Readers of this site know that we believe you can easily follow the ups and downs of the South Carolina football team by tracing the number of barbs and digs Steve Spurrier tosses out during press conferences, at SEC Media Days, and to random scribes.
When he’s winning, he’s lippy. When he’s losing, he’s pouty. Following Carolina’s horrible bowl loss to UConn a couple of seasons ago, Spurrier looked embalmed and lifeless as he stood behind the podium during Media Days. Two years later, with an East Division title and an 11-win season under his belt, he’s been talking more.
The coach freely admits that in a fresh interview with ESPN’s Chris Low… and he also makes it clear that he doesn’t understand why folks take his words so seriously:
“I didn’t do a whole lot of talking because there wasn’t much to talk about. We were winning seven games a year until the last two years. If you don’t win very much, it’s hard to say anything…
They all want to hear something funny at the booster club meetings in the summer and laugh and giggle a little bit. Bobby Bowden used to do it all the time, and they all thought it was funny. But then I’d do it, and it would get out there, and they’d all take it personally and say, ‘You son of a gun.’
That’s OK, though … because it’s all just a bunch of talk.”
Well, it may just be talk, but there’s no debating the fact that Spurrier’s words get a bit more hurtful the more he wins. In the early 1990s he once said this, for example: “How is it when (Georgia) signs people, they get the best, but when we play, we’ve got the best players? Georgia has signed a lot of good players. Something just happens to them at Georgia, I guess.”
A joke is a bunch of talk. An insult is an insult. That was an insult aimed directly at Georgia’s coaches.
Spurrier’s free to toss barbs — and many of them are amusing — but when some of his jokes read like insults, it’s tough for him to fall back on the, “I don’t know folks are so upset,” defense.
We can all expect to hear plenty from Spurrier next week during the SEC Meetings in Destin. His plan to not count cross-divisional games will be one of the most debated topics of the week.