Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Gratuitous Sports Post

There's s great deal of sports schtuff going on in Columbia, SC these days, and around the country for that matter. Since things are all tangled up in the top news soundbites each evening, I'll take my turn to just spout off a few worthless opinions, if that's alright with you.
  • I think Couch Holtz has class, but over the course of time he expected more out of his players than they were able or trained to give. He said it in the conferences yesterday, that when they come out of summer practice they're tough and hungry; but somehow by the time November comes around there's no heart. What's the diff? The players have to want it more than the coaches, and when school starts and the schedule gets tough they've got ot do that much more to stay focused and competitive. Wasn't happening, and that's sad.
  • I think Coach Spurrier will bring that focus to USC. He's on my list of least-liked coaches, but he's not at the top. By all accounts, he has integrity and authenticity, for better or worse - and while that plays out as arrogance to your opponents, for the home team it might be fun. And if he can keep a fire lit under the team during the entire season, and if he can make halftime adjustments that separate good teams from great teams - then that's just gravy for me.
  • Fighting in competitive sports is idiotic and uncalled for. Whether we're talking about the Pacers charing the stands in Detroit last Friday, or we're shaking our heads at the brawl betweent USC & Clemson Saturday - it was not pretty, not sane, not professional, not a good thing. There was no justification, and I think the universities have done the right thing - even if it's the expensive thing in breaking contracts, etc - in declining any bowl invitations as punishment for the teams and as a sign to the nation (I hope) that this kind of thing can't be normalized and mainstreamed.
  • I think both teams, since there is no bowl game now, should be bussed to Hilton Head New Years weekend to watch bowl games together, play volleyball on the beach, enjoy some team-building games with each other, singing Kum Ba Ya around the campfire on the beach. Can't we all just get along?
I'll be watching the news conferences and highlights every night on SportsCenter, and I'll be rooting for the Gamecocks heading into the upcoming basketball season and beyond. Meanwhile, we'll explain to our kids that bad things happen when stupid people act stupidly.


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