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Saturday, May 18, 2013
This week's Q&A-Mac is brought to you by booster club meetings: where robots morph into men.
Q: Big booster, are you?
A: Big booster of booster clubs, that's for sure, after two of the juiciest college football quotes of the offseason emerged from that type of setting this week.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke got things started Monday when he told a Grand Rapids crowd that Notre Dame was "chickening out" of the rivalry series that is scheduled to end after 2014.
On Tuesday, Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis referred to his former boss, Nick Saban, as "the devil himself" while addressing donors in Melbourne, Fla.
Q: Yeah, but don't these guys always say things at booster club meetings just to get a rise out of the crowd?
A: That's the point! It's the only time you'll see it. And even if it's just an attempt at a little amateur stand-up comedy, my guess is this is closer to their real feelings than anything they say at press conferences.
Q: Well, Notre Dame's athletic director said he would "take no umbrage" at anything said at a pep rally or booster club meeting, because he understands it's a show. If the targeted parties don't care, why should we?
A: Not so fast. Saban told AL.com that he found Davis' comment "terribly disappointing," adding that "If anybody had an issue or problem with me, I would want them to just tell me." The site also noted that Saban "sounded hurt."
Q: So wait. You just wrote a column last week arguing Redskins owner Dan Snyder should be more respectful of American Indians' concerns, and now you're arguing that it's fun to see coaches disrespect each other. Which is it?
A: Both! A little hot-stove dustup in the college football world is most welcome.
Q: Do coaches think they're off the record at booster club meetings?
A: They must. But boosters are just as likely - if not more so - to pass along the quotes of note as a reporter would be. They pay good money for that kind of access. They want their friends to know they were there.
Coaches these days are like politicians. They must be aware that cameras are everywhere. People are listening - and not just their allies. If they need any reminders of potential pitfalls when speaking to supporters, they can Google "Mitt Romney" and "47 percent."
Q: Well, coaches say plenty of interesting stuff in the offseason on Twitter, don't they?
A: Sometimes. On Thursday, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson (@GTPaulJohnson) tweeted the following: "Sometimes it is better to remain silent and let people think your dumb, than it is to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
Q: Wait ... "your"?
A: Yep. "Your." Enter "you're" own joke at "yore" leisure.
Q: Quote of the week on the blog?
A: Let's go with RP, on the death of retired NASCAR driver Dick Trickle: "I really knew very little about Dick Trickle other than the weekly references to him from Keith Olbermann & Dan Patrick on The Big Show. But seeing him in the news makes me long for the 'good ole days' of NASCAR, back when cars were sponsored by Miller High Life and Skoal (even though I have never used tobacco...), and when a guy could install a lighter in his car and smoke a cigarette during a caution without drawing a $50,000 fine from the France family. 'Twas a much simpler time."
Q: Anything to add to that?
A: Nope. He said it pretty well.
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