Steve Spurrier’s Future, alas, is Behind Him.

Steve Spurrier
BobLee
September11/ 2015

Watching Steve Spurrier last Thursday was like watching Mack Brown his last year or so at Texas…. or like watching a family member “suddenly get old before your eyes”.

I am not inclined to nor in a position to observe Spurrier on a daily basis; nor Mack Brown his last two years at Texas. I see both several times/season on the sidelines and in the occasional studio interview.

For most of the past decade Spurrier / Mack basically “looked the same” year-to-year with little or no physical changes. If their hair was graying or thinning, it was gradual. If their body shapes were morphing that too was too slight to notice….. not unlike your hair or fingernails.

I don’t know the growth rate of hair or nails but one day you wake up and it’s time to trim your nails or “get a haircut”. How much could your hair/nails grow while you were sleeping…. really?  It’s “just time” and you know it.  Coaches apparently never “know it”.

I watched my mom grow older but she did not noticeably change mentally or physically from 70 into her late 80s…. then about 88/89 she “got old overnight” and it was like falling off a cliff how rapidly she deteriorated.

It happens to everyone not named Marilyn Monroe or James Dean.   Live Hard …. Die Young …. and leave your audience wanting more is not a bad way to play it.   Except for the “Die Young” part of course.

It’s like Willie Mays last “painful to watch” year as a Met.  Say it ain’t so “Say Hey Kid”.   Plenty of coaches have had success at ages beyond Spurrier’s 69…. Bobby Bowden into his 80s.  So?  Coaches are NOT in charge any more.  Semi-literate 17 y/os are now “in charge”.

The Mack that coached in that classic Rose Bowl with Vince Young was not all that different from The Mack that left Carolina 10-12 years Mack Brownearlier. During the ensuing Colt McCoy Era I noticed a slight paunch growing and his hair getting a bit “crazy old man-ish”. He began to appear “out of it” on the sidelines as his teams grew more and more mediocre in every respect.

Mack’s final 4-5 games two years ago were painful to watch. He was just short of drooling Gatorade and forgetting where he put his headset. You expected to see two burly attendants frog-march him “away into the sunset” as he tried to sing “The Eyes of Texas” but couldn’t remember the words…..

Speaking of Mack…. Yes, apparently some members of the Franklin Street Sleeping Giant / Flat Earth Society are mumbling about Mack Is Coming Back…. to Take Over UNC Athletics.   Those pinheads have been babbling that mythical nonsense since a week after Mack “lied to ‘dem boys” and went wheels up to Austin in 1997. …. some day The Rat will reopen…. and Neil Fingleton LIVES!

I’m seeing signs of that now with The Old Ball Coach who is actually 6 years older than Mack. Where Mack developed his old man paunch…. Spurrier is going the other way….. he is losing his muscle tone and looking like those emaciated old guys who wander the beach with a metal detector looking for buried treasure.

Now when Steve throws his visor on the ground in disgust over a blown assignment, a team manager has to pick it up for him. NOT a good sign.

That Crazy Old Uncle Mortie persona doesn’t impress semi-literate 17 y/os whose memories only go back maybe three years at most.

Spurrier had that run of 4-5 years of 11+ Ws when he could cherry pick the Marcus Lattimores and Jedaveon Clowny and go toe-to-toe with Saban, Richt and Florida’s coach de jour….. suddenly not any more.  Like fingernails and hair.  One day “it’s time”.

We all woke up one morning and Steve Spurrier had lost his MoJo and, like Little Bo-peep and her sheep…. “doesn’t know where to find it” ….. his Mojo, his car keys, his handicapped parking thingy.

Steve’s now getting the table scrap recruits from the Big SEC Powerhouses; not competing for the blue-chippers. Sure he can beat “Larry/Gene” if that is all it takes to satisfy the William-Brice mob….. but I bet it is not all it takes.

Maybe he still beats Dabo a time or two because he can psyche out Dabo….. but not like THE Steve Spurrier could a few years ago.

Maybe he still beats the bottom tier SEC teams but the juggernauts will steamroll him.

So now USC AD Ray Tanner has a problem. How to get Old Steve to “do us all a favor Steve and just go away”. Agree to name something for him and give him a Big Ol’ Fancy Dinner with a wheelbarrow full of plaques and crap.

It WON’T happen that way. It never “happens that way”.

Like with Mack….. we just watch’em start droolin’ Gatorade until the two burly attendants have to frog march them away kicking and screaming. ….. BUT BUT…. I USED TO BE STEVE SPURRIER !!!!

Steve Spurrier, since “Scoreboard” 25 years ago, has been on The Franklin Street Most Despised Short List with Coach K, Art Pope, Jesse Helms, Christian Laettner, Dan Kane, “Mary” and every now and then Me.   We are an eclectic bunch for sure.

