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Ol' Ball Coach tells it like it is
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Forsyth County News

Over the past two decades, a bevy of people — many Georgia fans — have wished that Steve Spurrier might go to some place where the afterlife is rather unpleasant.

For those of you who have ever felt that way, take heart. Your wish has been granted.
Steve Spurrier now resides in purgatory.

Can anyone think of a more appropriate torture for the Ol’ Ball Coach than to be saddled with one of the most inept offenses ever conceived? Talk about poetic justice.

Here’s a guy who used to love not only winning, but embarrassing his opponents along the way. Running up big scores, then topping them off with a few choice digs afterwards, just to twist the knife a little bit.

For those of you wondering what it might be like if Spurrier ever had to eat crow, draw up a chair. He’s seated at the banquet table. All we need is Sidney Greenstreet as Kaspar Gutman for the presentation: “And now, Mr. Spurrier, heh heh, the bird.”

Doubtless, it was hard to be humble during the glory years in Gainesville, where your Gators ran up a 122-27-1 record from 1990-2001. Maybe it was hard to imagine yourself as regular people when your offenses scored at will, and everyone called you a genius.

Defense? Defense was always an afterthought, something the Gators played just to give the offense a breather before its next onslaught.

But now, the ol’ ball coach lives on the other side of the tracks. He’s got a ferocious defense, and an anemic offense. Of particular interest were his remarks at his post-loss press conference on Saturday. The coach had difficulty coming to grips with South Carolina’s 14-7 loss to Georgia.

“I don’t know how to explain it, fellas,” Spurrier mused. “Ya’ll watched it. The defense played well the whole game. We held ‘em to 14 points. We should’ve scored 17. We didn’t. We could’ve. Hopefully, we can get scoring, and score some points somehow.”

Score some points somehow? This is Steve Spurrier talking? The Steve Spurrier?

Well, he had just lost to Georgia, and he despises nothing more than losing to Georgia. That goes back to 1966, when Georgia cost Heisman-winner Spurrier’s Gators an undefeated season, and first-ever SEC championship.

So, when he became the Gators head ball coach, Spurrier took special delight in tormenting Georgia. He won 11 of 12 against the Dogs, and averaged 36 points while doing so. He even made sure he topped 50 points in Athens in 1995.

But that was the old Spurrier. Saturday, he was lamenting. “We had one fumble, crucial picks, sacks. It’s amazing how some things happen. Even though I see where we rushed 16 times for 18 yards, it wasn’t a confidence factor. We called a bunch of runs and popped a few. Passing, we had a lot of open guys that, uh, but, anyway, we hit a few here and there. But, it’s history now.”

Sadly, for Spurrier, recent history hasn’t been as kind as ancient history. Since becoming the head Gamecock in 2004, Spurrier has lost 3-of-4 to Georgia, while Carolina amassed only 9.5 points per game.

Granted, Columbia isn’t Gainesville, and South Carolina isn’t Florida. But Spurrier is still Spurrier, isn’t he?

I don’t know. When he reigned in Gainesville, we never heard comments like this from Spurrier: “We got beat today, and we had all kind of chances. Simple as that.

“I called a lot of [the plays] today. I called the infamous 4th-and-2 and the fumble. I called both of those. Sometimes it’s hard to run it in from right there …

“Yeah, you can second guess yourself. I can second guess myself all I want on that one, but, I’m not gonna say ifs and buts. We just got beat, and, uh, it didn’t work out.”

Goodness, there’s a revelation. Especially for those of you who thought that Spurrier was pretty much infallible. Once he pulled on that visor, he was infallible in matters on the football field. Now, we find out even he doesn’t think so anymore.

Still, Spurrier is looking ahead. “It’s history. We gotta try and file it. Try to feel like we’re hopefully building some credit for the future. We’ve got a good team.”

Gee, it almost sounds like he’s trying to convince himself, doesn’t it? 18 losses in 40 games will shake one’s confidence. Especially when it took nine full seasons to lose that many at Florida.

Any final comments, coach? “It was a heartbreaker for us. We gotta get over it and bounce back. It didn’t work out for us today. I don’t really have a lot to say.”

Ah, but you’ve told us plenty, coach.