Steve Spurrier’s unexpected press conference this afternoon lit up the college football world in a way that only a Spurrier press conference can do. In contrast to his vanilla performance at SEC Media Days last week, today’s address (directed at “Carolina fans” thank you very much) included his most direct statement to date on his age and how much longer he thinks he has, a couple of grenades lobbed at the at the media, and even a reference to Attila to Hun.
The response was immediate and varied. Most South Carolina fans lauded the coach’s speech and praised him for his commitment to the program. Clemson and Georgia fans predictably called him a crybaby and a desperate old man among other things. Much of the media response was positive (folks like Chris Low and Tony Barnhart pretty much love Spurrier no matter what he says or does). Folks from the main offending parties according to the HBC – The State and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution – remained silent on the topic from what I could tell. (Editor’s Note: Mark Bradley published a very reasonble and measured response as I was writing this.)
Only a few hours later did the first real negative media response come, from USA Today’s Dan Wolken, who called Spurrier petulant, paranoid and (gasp) old.
I have news for you – Steve Spurrier was petulant, paranoid, and (depending on your perspective) old long before that press conference today. This was not some new version of the HBC, a crazy old man yelling at clouds in the middle of the day. This was the Steve Spurrier we’ve come to know and love over the last 25+ years.
A Steve Spurrier who isn’t occasionally petulant and paranoid is no Steve Spurrier at all.
You think HBC having a beef with the media is something new? We all remember the Ron Morris kerfuffle. But Spurrier has had similar spats with multiple media members dating back to his days at Florida. Here’s an article from the Tampa Bay Times in 2012 during his feud with Morris.
You think this is because we went 7-6 last year and he’s frustrated? I don’t know his motivations this time around, but I do know the Morris situation took place when we were undefeated and ranked #3 in the country.
What I’m trying to get across here is the Steve Spurrier who stood in front of the cameras today is the same Steve Spurrier we’ve always known. He’s just a little older, and because people are obsessed with when he’s going to hang up the visor they’re trying to read something into today that simply isn’t there.
I loved watching the HBC today. I think he actually looked a little younger to be honest. He looked energized and excited. He actually gave me a little hope about the upcoming season, and maybe even a season or two beyond.
There were no media responses to this event that should’ve surprised us. No barbs from our rivals that should’ve surprised us. No words of support from the Gamecock players or fanbase that should’ve surprised us. Everything we’ve seen and read should’ve been expected.
But the least surprising thing about today is being reminded of the person Steve Spurrier is and will continue to be. He is the Head Ball Coach, like him or not. He really doesn’t give a shit.