John Swofford a/k/a “The Tri-Lateral Commissioner” himself was guest speaker today (Wed) at The Raleigh Sports Club. In addition to the usual 300-400+ area sports enthusiasts, the assemblage was about as “provocative” as it could be.
The Swoff, of course, carries a certain provocativity with him whenever he is within two miles of The Brickyard. The membership of RSC is a cornucopia of regional partisans but “Brickyarders” are usually the dominant species by a dozen or so.
As unpopular as The Swoff might be with a certain faction of Wuffs; a very very “popular with Wuffs” fellow was also on-hand – “That Damn Dan” Kane – The Woodward AND The Bernstein of Sink The Flagship fame.
Yours truly was on-hand of course as Special Guest of THE Bob Kennel & Mrs Kennel. Meaning, of course, that THE Bob was there too with his wheelbarrow load of provocativeness.
All we were lacking for “Most provocateurs in one church fellowship hall on a Wednesday” would have been “Mary The Whistleblower”, My Buddy Chansky, John “Trainwreck” Fennebresque, and Vlad Putin. ….. Representing Universal Nice Guys was former N&O sports columnist – A.J. Carr.
Kennel’s chance of being “Greatest Wolfpack Sports Legend of The 50s” In The Room was shot to hell when Lou Pucillo walked in.
John’s remarks were well-delivered befitting a man who has done a bazillion of these things over his 40 years as a high-profile college sports administrator. He began with a perfectly chosen “Yogi story” and proceeded to address most of the major issues affecting Big Time College Sports. John speaks at RSC every 3-4 years. He “knows the territory”. RSC has a very very low number of board monkeys among its members. If there are a half-dozen of the hard-core rabid bat variety I would be surprised. None live in their mamma’s basement and all of’em change their underwear daily. …. RSC members are decidedly partisan but “old school” as far as NOT being obnoxious jackasses. “Civility” is the order of the day.
No RSC member will ever call Paul Finebaum or claim to know anyone who ever would.
Knowing that, John did not use a bullet-proof podium screen or bring “security” with no-necks…. leaving plenty of time for Q&A,
Kennel, of course, had a question”. He had allowed me to “approve” the first rough drafts. I liked the first version where he drives in on a Harley with Ms Wuff in a side-car, BK wearing his ’58 NC State letter jacket and playing The Caisson Song on a kazoo. The church nixed the Harley.
BK settled for (1) a quick recounting of his Wolfpack exploits, and (2) a not-very well-disguised query of why Swoff has not orchestrated a more decisive, timely end to TGU for “your alma mater”. Swoff deftly ignored the “your alma mater” jab and gave a lusty criticism of how ineffective The NCAA is in its prolonged investigations. An issue that Swoff feels certain will be rectified soon. “Soon” by NCAA standards = “a couple of light years”.
Before turning Swoff over to “Damn Dan” for a journo-colonoscopy, John and I compared notes on a mutual friend “in the bizness” and made our guesses where “Weepin’Larry” Brown will end up next.
It was a most fine day for one and all…. you shoulda been there.