Gene Nichol re: …. Dabo “Going Dabo”

Dabo Swinney
BobLee
December10/ 2015

This is a fascinating piece on “more levels than there were “cities of Troy”.  I am posting it NOT has an indictment of Clemson University, it’s employees, players, fans, et al, or Dabo Swinney – The Man, The Coach.   “This” is not even an indictment of the institution of Big Time College Football.   “This” could have happened with any number of characters and circumstances.

“This” did happen with Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney and his punter and on National TV last Saturday night…. and none other Gene Nicholthan THE Infamous Gene Nichol a/k/a “The Unofficial Face / Voice of Radical Lunacy @ UNCCH” authored the following commentary.

This is the 2nd time I have agreed with Gene The Gasbag this month…. or ever.   Gene composed this literary epic with out somehow blaming “Eeeeevil Republicans” or Art Pope or any of the countless other real and/or imaginary Dragons that Gene is forever targeting with his spittle-spewing bloviations allowing me to agree with him once again.

This proves that being “meaner than a rattlesnake with a toothache and nuttier than a fruitcake” while also being “a most admirable wordsmith” are NOT mutually exclusive aptitudes.

Several weeks ago Gene lambasted the incompetence of UNC-CH executive leadership for…. well, for their blatant incompetence in mishandling The Great Unpleasantness.   Channeling Stuart Scott…. Pass the butta ’cause Gene is “on a roll”.

I pretty much agreed with Gene from the get-go on this one re: Dabo & The Punter; but when he used “…. tiny men hurling vituperation” he had me standing and cheering HUZZA HUZZA.   That particularly delicious paragraph is highlighted below.

Just read this for the sheer enjoyment of it…. NOT to lambaste Dabo or Clemson or ….. .

Dabo Defends “Going Dabo”…. “there was no cussin’….”

Now, in addition to the term “Clemsoning” we can add “Going Dabo” when the next coach “loses it” on National TV.   Am I the only one wondering if Charlie Bauman was watching Saturday night?

NOTE:  Gene Nichol played “major college football” in the early 70s at either Oklahoma State or Colorado.  He does understand the realities of the game and the aggressive emotions “in the heat of battle”.

Gene and I share a mutual acquaintance who I hope will share this Kudo From BobLee with Bre’r Nichol.   The thought that I might someday agree with Ol’ Gasbag a 3rd time defies the oddsmakers.

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How Dabo Swinney’s bad moments marred a great ACC title game

Anger over punter’s mistake turned into extended sideline rant
Clemson coach’s action showed power of college coaches
Reaction to botched play viewed by national TV audience

BY GENE NICHOL
Correspondent

Dec 9, 2015 / The N&O

There was much to celebrate, and much to mourn, in the remarkable ACC championship football game played in Charlotte Saturday night. Heroism, grit, stubborn determination. A breathtaking refusal to surrender. Triumph and, for some of us, an eventual heartbreak.

There was also an episode that has no place in college athletics or in any other facet of university life. Or in the life of any Dabo Swinneyeducational institution. An exchange, or rather an assault, that in any other context would trigger immediate sanction and separation – but that in football we seem to accept as a foreseen, understandable component of the venture.

As if successful football coaches have to be willing to unleash uncontrollable torrents of abuse and degradation upon their student charges. As if it were thought acceptable to watch the most visible and highly compensated representative of an America university literally lose his mind while spewing invective at a 20-year-old on national television – in an inflicted trauma that will literally mark the rest of a hopeful, if mistaken, young man’s life.

In the second quarter, Clemson punter Andy Teasdale, facing 4th and 15, on his own 30, inexplicably attempted to run for the first down. The results were, in football terms, disastrous. Teasdale gained only a few yards, turning the ball over with a massive loss of field position, leading to a Carolina score and temporary Tar Heels lead.

NOTHING BEYOND, CONCEIVABLY, THE FIRST FIFTEEN SECONDS OF THE STUNNING HARANGUE, WAS ANYTHING LIKE A TEACHABLE MOMENT.

When Teasdale returned to the sideline, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney grabbed him by the collar and unleashed what may be the most ferocious, visceral, repeated, and near unending tirade I’ve witnessed in my six plus decades on this planet. Swinney would scream, relentlessly, in Teasdale’s face until he exhausted himself, then walk back and start the exercise in humiliation all over again.

Embarrassed players tried to look the other way – relieved it wasn’t them in the crosshairs. It didn’t seem like the first time they had seen their vaunted coach explode. The game proceeded for several minutes, apparently unbeknownst to Swinney, while he continued to vent his spleen. Vengeance, in ample doses, was administered. I won’t soon forget it. Teasdale never will.

