Just once would have been nice. Just once.
Just once would have been nice. Just once.
In 1972, Hunter S. Thompson set about covering the presidential campaign, paying special attention to the Democratic Party’s George McGoven as he failed to get into office.
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 was serially published by Rolling Stone throughout the year. In one of the articles Thompson makes a poignant comparison to a campaign that happened in Texas in which Lyndon Johnson attempted to create a rumour to denounce his competitor.
It reads: “This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas.
“The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumour campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows.
“Christ, we can’t get away with calling him a pig-f****r,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”
“I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofab****h deny it.”
I am reminded this morning of Tommy Perkins’ timeless analogy regarding recruiting in the state of Florida:
Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful.
Why this morning, you ask? Welp,
Rumors surfaced Thursday about the Florida football program committing an NCAA recruiting violation.
A source close to the program vehemently dismissed the allegations to SEC Country on Friday. A message board post — which later made the rounds social media — alleged that two UF assistant coaches offered cash to a prospect at Homestead High School. The poster also alleged there’s a video and it was provided to the NCAA.
The program source who spoke with SEC Country said Florida has not offered or recruited anyone from Homestead High School in three years. Florida State’s Ermon Lane, a 5-star prospect in 2014, is the last Homestead player UF recruited, according the source.
SEC Country also learned Friday that verbal commitments for the Gators were contacted by Miami staff members, who asked the recruits if they would reconsider the Hurricanes because of the alleged NCAA violation at Homestead. Members of Florida’s 2017 football recruiting class told SEC Country they received a text message from UF calling the rumors false.[Emphasis added.]
So it turns out Mark Richt is trying to do a solid for both himself and his former employer there, which, of course, is awesome. I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna get pretty damned ugly in the Sunshine State over the next few days. Popcorn, anyone?
From Seth Emerson:
During Mark Richt’s time as Georgia’s coach, the policy was always to let players transfer anywhere they wanted. Then Richt left, and Georgia’s policy changed – and so, apparently, has Richt’s new school.
Miami is not permitting running back Gus Edwards, a graduate transfer, go to Syracuse or Pittsburgh, two ACC schools that are on Miami’s schedule in 2017. The Palm Beach Post reported on the story Tuesday.
It’s not clear what Richt’s role is in the decision to block. His athletics director, Blake James, told The Palm Beach Post that it’s the school’s policy.
“Institutionally, our policy has been that we would not do that for a school we’re going to play in the upcoming season,” James told the newspaper.
I guess life’s not so short at the beach.
I’m not exactly sure why — warm feelings of nostalgia, maybe — but West Virginia’s defensive coordinator is looking at film of the 2006 Sugar Bowl to prep for the Mountaineers’ bowl game against Miami.
“I have studied that film (of the Sugar Bowl) a little bit,” defensive coordinator Tony Gibson explained. “It is very similar to what they are doing now in Miami is similar to what they were doing back in 2006. We have it, we have watched it, I haven’t shared it much with the kids at this point, it’s more for coaches to look at.
“Again, they are a run team first, they run with power, they are more of a conventional offense, an old-school get in the “I“, it is going to look different for our guys, it is going to look foreign.”
Old man football, indeed.
I know there’s a certain portion of the black helicopter crowd that likes to insist the best way to understand Mark Richt’s decision to start Faton Bauta against Florida is that it was a deliberate move to force Greg McGarity to fire him in order to collect a fat buyout (on an unsigned contract, mind you, but, hey, they’re rolling here, so let that pass).
While I don’t claim to have any direct insight into the man’s soul, it seems to me there’s another explanation that’s more realistic. Read this comment Richt made to Paul Finebaum yesterday:
“I was really seriously considering taking a year off and just decide where the landscape was at that time,” Richt said on the show. “Thirty-three years in a row coaching can wear you down. So I was thinking, ‘Hey, maybe I’ll just sit this one out and rejuvenate my body and my spirit and all that.’ But within hours of the thing happening, I had so many former players just call and text and just kind of thank me for all the things that they felt like I did to help them. … I was like, ‘Well, maybe I’m not done doing this.’ And before you know it, I had about six schools wanting me to be their head coach, and one of them was Miami, and I knew Miami wasn’t going to be open a year later.”
I don’t know about you, but to me that very much sounds like a guy struggling with an advanced case of burn out. No, that doesn’t excuse the product on the field we saw in 2015. However, it sure makes it easier for me to understand the context for that. And given that McGarity doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who’s gifted at helping someone recharge his batteries, so to speak, a parting of the ways between Richt and the program he headed for fifteen seasons seems more sensible than ever.
… you take more pleasure out of the administration squirming to avoid facing Mark Richt in a bowl game than the outcome of the bowl game itself.
… but you can’t kick Athens out of the coach.