Category Archives: Envy and Jealousy

Envy and jealousy, amidst chaos edition

David Hale:

And, of course, there remains the very real possibility that whatever lessons we might take from Week 3 will prove fleeting, too. We so desperately want to believe each week is a main course, but we’ve hardly finished the amuse-bouche. (Note: That’s what we assume Stetson Bennett IV calls an appetizer.) That’s the beauty of the college football season. Every game matters, but nothing is ever certain.

Well, except Georgia. Don’t doubt Georgia.

There’s a nice section on Stetson that follows, but those two paragraphs deserve their own special shout out.

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Envy and jealousy, the Voice edition

Great stuff this morning from Andy Staples ($$):

Though the fans of the team whose games Kelley will call probably disagree quite vehemently, the best words ever uttered following a touchdown in a college football game covered the following topics:

  • The thickness of the cushion that sat atop a broken chair.
  • The duration of certain condominium rentals.
  • Potential damage to the aforementioned condominiums by the renters.

To the uninitiated, this must sound absurd.

But Larry Munson didn’t give a damn what you might consider appropriate commentary following a touchdown 42 years after the fact. Georgia quarterback Buck Belue and receiver Lindsay Scott had just performed a bona fide miracle. Ninety-two yards. To win the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. To save a national title season.

Truer words were never written.

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Envy and jealousy, “worst SEC hire of the 21st century” edition

 

There are many people to point fingers at regarding the Pruitt debacle, but Pat Forde takes a well-deserved shot at Clay Travis, who encouraged the rabble to storm the castle.

The final bill is coming due on the fan tantrum that led to the firing of AD John Currie, the hiring of Phillip Fulmer to replace him, and the subsequent decision to bring aboard Jeremy Pruitt as the football coach. And the cost keeps going up. The bottom line: a 16–19 record (which will get worse after the Vols vacate victories) and a whopping 18 NCAA Level I violations levied in a notice of allegations that was delivered Friday.

Good job, good effort. You listen to a fanboy media grifter’s bright ideas on how to run a football program, this is where it leads you nearly five years later.

You disrupted the attempted hire of Greg Schiano, trumping up a dishonest moral outrage. The real issue was whether Schiano could win in the SEC, not what he knew or didn’t know about the monster Jerry Sandusky while on staff at Penn State. You get your way, which only adds to the power trip.

You push for Currie’s ouster when he’s on the cusp of landing Mike Leach from Washington State, with Fulmer positioned to benefit from a second Rocky Top palace coup. A comfort hire with nothing to recommend himself for the AD job other than being a beloved former coach and player, Fulmer called the oldest play in the SEC playbook—hiring someone off Nick Saban’s staff. Except Fulmer found the one who couldn’t win.

Pruitt was a rube who was pulled along in the Saban–Kirby Smart jet stream and unprepared to be a head coach. He lost 12 of his first 16 games—couldn’t beat Georgia State, let alone Georgia—before briefly righting the ship in the latter half of the 2019 season. Then came the pandemic, and the cheating spree, and doesn’t everyone feel high and mighty now?

Harsh, but fair.  Can’t say everyone involved didn’t deserve the results.

And bonus points for this:

The only thing Pruitt wasn’t charged with was idiotically wearing his COVID-19 mask over his ears instead of his mouth during games in 2020. He did incur an SEC fine for that.

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Envy and jealousy, new normal edition

I want to marry Bill Connelly’s lede to his SEC East preview ($$).

Throughout the SEC East in 2022, there is plenty of familiarity.

Florida is starting over yet again: Billy Napier will be the Gators’ fourth head coach in nine seasons, their seventh including interims.

Mmm, that’s good.

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The most envy and jealousy thing I’ve ever read

This Chris Vannini piece about the price we fans are paying for conference realignment ($$) strikes a chord in my soul like nothing else I’ve read about how the suits are determined to eradicate college football as we’ve known it.

We need to stop calling it conference “realignment” or “expansion.” The more accurate word would be “consolidation” — at least for the people who actually control what we currently know as college sports.

It’s coming. Maybe in a few years. Maybe in a decade or two. But there’s no stopping it now. With USC and UCLA moving to the Big Ten, one year after Texas and Oklahoma accepted invitations to the SEC, the college Super League(s) is on its way. College football as we knew it is on its last legs. It will eventually be replaced by an NFL Jr.-type sport, and the TV executives who have long dreamed about this will finally get their wish for a simpler product to package. The people at the right schools will make a lot of money, and the fans at the wrong schools will be left behind.

