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Grumpy Old Man

Two Coaches "Of A Certain Age" Handle Criticism Differently

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I watched S.E.C. Media Days closely.  I was on vacation, and my wife is a HUGE Auburn fan.  I made sure to tune in for Steve Spurrier's time on the mic, as he has been known to take shots at fellow S.E.C. schools.  Steve was in form, as he pointed out to Arkansas and Tennessee, that a 7-6 record is nothing to "do a cartwheel" over.  For the record, South Carolina finished last season 7-6.  That record sounds familiar doesn't it?  In case you were MIA last season, VT finished 7-6.  At last look, Frank Beamer wasn't holding pressers calling the Roanoke Times the "enemy".  He wasn't aghast that the guys, who generally praise him, held him the slightest bit accountable.  Beamer gets the retirement question every day.  Beamer gets the age question every day.  Beamer gets the health question every day.  The difference is the character.  Watching these two guys handle this is a lesson in modesty.

"Beamer still acts a guest, a steward of a program.  Spurrier has that obnoxious quality of entitlement, that is infuriating.  Beamer considers himself lucky to lead the Hokies.  Spurrier considers the players and the fans lucky that he leads them."

Enemies. Frank Beamer may have naysayers for sure,  can't exactly pinpoint any enemies.  Apparently the Old Ball Coach....Scratch that The HEAD Ball Coach was so pissy about people stating the emperor has no clothes, that he held court in front of his own press.  He held that court to remind his serfs that without them they were nothing.  Without THBC, South Carolina was merely an automatic win on an S.E.C. schedule.  If Steve By God Spurrier wasn't the coach then U.S.C. was Clemson's perennial whipping boy.  I'm envious of Steve Spurrier's coaching resume.  There is a point in time, however, where you are trading on legacy and not actual results.  God forbid a beat reporter asks you when you are hanging them up.  God forbid an internet poster voices an opinion.  Here's a stat for everyone to remember: Steve Spurrier has no S.E.C. titles at South Carolina.  Frank Beamer has four A.C.C. titles.   Here's where all the S.E.C. apologists start to chime in:  But Roy, the A.C.C. is a cupcake league with no competition.  I will grant you that.  The S.E.C. is the best conference in all of college football.  That being said, recruiting in South Carolina is not that different than recruiting in Virginia.  Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia are the head honchos.  In the A.C.C., Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Clemson are the head honchos.  Those "honcho" creds are merely based on the last three years' performance.  I would like to point out that while those clubs currently rule the roost, Miami, VT, LSU, and Florida may want to disagree with me.

As a reporter, we spectate on what happens and report it.   When we offer opinions, that's ok.  When you start questioning leadership, that's fine too.  I've been on enough message boards to understand that anything less than a national championship is failure.  I get it. No titles? No job.  Where the blurred lines start to manifest themselves is simply this:  The resume becomes more powerful than present day.  When a head coach, or for that matter, a "head ball coach", starts reading their own press?   It doesn't usually end well.

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