TruBlues will enjoy watching “Visor Boy” become “Old Visor Coot” because TruBlues will never forget “Scoreboard”….. but better laugh now Tru Blues BECAUSE…..Roy Williams

I can see this happening with Goofy Ol’ Roy in 2-3 years or sooner. Unlike with Spurrier / Mack it might be harder to tell….

When Roy starts “losing it” how will we know? Kinda like with Jimmy Carter.  Roy (or Jimmy) hasn’t shared the same zip code with Reality for quite awhile. All that “clustering junk” I suppose.

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Rogers38
Rogers38
5 years ago

I am a Gamecock, been for decades. I was at the last 2 games and have had season tickets since the 80s. I’m not sure you’re right. But I admit after last Saturday, for the *first* time, your argument crossed my mind. We attributed last year to the lack of quality in state recruits that the Gamecocks had been able to get: Lattimore, Clowney, Gilmore, Jeffrey, etc. And there may be some truth to that. But, but, but… I think there is a fall off in recruiting. Shane Beamer was the recruiting coordinator for some of the top classes and… Read more »

Rogers38
Rogers38
5 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

You’re right on the recruiting business. That would drive me nuts having to deal with the high school players. Are you saying that about Charlie Weis because he is so bad or because he used to coach at South Carolina? He was an assistant for 4 years under the late Joe Morrison. We tried the up and coming young coach with Brad Scott, supposedly a bright young offensive mind from the then national champion Seminoles. He was offensive, that is for sure. When he was fired he went to Clemson and burned so many bridges [with Tommy Bowden’s help] he… Read more »

CNR
CNR
5 years ago

Many stay too long, especially after fifty-nine. Examples are Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, Bud Foster, Henry Iba, Branch McCracken, and Harry Strudeher. You can add Bob Knight to that list. Adolph Rupp lost a great deal of his brilliant mind but was wise enough to bring young coaches in to keep it going until he was 72. Bourbon and blended is responsible for many failures after fifty-five.

Doug
Doug
5 years ago
Reply to  CNR

Coach K seems to be defying Father Time so far. He seems to be embracing or at least tolerating the new one and done reality as well as anyone regardless of age. He also seems to be an exception and much “younger” than Roy Williams despite being three years older. His bottle sin might only be applied topically to the top of his still dark head.

BR-W-S
BR-W-S
5 years ago

spurrier only has gray side burns because he doesn’t color ‘em like he does the rest of his hair. he ought to put away the just for men and let it all go gray. even his buddy krzyzewski colors all of it including his side burns with a darker bottle of just for men. I really never understood the “guys coloring their hair” crap, but a lot of ‘em do…………jim nantz, bob costas, brian williams, davis love, rick perry, john edwards, tony larussa, joe torre, pete rose and on and on. if a guy hits fifty without gray hair, there’s… Read more »

Bob
Bob
5 years ago

Roy had one of those moments for me vs Wisconsin. Up 10 , put Bryce Johnson on Frank the Tank with 3 fouls. Not a great coaching call to “go small”. He naturally picks up an immediate 4th, goes to the bench and the rest is history. He was 10 for 11 from the floor prior to getting his 4th, he returns to the floor with UNC down 4 and was never the same. Million dollar coaches make mistakes too I guess. Later BobLee

Porgie
Porgie
5 years ago

Of course Mack in his first week as an analyst did make a comment about ‘that’s when you get the ball to one of your expensive guys’ or something to that effect. That is open to interpretation as he has been at both Texas and UNC-CH.

Doug
Doug
5 years ago

The stress and expectations at Texas are much higher, several notches above that of South Carolina. It did look like the stress took its toll on Mack. Maybe he took his foot off the gas some after the championship. Whatever it was, neither Mack or Texas never looked the same again. Longhorn fans, bless their hearts, expect to compete for national titles every few years. Funny how some of this coincided with the start of the Longhorn Network and A&M bolting for the SEC. Coincidence or not? A season or two like 2014 and Steve will start hearing the same… Read more »

Doug
Doug
5 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

BTW, I still pull for most of the old farts against the young whippersnappers.

NCSU68Grad
NCSU68Grad
5 years ago

Well written…..I still have Toby Keith’s “As GOOD once as I ever was” occasionally as a ring tone. Makes me feel younger….except when at GD’s 3rd grade “musical” and it rang and I could not shut it off before it got to “Used to Hell on Wheels…..in my younger days….”. My daughter, GS and DW really got their undies in a painful wad over that. But, it does happen. I noticed the same thing about Stevie. Mack as a “Boothie” is as hard to watch as Lou…..is Lou STILL on EPSN? You would be billed for a new keyboard on… Read more »

Lou Holtz
Lou Holtz
5 years ago
Reply to  BobLee

Lou is still on XM College Sports channel as one of their gameday talking heads. Heard him last week. Lou, bless his heart, should only be speaking to his attendant. His voice has become so slurpy that it is barely discernible, and his opinion marginally coherent.

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