There are times when the internet does know things before the rest of us.
Charlie Strong’s hometown is Batesville, Arkansas, a blink by the side of the road in the northeastern part of the state, just short of a hundred miles from Little Rock. In hopes of gaining some previously undiscovered perspective on Strong, whose job change has been the flashpoint for emotions in this town this weekend, I checked out Batesville’s Wikipedia page last evening.
Strong is listed among the town’s favorite sons, one of its “Notable People.”
Others include NASCAR’s Mark Martin, former major leaguer Rick Monday, former Razorback QB Ryan Mallett, the state’s 13th governor Elisha Baxter, and Mutha’s Day Out, a “1990s rock band, signed to Chrysalis records, (which) had 3 videos on MTV rotation and 2 world tours.”
Strong was already listed as head coach of the University of Texas football team.
Somebody knew something before the rest of us. The page was “last modified on 4 January 2014 at 05:42.”
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I’m not sure the scant info on Batesville provided much insight on Strong, or the how and why he made the decision to take the Texas job?1
But I do know that when Strong was a kid in that town, a minority in a place where and when minorities were required to know their place, the state’s university competed in the Southwest Conference, a league in which the University of Texas was top dog, everybody’s rival.
From that slim composition of information, I feel compelled to surmise that coaching in Austin might have been one of Strong’s long term aspirations, once he became a coach.
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And Surmises are about all I — or any of the local media — have to hang our hat on when considering Strong’s thoughts. He is an intensely private man.
I had less than a minute with him one on one, during the Media Day press conference before his first season.2
I’m bummed that he’s leaving, but not pissed. Really, it’s the University of Texas, for heavens’ sake. This is sad, unfortunate, but understandable, acceptable behavior.
Unlike that of Howard Schnellenberger, when he petulantly jumped ship to Oklahoma after years of telling local fans that we were all in this together, and that he was the home boy come back to lead us to the promised land. Strong, with no local ties before coming to town, made no such proclamations.
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Bottom line: Strong’s gone. Deal with it.
Tom Jurich, who I thought was spot on during his press conference today, wishes Strong well. So do I.
We shall survive.
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Now we’re on pins and needles while Jurich, a guy with a seriously righteous record picking coaches, hopefully works his “magic” again.3
There is one opinion that has been a constant among all Cardinal football fans with whom I’ve communicated. They/ we would take Bobby Petrino back in a nanosecond.
When Petrino was mentioned by a scribe during Jurich’s presser today, his response: “Everybody is in play.”
— Seedy K
3 thoughts on “Strong Reactions to Strong’s Defection”
Football is an emotional game. That’s why you get emotional responses to the move.
I suggest that the last half of this season (after the UCF loss) the players, fans AND coaches were playing on fumes and not from the gut and the resulting play was lackluster, at best. Teddy’s late game heroics against UC seemed to re-energize all of the above.
That’s what was so discouraging about the timing of King Charles abandonment of the throne. Timing. Simply timing.
The Cards may have never looked better ( at least since the Fiesta Bowl) in the dismantling of the U. Total dominance “in all 3 phases of the game,” to steal a phrase from the King. And even without our hero, TB, the Cards were set to enter the ACC as a Kingpin ready to compete for, if not win, ACC titles.
Now, another punch to the solar plexus.
Wonder why the UofL faithful don’t get there early. leave in the 4th quarter and don’t pack the stands for the season finale against a piss poor Memphis team? Look no further than the abandonment issues we have developed over the years. Each time it looks like we have turned the corner and are ready to compete on the national level on a consistent basis, our Coach(es) go all Lucy on us and we become Charlie Brown, yet again.
CCS made most/some of us believe when he turned down Tenn. that maybe, just maybe, he was different. He was in his 50’s; seemed genuinely grateful for the first chance to be his own man and head a program and he played the loyalty card to the nth degree with the players and the fans. But alas, he is just another Lucy Van Pelt and we remain Charlie Brown.
The good news is we have a real, live Charles Schulz directing our football fate and no doubt he will find another successful, aspiring Thespis to lead us forward into the fray of ACC battles. We fans should just beware of the role this already rich–or soon to be rich—leader will portray: Is he another Judas. selling our souls for a bag of silver? Or is this one “different”? Destined to repent for his sins and move us from the abyss of college football hell and into the promised land to stay? The smart money says take the silver.
Hope is why Bobby P is deemed worth taking a chance upon yet again by many of us. We know the color of his stripes and can only hope that he is ready to repent for his past sins and will not leave us again for temptation. After being burned himself from his own sense of invincibility, maybe he can identify with where we fans are and where we want to be after he was in Purgatory for two years.. Imagine, if you will, a repentant Bobby P with Randy Shannon in charge of the defense with Clint H as the DL coach and soon to be reinstated as recruiting coordinator? Salivating yet?
See, hope is a wonderful thing and even though I realize Charlie Brown always lands on his butt, I am all in to kick that sumbitch ball through the goal posts for good this time. I simply prefer to know the Lucy that is holding the ball instead of thinking that a “new” Lucy, whether it be Chad Morris or whomever, may really fool me into thinking he is here to stay.
I recommend Ivan Maisel’s column at espn.com on Charlie and Texas football. He echos what I have been thinking which is that Charlie just doesn’t seem to me to be good fit for Texas football. I harbor no bad feelings for Charlie. Thank you, Coach Strong for what your did for UL and how you did it. Best wishes for your continued success. But Charlie is, as you have written, a very private man, with more substance than gloss. He speaks in pretty short sentences without embellishments. He doesn’t seem to be a glad hander or a back slapper. He is not a PR maven. Unfortunately, being the Longhorns’ head coach (perhaps more than any other football program) asks that of the ship’s captain and there is no bigger ship than Texas football with millionaires and billionaires wanting to hear what you have to say and watching how you turn the wheel. This job is WAY more than coaching football. It’s more about delegating to assistants, feeding the media and schmoozing the donors. Oh, and winning. If he wins, everyone’s happy. But “win” means national championships at Texas and if he doesn’t deliver that, he’ll be five and out. But then there’s the $25 Million….
Pat Forde had the same opinion here. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/texas–hiring-of-charlie-strong-is-far-from-a-perfect-fit-070303913-ncaaf.html
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