It was really, really difficult not to accompany a Steve Spurrier press conference in 2010 with some kind of mournful music. Hobo harmonica? Harp? That heart-ripping song from The Civil War? Man, I hope he doesn’t actually use that, because the room will be in tears thirty seconds in. You might as well read the letter from Sullivan Ballou and get the thing over with in weepy fashion.
Spurrier did just seem, as he put it, like “another coach trying to win a bunch of games.” He did say how excited he was about the season. He did mention his defense, which he expects to continue its excellence despite the loss of LB Eric Norwood. He spoke about South Carolina’s ongoing improvement in recruiting. He said all of the things a coach is supposed to say when pumping up the team’s prospects for the media, and used the word “excited.”
These area all things a coach is supposed to do at a press event like SEC Media Days. Yet they seemed strange coming from the mouth of Spurrier, who played the rare and odd role of the overly humble coach with little to say in the way of cutting remarks, taunting, or witticism pulled from the quiver of the SEC’s former quotemaster.
When asked about losing this title, well…it needed harmonica in the background.
“I don’t think I’ve won enough games lately to make outlandish quotes.”
And cue the sad music. Spurrier continued the minor key by downplaying his accusations he was too harsh on Stephen Garcia, but then said that he had “two quarterbacks coming to the ballpark ready to play.”
“He should play pretty well.” Pauses. “If he’s the quarterback.”
The key may have changed, but the mechanics of the Spurrier quarterbacking saga have not. Stephen Garcia will get the first shot to lay at South Carolina, but as long as Conor Shaw is on the bench and waiting, the hook is always at Spurrier’s disposal.
Spurrier also ran the gamut on the issues almost every coach has been asked about. He’s for stricter controls on agents. He, like Meyer and Slive, refused to mention Lane Kiffin by name when asked about him. (He says he never had much time to pay attention because South Carolina had their own problems.) He mentioned that he never thought he would get a bonus for graduating players, but this is the 21st century in the SEC and he’ll still take it.
How gloomy was it? Spurrier even bemoaned the state of his golf game when asked about it. We have reached a truly dire state of affairs when the Ol’ Ball Coach despairs at discussion of even his beloved side hustle.
(SEC Media Day Two has concluded, and all the writers are going to play golf. We’re going to Dreamland instead, and will rejoin you tomorrow bright and early at 9:30 EDT for Gene Chizik and Auburn.)