And, to be clear, nothing beyond, conceivably, the first fifteen seconds of the stunning harangue, was anything like a teachable moment. This was simply a nearly 50-year-old man releasing his unbounded rage, repeatedly, on a captive target. The fury was hurled with such vehemence I doubt Swinney can even remember it.

Many decades ago, I was a college football player myself. And, unlike most of the folks who played in Charlotte, as we used to say in Oklahoma, I was “never much count.” I do know, however, that there are few figures in modern American life who enjoy such supreme authority as a major college football coach. They oversee legions of young, ambitious men whose fortunes lie, almost completely, in their hands. Every player, in his heart of hearts, dreams of being a star. He has since he was a boy. All it takes is a swift, unexplained and unreviewable move down the depth chart to dash, completely, life-defining aspirations. None, or almost none, dares risk defiance.

This is why, for example, that comparatively elderly and tiny men can be seen hurling vituperation at giant, muscled, and intensely aggressive linemen and linebackers with impunity. Absent the protections of office and authority, the abusers know, they would be left bloodied and unconscious on the floor as a result of such shaming attacks. But they need fear no retaliation. The stakes, for the victims, are too immense. As a result, the “macho” displays carry the scent of cowardice.

Now, in truth, I harbor little hope that such transgressions will be rectified. Swinney will be lionized, not reprimanded. He’s just been named ACC coach of the year. If Clemson continues to win, his fortunes will know no bounds. No university president would dare say him nay. If he did, the president would be soon dispatched.

I write only to state my belief that such debasement has no place in college football. I may be wrong about that, of course. If I am, it at least ought be clear that football has no place in the university.

Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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BobLee

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GWC
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GWC

Perhaps the overtly and outspokenly Christian Coach Dabo has , since his televised physical and verbal transgressions , sat down in solemn prayer with punter Teasdale and asked for forgiveness in return for forgiveness . You can almost imagine Dabo saying soothingly to Teasdale , with both Tigers huddling in the confession booth , “You screwed up and I screwed up so let’s you , me and our Lord forgive and forget !” And when you and Gene break bread and reminisce about your gridiron turf experiences maybe Dabo can deliver proper Grace over the Stew ! Judging from Gene’s… Read more »

Jon Sasser
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Jon Sasser

Somebody who taped that game, please help me out here. Was the play immediately before the fake punt an off-sides penalty against Clemson? Before the off-sides whistle, did Andy Teasdale try to run the ball to the left? Is it possible that the first fourth down play was actually a fake punt, which got canceled when the penalty made it less likely to be able to run for first down? And nobody told Andy to just go ahead and punt it the second time? If someone would spend half the time looking at this that they spent on the onside… Read more »

Britboy
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Britboy

I feel a great deal of pride in knowing this would have never happened on the Carolina sideline!

rivlax
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rivlax

Not sure what all the angst is about. The kid did an idiotic thing and needed to pay a penalty. If it had been MY kid and he did something that unilateral and that stupid I’d have no issue with his coach giving him a verbal reaming for five minutes. The reaction to this shows why our country is the world’s punching bag right now.

Doug
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Doug

Dabo, what an unfortunate nickname. Only slightly less funny than Gomer. Reminds me of the Brylcreem jingle, A Little Dab’ll Do Ya! in the from back in the day. One Daboing meltdown would have received minor attention and a few laughs on Sports Center but then he went Bobby Knight on the punter twice more as in a little Dab’ll wasn’t enough. Dabo was named Walter Camp coach of the year today and is in the fb final four so all’s good. For now anyway. Two in a row from Gene is troubling. I see a Brunswick Stew summit possibility… Read more »

wolfdon
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wolfdon

i have noticed that several members of the media seem to wonder about Dabo, as in “this guy is sorta weird”. On the other hand, that may be to his credit ….. 🙂

NCSU68Grad
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NCSU68Grad

BL, I can see a luncheon in the offing. There will have to be metal detectors for some….all cellphones and recording devices will have to be confiscated. I can see it now….You, GN, Kennel and a few others. Now that would a meal to remember…. I have a friend that was on a business trip home from CA and he got a call from Warren Buffett right after they took off. This individual is the chief adviser to a very nice and well to do businessman. Warren had called the HQ and their EA had given him my friend’s cell… Read more »

fayettewuf
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fayettewuf

I will be interested to see if the kid stays in the program. I would be interested in his account of why he took the risk. For a team player to take it upon himself to gamble at those sort of stakes, is really unbelievable. Of course Dabo overreacted. But any disapproval I feel about Dabo’s tirade is mitigated by the assumption that a player took that sort of gamble at very high stakes with his teammates season. As I said, I will be interested to see if the kid and Dabo talk it over and he stays in the… Read more »