Tuesday, February 19, 2008

BRING BACK BOBBY?

You may have heard there is some trouble in Indiana. It points out yet again how hard it is to keep a top basketball program on top, and what can happen when a legendary coach retires.

The folks in Indiana are probably nice, hard working God fearing people, but their loyalty to Pete Rose and now Bobby Knight has always caused the rest of the nation to pause for the occassional head scratch. We know this, they’re damn loyal.

With loyalty and great expectations in mind, we wonder what will happen when Mike Krzdkghvcnx2ski retires? Will Duke have a hiccup (like UNC) and then find the right coach who will continue their run of excellence? Or will they go the way of Indiana and, for the moment, Kentucky?

It took UCLA a while to rebound from John Wooden’s departure as well. Kentucky seemed to have the ship under control, but the fans and alums demands for annual championships are a bit much for coaches with quasi-normal mental health. We don’t blame Tubby for heading to colder weather with warmer fans. Who wants to listen to the annual diatribe of call-ins on radio talk shows demanding your head because you only beat Western Kentucky by 29 and not 30?

Part of the story is about the “coaching tree.” North Carolina’s Dean Smith grew a nice one – Roy Williams, George Karl, Larry Brown to name a few. Duke is grooming some folks on the bench such as Dawkins, Collins and Wojo, but the ones that have wandered from the fold, most notably Quin Snyder, have not fared well enough to emerge as an heir apparent.

We consoled distraught Tar Heels during the Matt Doherty era with the possibility of the same fate befalling the hated Devils in the post-Coach K years. (It wasn't all bad, remember Doherty recruited Roy's 2005 championship team.) Not that he's going anywhere anytime soon, but will Duke fill K's shoes with another icon, an up-and-comer or with a K protege?

In Hoosier land, things just haven’t been the same since the General, and the lightning rod he so proudly wore on his head, left town. It would seem that Knight’s “special” brand of love and affection failed to cultivate a coaching tree with much fruit beyond Coach K. Who you gonna call -- Steve Alford, Dave Bliss, Bob Weltlich or Don DeVoe? How about the ever-popular and never-successful Isiah Thomas? It’s OK to scream if you’re a Knicks' fan or a Hoosier.

So with all hell breaking loose at IU, the fashion police have joined in the celebration. According to a man named Josh (pictured above) you can’t wear a homemade shirt that says “Bring back Bobby” to a Indiana game.

The story goes like this: Josh called into the “Front Row Ticket” on 93.9 FM in Louisville and told to hosts Rick Bozich and Jody Demling, that he was asked by an IU security guard during the first half of last weekend’s game to remove his homemade white t-shirt because it was “offensive.” His other option, again according to his story, was to be arrested. So, he removed it.

For the second half, he put the shirt back on and a friend sitting with him also donned a similar shirt. The security person returned and asked him to once again remove the shirt or be arrested. Security made it clear that this was their last visit wearing the “warning” hat.

(Evidently, you can wear a similar shirt outside the arena as in the photo way above.)

In Josh's mind, it was an attempt to bring some order back to the chaos that is now Indiana hoop. For that we say kudos to our main man Frankee for the TAH tag line, and, of course…

Nice, Josh, NICE!

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