Friday, February 6, 2015

A Couple More Years

"I've walked a couple more roads than you, baby, that's all.
And I'm tired of running while you're only learning to crawl."
- Waylon Jennings
"Nothing beside remains round the decay
of that collosal wreck, boundless and bare."
- Percy Shelley
Life has a curious habit of imitating the art it once inspired, more often for worse than for better.  The iteration of homo genus that spawned us first discovered fire over a million years ago, and, once they all stopped shitting themselves in sheer terror, they got down to the hilarious business of self-extermination.  We first made an appearance around 400,000 years ago, and so far we've taken that inclination to exhilarating new heights.  The more technologically advanced we become, the more rapidly these unintended travesties occur.  In the 15th century, Da Vinci put his futuristic visions of flying machines on paper.  Less than 500 years later the Wright Bros. successfully flew "a machine heavier than air."  61 years after that we flew to the moon.  That is an utterly, preposterously, astonishing achievement, but it hasn't all been flowers.  Our dream of leaving the ground has manifested itself into a commercial enterprise on which we now depend, often with disastrous consequences.  We scoff at our ancestors and their "primitive" fire, all the while ignoring our own folly (Air Korea? Get real).  In 1966 Bill Shatner blew our minds by talking to another person through his watch, and now you can't be at an airport without seeing a hundred bluetooth douchebags behaving like schizophrenics on crack.  Exactly 30 years ago we marveled at the sci-fi classic, The Terminator, but I reckon it won't be long now before someone flips the switch on real artificial intelligence.  If I was a betting man, and I am, I'd put our odds at surviving the next 48 hours after that at about 1,000,000:1.  If by now you're wondering what the hell I'm rambling about, simply put, we reap what we sow.
Shortly after being de-pantsed on National Television by a cheerleader and a one-legged quarterback, the Ol' Ball Coach showed the first outwardly visible sign that perhaps neither his head nor his heart still resided in Columbia.  That's speculation on my part, but it ain't exactly wild conjecture when a head coach tells the college football world he has probably 2-3 more years left in a 4 year player cycle.  His comment delighted fans of both Clemson and everyone not named The University of South Carolina, led to a delightfully devastating decommitment parade, and ultimately begat his deliriously delightful registration on Twitter©. Spurrier eventually reversed field on his early retirement decision, saying, "Yeah, I’m back on the 4-5 [year plan?]. You got to always stay on the 4-5 [year plan?],” but that came more slowly than a Gamecock safety reversing field to try and tackle Artavis (last name not necessary). The whole episode brought forth a slew of S. Carolina fans who wondered, "What the fuck?!," and "Why the fuck?!" Nearly as many Clemson fans began proclaiming, "CoL! The rotten, old son of a bitch is going to destroy everything he's spent the last 10 years building." I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments of the Gamecock fans, and I also agree with the Clemson fans...partly. Spurrier is a rotten, old son of a bitch, but he isn't destroying anything with his whimsy. He isn't destroying what he built, because he didn't build shit.
Gamecock fans, now is when you shut up and listen. Spurrier didn't build anything. Deal with it. Wear the sunglasses. He won a lot of football games during the last 5 years - hell, he win two Citrus Bowls and now we all know you can't spell Citrus without USC - but he didn't do it through program-building. He did it by capitalizing on an unprecedented surge of elite, in-state high school talent. Gilmore, Holloman, Jeffery, Cann, Hampton, Lattimore, Quarles, Clowney...all NFL players, all from in-state, all went to S. Carolina. This is a small state. That many blue chippers playing prep ball here, qualifying, and going to the same school at the same time- either Clemson or S. Carolina - is an amazing historical anomaly. To be fair, you have to credit Spurrier, the mean, old bitchy bastard, for getting them all. That's a big accomplishment; however, the problem is precisely that it IS an anomaly. If we accept that premise, and we do because there's a precedent, then we have to accept the conclusion that, in order to sustain such a high level of "success," he was going to have to replace all that elite talent with more elite talent, which is precisely what he didn't do. No sir, Spurrier was happier'n hell the last 2 years to remind everyone of all the unprecedented achievements his Gamecocks had enjoyed. He and his staff of indecent exposers chose smugness and arrogance at the exact time they should have chosen humility and recruiting. 

From 2009-12, the Gamecocks signed 11 Rivals 100 recruits, 10 of whom were from South Carolina. Since then, they have signed 3 (1 in each class), and only 1 is from this state. Given this data, it's no secret why they were so terrible this year, and why they will continue to be terrible for the foreseeable future. Spurrier can't go outside the state and routinely land the elite talent it takes to win 11 games. He doesn't have Dabo's juice. It's is simple as that. For the last 3 years Spurrier has been too busy patting himself on the back to notice that Dabo has been out there hustlin & baucin in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and pretty much anywhere else he wants. During their unprecedented 5 game winning streak over me, the Gamecocks had the superior talent every year with the exception of 2009, but this year it was clear which team had more talent and SEC speed (hint: it wasn't the SEC team).

It seems likely at this point that Clemson will win at least 19 of the next 20 games in the series, because Dabo is building a program. Spurrier is building a retirement fund. A couple more years coach? It would take you a couple hundred more years to re-attain the level of success you enjoyed for...a couple years. And you have no one to blame but yourself, jerk.

High Time

I'm sorry, y'all; I got knocked offline...dang computer went ham on me.

I'm happy to say we're back up and running now, and the way things look it'll be business as usual around here for a long, long, long time.  I have a lot of fresh ideas that I think everyone will really enjoy, so be sure you check in every now and then.  In fact, I'll have a new piece up later this afternoon.