College administrators spent a year-plus telling the public that they worried name, image and likeness would ruin the purity of college football and turn off fans. Many did so while chasing any extra dollar they could find, even when that meant ending century-old rivalries and conference affiliations. Concern about the uncertainty in college athletics? Who do you think caused all that? Look in the mirror. Don’t let it be lost that this is coming from “non-profit” organizations, either.

It was never going to be NIL and a handful of million-dollar deals for players that turned off fans. It was, rather, slowly taking away everything that gave this sport its charm and moving toward a national corporate model, changes fueled primarily by money, especially television dollars. It’s like any other business now.

That last sentence is it.  This sport has had a charming uniqueness to it that has steadily eroded, and not by accident, either.

… What are the long-term effects? Some generations grew up with the Southwest Conference. My generation grew up with Big East football. Neither exists anymore. Change in college football has been constant. So it’s not hard now to imagine younger generations growing up with just two major conferences.

This move is not only about this generation of fans, even though the immediate television money will be enormous. It’s also about the next generation. How do you explain this move to Washington State fans? Or Oregon State fans? Or Iowa State fans? Or Kansas State fans? You can’t. You hope they still watch and wait for the next generation to grow up.

When college football reaches the inevitable end of this road with 30 to 40 teams left at the highest level, the powers that be won’t want you to hand down your Washington State fandom to your children. They’ll want your kids to latch on to USC or Texas or Alabama, much like the Golden State Warriors or the Kansas City Chiefs have fans all over the world. It’s about brands now, because brands can be sold to anyone.

Brands.  Ugh.  I hate every single one of the motherfuckers behind this.  And there’s nothing I can do about it except stop loving the sport I’ve loved for decades.

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Envy and jealousy, with parity like this edition

In a piece dripping with sarcasm about Nick Saban’s yearning for a return to parity in college football, this one-liner stands out:

– Arkansas State plundered a valuable intern off Saban’s staff, hiring Butch Jones as its coach in December 2020. Jones displayed his acumen throughout the Red Wolves’ two victories last season.

Okay, but I bet they led the FCS in vacuous slogans and gestures.

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Envy and jealousy, “The bagmen are out of the shadows” edition

This is so, so spot on:

The man who intentionally revealed last summer at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention that his quarterback’s NIL deals were approaching “ungodly numbers”, is concerned that the combination of NIL and the transfer portal has created a situation where “you can basically buy players” as a recruiting tool.

And the man who is set to make an average of about $9.4 million over the next seven years coaching football justifies that by saying “it’s a free market we live in, in anything.” But then says he is against players being paid.

We all know college athletics is in desperate need of leadership – of which it has had none from the NCAA – and guardrails as we navigate the waters of the long-overdue world of player empowerment. And Alabama’s Nick Saban (the coach in Example No. 1) and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (the coach in Example No. 2) occasionally make valid points.

But some of their most recent rants continue to reek of hypocrisy.

‘Ya think?

… But his outwardly complaining about it being used in recruiting … he didn’t mind it last summer when he made sure every coach in the room at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention was aware that Bryce Young, who had yet to start a game at Alabama, had NIL deals closing in on $1 million. The message: If you have a stud quarterback out there, Alabama is where he can get rich.

And Saban has benefited as much as anyone from the portal, which is fine. But for someone who acts so offended, he is making sure everyone knows it.

“Last year on our team, our guys probably made as much or more than anybody in the country,” he told the AP. Are you listening Johnny Five Star defensive lineman who might be thinking of transferring?

All the Sabans and Dabos of the coaching world are worried about is a perceived loss of control over players’ futures.  The rest is commentary.  Hypocritical commentary.

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Envy and jealousy, the smartest people in the room edition

Andy Staples ($$) concisely nails the geniuses at the NCAA with this:

Meanwhile, the schools and the NCAA got dog-walked into the business end of a 9-0 Supreme Court decision in NCAA v. Alston last year. It’s really hard to lose 9-0 in the Supreme Court, but these people managed it.

The sad thing, as he goes on to note, is that a significant portion of the folks running the sport haven’t come to grips with that yet.

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Envy and jealousy, in less than 280 characters

Shot.

Chaser.

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Envy and jealousy, the Chiznit edition

Lovely opening paragraph of a take down of the former Auburn head coach who fancies himself to be quite the font of wisdom:

Gene Chizik, he of a perfectly mediocre 38-38 record as a college football head coach, tweets supposed pearls of wisdom every few days. They almost always end with the hashtag #WordsofChizdom, because you can’t get advice like, “Pay close attention to those who don’t clap when you win” just anywhere.

True dat.

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