Originally Posted July 2016
Eat your heart out ESPN and FS1. BobLee connects The Most Popular Guy in Greater Myrtle Beach…. a petty criminal…. and “Vanna”.
…. (1) Did Coastal Carolina’s Chanticleers conquering Omaha “change the land
scape” of Big Time College Sports?
…. (2) Will Coastal’s Coach Gary Gilmore replace Vanna White as Numero Un
o Celebrity in Greater Myrtle Beach?
…. (3) How did “the other Gary Gilmore” die?
Lets settle #3 first. That answer is “by a volunteer firing squad” in 1977 in Draper Utah.
If you are into Famous Criminal Trivia you know that….. The other Gary Gilmore was a career petty criminal who killed two people in a mini crime spree in 1976. He was found guilty of Murder One in October 1976. Given the option (??) of death by (1) hanging or (2) firing squad. Gary chose “firing squad”. He was executed four months later by “a volunteer firing squad”.
His case sparked a national discussion over capital punishment and a book (Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer) and a movie in which Gary was played by Tommy Lee Jones. The stuff you learn around here. YOWSA!
Did Dean Smith attend a candlelight vigil for Gary Gilmore? I don’t know. Ask Art Chansky.
I’ve never heard of “volunteer firing squads”, have you? Would you volunteer to be on a firing squad? Does one supply one’s own gun or is one provided?
When Coastal Carolina’s Head Coach Gary Gilmore seized his Andy Warhol 15-minutes of fame last week, I kept thinking “I’ve heard that name before ???” I wonder if there are any college baseball coaches named Richard Speck or John Wayne Gacy?
On to #2….
I’ve never been a Myrtle Beach kinda-guy. “My beach” has always been Atlantic Beach a/k/a “Morehead”. Nothing against Myrtle Beach but I don’t play golf or frequent strip clubs and “my beach” affords me the same ocean, choice of multiple tacky t-shirt shops owned by drug cartels for money laundering…. and it is several hours closer.
The times I have visited Myrtle Beach I did so via Wilmington and down Hwy 17 passing thru North Myrtle Beach (NMB). Every time I would see the Welcome To North Myrtle Beach I would think of Vanna White.
Did you know that Vanna was actually born in Conway SC (in 1957) where Coastal Carolina University is located? Her mom and stepdad moved to NMB and that is where, legend has it, Vanna White “is from”. I bet you just did quick math and you are now trying to deal with the fact that Vanna White is 59 years old. OMG!
She began on “Wheel” in December 1982. That is 34 years of “being Vanna White”.
While “being Vanna White on Wheel Of Fortune” may be a punch line; it has to be one of THE coolest gigs in show bizness. Assuming they shoot the episodes in bunches every few months…. She (and Pat) only “work” a few weeks a year….. get paid very very well…. are much loved by an incredibly loyal fan base…. and she has plenty of time for her hobbies which, according to Wikipedia are “crocheting and knitting” and she even has her own line of yarn.
I know Pat Sajak is a very nice person. I wonder if Vanna is too? I bet she is.
Given the option of being “the other Gary Gilmore” or being Vanna White, I bet we would all choose to be Vanna. I sure would.
In addition to Vanna being from there, the Myrtle Beach area is also renown as the current home of former UNCCH Footballers Paul Miller and “Little Ricky” Packard….
And, if I’m not mistaken, also “Mr Amphibious” himself NC State’s Charles Shackleford. “Shack” makes the news about every 6-8 years usually involving either under-age girls, unregistered firearms or possessing a controlled substance. It’s been about seven years since his last incident so this could be his year. Am I the only one who wonders what is “a day in the life of Charles Shackleford” possibly like?
So now to #1 above …..
IMO, it is very very cool that unheralded Coastal Carolina won it all in Omaha. GO CHANTICLEERS !!
FYI… Absolutely NO ONE who matriculated thru public education (wink, wink) in America over the past 10 years has a clue who Chanticleer was or The Canterbury Tales but they can name at least three Kardashians and the various NBA players they have “hooked up” with.
Did You Know…. The Palmetto State now leads The Tar Heel State 3-1 in NCAA Baseball Champions?
You probably know that The Gamecocks of USoCar won back-to-back titles in 2010-11, but how many of you knew that Wake Forest won it in 1955…. which was two years before Vanna White was born.
UNCCH coulda/shoulda won it in 2006 but didn’t. And, of course, NC State mighta/coulda won it this year since they came within a pitch or two of beating Coastal Carolina in a rain-plagued regionals at Doak. It is a stretch to say The Wolfpack woulda then have beaten all the teams Coastal went on to defeat but, hey, this is sports so “reality” is whatever we want it to be.
NOTE: I love the whole Coach Gilmore story. He and “those like him” are what is still good about the toxic waste dump of Big Time College Sports. I wish Coach Gilmore a Lifetime of good fortune, good friends and sunny skies.
Every time I saw him in Omaha I thought “Wasn’t he a reoccurring character in My Name Is Earl?”
So, does a National Champion emerging from a non-Power Five conference really mean anything earth-shaking for college athletics? …. Yes and No.
Certainly it could happen again in Baseball. And every pundit and sports talker in the Western Hemisphere has noted “Butler almost did it in Basketball” a few years ago. Gordon Heywood’s Hail Mary came within a frog hair of beating Duke. Butler got to the Finals again the next year in the gawd-awful game versus UConn.
Before Butler there was Indiana State with Larry Bird as runner-up to Magic’s Michigan State in 1979 and before that there was Texas Western winning in 1965 in the black versus white game against Kentucky. Way before that there were lots of others but nothing before ESPN “went live” counts in sports.
So, yes, a non-Power Five team could win the NCAA BB title.
Could those Boise State teams back 8-10 years ago when we first learned there actually is a Boise State have won a FB NatChmp? The only answer to “could” is yes because back then it was determined by voting, not on-field.
No one EVER trusts the results of “voting” except, of course, whoever is declared the winner.
Is it even possible that “a David” could win a FB NatChmp? Yes because getting to the FB Final Four is determined by voting by that infamous Condi Rice & The Whozits that meet in Grapevine, TX. If “a David” gets to The Final Four they could find Lightning In A Bottle and do it. But don’t bet your 401-K on it.
In Basketball, one Super SuperStar like a Larry Bird could carry his team all the way. More likely in Basketball than Baseball because a Super Pitcher only plays every four days and a Super Batter only bats 3-4 times/game.
In Football, the impact of one SuperStar is even less. Football is more about “depth” of talent in both Offense and Defense and “Davids” simply won’t have that. But it is fine if their fans want to believe they can.
When devoted fans of “a David” are disappointed that their team doesn’t “win it all”, they can always do what devoted fans of Goliaths do
Or The NCAA….
Or, of course, Dan Kane.
But hopefully not Vanna White.