It was 7-8 years ago in “UpState” SC. I was with Lou Holtz most of an afternoon. I gleaned wisdom that day amid endless groaner jokes and Lou’s wiffle dust routine. Lou’s words might help some perched on the ledge re: UNC’s immediate football future. It won’t help all of you. To the hard-core hopeless I say “Geronimo! Go ahead and jump!”
BobLee offers two “Suppose Holden Had” scenarios that might befuddle you.
“A Head Coach is over-rated.” Lou said. The staff position coaches forge the bond with players and prepare them for games. The Head Coach plays with the media and does the big picture planning. The assistants prepare the players. His key point is that the position coaches’ relationships with the players is where Success / Failure is sown and harvested.
If Lou is correct UNC is capable of fielding a very competitive team this year. Bandwagoners who have quit – had enough – given up in disgust – and spewed their hatred of Chanc Thorp and Dick Baddour will slither back if Everett Withers directs this team to 7-8 Ws and actually beats NC State. By Thanksgiving it may well be “Butch Who”.
Butch Davis was never a sideline gameday genius. It was NEVER “Don’t worry, trust Butch. Butch will find a way to win ….”
“Butch” was a cleverly marketed image that appealed to a desperate fan base – a nomadic Pied Piper with a one word macho name – “Butch” – that implied a bond that never really existed.
“Butch” did NOT immerse himself in the blue blood of Tar HeelNation. He was selectively visible at just enough charity events and the barest minimum Rams Club gatherings that his contract mandated. Nothing more. “Butch” = A faux vision of Big Time BCS Glory & (unfulfilled) Bragging Rights.
That vision can be transferred to Everett Withers’ Program. Win a lot of games he will be loved. Don’t and he won’t. “Beating State” is not necessary based on how some fans mourn the loss of “Butch”. In time could Davis have recruited enough Marvin Austins, Greg Littles, and Michael McAdoos to ever beat State? We will never know. He could not in four years. That we do know.
This much-ado is like watching a giant Ant Farm. Tap the glass and watch’em scramble. I’ve heard about the various “Gonna do somethings” being talked up by assorted C-Blue Angry Birds catapulting themselves into the abyss of unrequited dreams.
….. I know several of these Angry Birds. When this tsunami passes my Christmas card list may be shorter. Christmas card lists are over-rated too.
Suppose #1: Holden Thorp, instead of firing Butch Davis, had announced, “In 30 minutes I am (1) imploding Wilson Library and (2) abolishing The College of Arts & Sciences”. How many yelping yahoos would have sent death threats over that? How many fat cats would have pulled their pledges, broken furniture, and kicked the family cat? Not a single one.
Suppose #2: Holden Thorp had announced (1) “I’m ordering The City of Chapel Hill to stop selling beer and (2) I am outlawing undergraduate fornication.”
Now THAT might have ruffled as many silly feathers as “firing Butch!”. Beer & Sex IS important at a college. Maybe as important as Football.
Holden “Nabs” Thorp is an unashamed academic geek more comfortable holding a Rubik’s Cube than a catcher’s mitt. He knows The Periodic Table but not who won the latest Super Bowl. WalMart Tar Heels would not “like” Holden or his ilk if he were handing out free Dove Bars on Franklin Street.
Holden Thorp’s vision of a University has academics as the focus around which all else evolves. There is a reason that Dick Butkus has never been a University Chancellor?
Is Holden Thorp out-of-touch to think “academics” is why young people come to college? Is college simply a post-adolescent Bacchanalian Festival of “getting drunk – getting laid – & going to ball games”?
University supporters pretend to stay awake when Holden announces each year’s Rhodes Scholars …. but they REALLY pay attention when some semi-literate thug reaches in a bag, pulls out a light blue ballcap and announces “I is gwinna go to Ca-lina and play football for ma man Butch.” …. sob, sniff, sigh.
tOSU’s Nitwit In Charge – Gordon Gee – established himself as the Primo Clown of College Administrators by chortling “Dismiss Coach Tressel? Absolutely not. I just hope Coach Tressel doesn’t dismiss me.” GREAT CAESARS GHOST!
Two months later Jim Tressel resigned amid the most blatant example of college football out-of-control that we’ve seen since the last time a school totally caved in to its Big Time Football Lobby. ….. Look around my fellow UNCers. A goodly number of your neighbors would welcome Gordon Gee as UNC Chancellor right now. That bumbling babbling fool is “their kinda guy”.
Those wishing to disguise the real motive for their “mad as hell” blame it on Why Now; which I have explained to death in depth. Had the BOT changed its leadership in January, Chancellor Thorp would have been able to act then. He acted the moment the Trustees’ leadership flipped. Butch’s human shield – Bob Winston – was no longer able to front the Sgt. Schultz ridiculum.
Where oh Where IS BOTBob These Days? BobbyBoy done flew the coop. “Gone to Africa” is one report. Oh Gawd! I hope its to SwahiliLand …. Please Please let BOTBob be in SwahiliLand ! YES!
Those claiming Thorp should have “thrown himself on the hand grenade” to save The University months ago are implying they would have done so. I attempted to interview a veteran hand grenade fall on-er. Google does not show a single one. Staring down the barrel of career suicide is a unique perspective.
Me? I have total contempt for the radical left-wing ideology that dominates the academic side of Carolina. Fire Butch Davis but keep an arrogant anarchist commie nutjob like Gene Nichol in the Law School. Hiring that human hairball BACK after William & Mary ran his sorry ass out of Williamsburg. ……. A former head of the Religion Dept hawks his latest book ridiculing The Bible and Jesus Christ. ……. UNC’s Alumni magazine lauds the latest Earth Mother Atheist pissing on a crucifix. Then calls me to donate money to support such. I think not. ….. Yes, Holden knows my feelings on that too. Such is the current liberal arts academic community. Yuck!
If Football First UNCers withdraw their support unless UNC makes Football its reason d’être; that is their choice. They would have done so regardless of when Thorp rejected Butch Davis as the symbol of that priority decision.
NOTE: re: All the shady crap about Drew Davis’ scholarship and illegal workouts has been known for months (except by his dad Sgt Schutlz OF COURSE). There’ll be a lot of crap like that popping out now. I thought everybody knew all that.
We are “in the moment” of Tornado de Butch. Tornados touch down, create chaos, then move on …. and clean-up begins. So too has the Kenan Klean-up begun. Time dulls the sharp edges of any controversy. This month’s Greatest Crisis Ever steps aside for next month’s Greatest Crisis Ever; then another and another. Crises are like 747s stacked up over O’Hare.
In time the howling Barbarians at the Gate of South Building will:
…. wander back to their condos and caves
…. beat their swords back into plowshares
…. pick their noses …. scratch their butts
…. and lament exasperatedly “where is the damn remote?”.
And those 8,000,000,000 Chinese STILL don’t care.