast majority of the market audience (who are white).  Neither of whom know, or much care, what makes the other “tick”.

When Vick arrived in Atlanta all primed to be “Rhett Butler in corn-rows” he was advised by Andrew Young on how to maximize his potential impact and appeal to the community (and sports world in general).  Yes, the same Andy Young who just last week said “Bill Clinton has “been with” more black gals than Barack Obama has”.  Andy has a way with words.

Andy suggested country clubs, churches, neighborhoods, charities and local civic leaders who could assimilate Vick into Atlanta’s “polite” up-scale black society.  No major city in America has as a more influential “upscale black society” than Atlanta. According to Andy Vick ignored every one of his suggestions. 

Instead Vick followed the mold of 90% of high profile black superstars not named Michael Jordan or Tiger (OK, he’s Thai-mocha).  Vick simply took his deep-seated urban ghetto mindset and fueled it with gobs and gobs of Arthur Blank bucks.  To use a common analogy …. They took the black guy outta ‘the project’ but they never took ‘the project’ outta the black guy.

The SI article goes into great detail on the issue of “ghetto loyalty”.  Why it was very very difficult for a Michael Vick to separate himself from his hoodlum posse element.  The article describes how young kids with obvious athletic skills are identified early on by the street gangs and are ‘given a pass’ within the gang culture relative to earning their bones thru crime, drugs and other aspects of that lifestyle.  But that pass carries a you owe us clause with it.

The gang leaders are betting that the sports star can win the white man’s lottery and when he does his payback comes due.  When the big bucks start flowing, the posse moves in.  Alan Iverson was another classic example who coincidentally came out of a Tidewater Virginia ‘project’ too.

I’m not going to paraphrase the lengthy article here.  I strongly recommend you read it.  It may be available on SI.com.  Again, it does not excuse Vick or suggest that he is a victim of “whitey’s law” at all.  Michael Vick is totally responsible for the mess that he is in.

Vick’s mother even went to Atlanta several years ago and literally threw his entourage out of his house.  Before she had gotten back to Newport News, they had moved back in.

I spoke with a good friend a few months ago who has followed the Vicks (Michael and Marcus) case since their VaTech days.  He knows Tommy Reamon their high school coach.  The issue of Michael’s posse and their influence on him has been well-known since he arrived in Blacksburg.  Nothing that has happened in the past year came as a great surprise to long-time Vick-ophiles.  The time bomb has been ticking for 10 years.

Bruce Smith is VaTech’s greatest sports success story.  Bruce also came from the Tidewater projects but somehow had the inner strength and gumption to walk away and not look back.  He had a stellar NFL career and is now a very successful real estate developer.  Why didn’t Michael go to Bruce for guidance?  Bruce, like Andrew Young, would have gladly counseled him from a “I’ve been there. I understand ….” viewpoint.

According to Coach Reamon …. that approach makes total sense to a middle-class white man …. But would never occur to Michael.  The influence of his posse is not unlike a religious cult where disciples turn over their possessions and their lives to  messianic leaders ….. can you say Jim Jones, Scientology, and assorted other aberrant mind-control groups?

If you read this website regularity you have an intellectual curiosity about the ever-widening racial disparity between professional athletes and the sports fan market. The black – white thing is the giant zebra in the middle of the room.  The more you at least try to understand the more slight chance that the tension and polarity that now exists might abate.  Or, you could just keep bloviating that “the reason I don’t like the NBA is because they don’t play fundamental basketball” or the assorted other euphemism blankets that are used to disguise the reality that “white fans” and “black athletes” do indeed come from very different worlds.  And neither seems to know (or care) much about the other’s world.


   A rough week in Wuff World …… The honeymoon officially ended for El Sid in Minges Coliseum as ECU claimed its first BB W EVER over an ACC opponent.  What was touted as El Sid’s rapid reload of the NCSU BB Juggernaut Bus is now limping along with every service light blinking and a strange clunking noise coming from under the hood.  The ever-vigilant Wuff-Loons moved immediately to, of course, BLAME LEE FOWLER because that’s why Gawd invented Lee Fowler.


   Speaking of Wuff ADs …. Todd Turner decided rather abruptly this week that U Dub was not for him.  The UNC alum and erstwhile AD at UConn, NCSU, and Vanderbilt is bidding adieu to The Emerald City on Puget Sound.  The news was bittersweet to the owners of firetoddturner.com who were taking their Hate Todd campaign to combustible levels.

Todd Turner is a quite decent fellow.  He is a dedicated husband and father and experienced athletic administrator.  He is not Ron Wellman but who is?  Todd was irrepairably scarred by (1) being offered the NCSU AD job in the mid 80s and (2) accepting that job when it was offered.  It was a no-win gut-shot for whoever tried to powerwash the post-Jimmy V Scandal mess.  That the assigned Roto Rooter was a UNC alumnus made an impossible task 100X more impossible.  All parties involved should have known better.

Like fellow UNC alum AD, Prince Tassel Loafer, Todd’s nebbish nerdy physical persona seems a permanent “Kick Me” sign taped to his butt.

In his “I quit” letter to the Univ of Washington Prez, Todd stated the following …

  ….  In recent days, I’ve seen a side of athletics that sickens me with the incessant interloping of uninformed, unenlightened, self-anointed experts who look upon intercollegiate athletics solely as entertainment to satisfy their own self interests.

Todd Turner is the latest major college AD to be publicly disemboweled by an Internet Lynch Mob.  He’s not the first and certainly will not be the last.  Todd, like dozens of other graduates of Ohio University’s Sports Administration School now in senior sports administration positions, was never trained in how to deal with THE LUNATIC FRINGE. …… You get tired of me beating this drum but this week provides an incredibly clear vision of the tsunami of lunacy that is bearing down on big time college sports.

Every one (except the Arkansas Razorback board monkeys, duh!) is appalled at what Bobby Petrino did this week.  No one should have been surprised at all.

Bobby Petrino is the new coach at Arkansas for the same reason that Todd Turner was run out of U Dub ….. the powers that be at Arkansas and Washington gave totally unwarranted credibility to several hundred pimply-faced punks and 45 year/old little league right fielders on their respective fan message boards.

When a handful of freaks and nuts with CAPS LOCK keys can flatulate an endless stream of bilious slander about a coach and/or an administrator …. And be given even the slightest credibility by appointed trustees and supposedly responsible university officials …. then truly the most insane inmates imaginable are running the asylum.

A Bobby Petrino (and the other rock stars) can/will always leave anywhere abruptly and always find another gaggle of goggle-eyed wuzzles to dazzle with faux promises to “awaken their sleeping giant” IF they spend $150,000,000 on stadium bling bling.  Guys like Petrino (and their agents) know exactly how to punch the hot buttons of the loonies.

Which came first ….. The soulless Jimmy Sextons …. The Mercenary Rock Star Coaches …. Or the hyperventilating Lunatic Fringe masquerading as “mainstream fans”?  It doesn’t matter which is the chicken or the egg …. But the agents, the loonies and the rock stars are the insane forces running more and more of the top 100 college sports programs in America in 2007.

The local/regional media gets sucked into the gobbling vortex of loon madness and is compelled to spew out its own brand of baseless rumors and innuendos.  Formerly “legitimate journalists” get reduced to being just more cyber gasbags with clever little usernames.

Any school’s lunatic fringe is no more than several hundred hairballs at their own Star Trek Convention.  You could fit the entire contingent in a Holiday Inn ballroom and entertain them for a week with two inflatable Pamela Anderson dolls and a Dick Vitale bobblehead.

That any responsible university official thinks these pathetic buffoons deserve any credibility tells you why the sports arms race is on its way to a Thelma & Louise conclusion.   

Mark this down ….. within four years there will be a dozen college FB coaches making in excess of $7,000,000 and at least three “coordinators” making $1,000,000. There is no ceiling on the absurdity because, apparently ….. 

common sense doesn’t have a CAPS LOCK key.     


I had lunch today with Emmett Ray, Jason “Ramses” Ray’s daddy.  What a fine gentleman who is working tirelessly to insure that Jason’s legacy will live on with the organ donors and recipients inspired by his son’s story.

   BobLee Good Buddy, and ace sideline reporter, Lee Pace has a new book out about Rocky Mount High School Football in the early 60s.  In addition to being about a number of other friends of mine from that era, Lee captures the special symbiotic magic that small towns and high school sports once enjoyed in America.  There are “Hoosier” aspects to the story that makes this a worthwhile “get” even if you don’t know Rocky Mount from Rick Mount.  The cover design by Sue Neufeld is a perfect compliment to Lee’s “can’t put it down” narrative.  For more info go to http://www.twincountymuseum.com/bookoffer.html

    Memo to guy carving Roger Clemens bust for Cooperstown ….. not so fast my friend.


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