Ever hear of a poker player having a "tell." That almost subliminal signal that says to the trained observer, "You better be wary of my cards this hand." It may be a little wrinkle over the eye, sitting up straight in the chair or many other little things that indicate excitement underneath a calm exterior.
Steve Spurrier has a tell when he knows he should have a good football team. He starts with the little Spurrier quips.
The same kind of little, digging one-liners that made him famous at Florida. While there, his frequent targets for comment were the coaches and sometimes players at Georgia and Tennessee.
This season, here at South Carolina, it's as if the head football coach has never missed a lick. The quips are flying, a dead giveaway that the coach has a good football team this year. The Coach Spurrier "tell."
While at Florida, it was Spurrier who first came up with a nickname for the troubled head coach of Georgia. He referred to Ray Golf as "Ray Goof."
He also took particular joy in saying, "You can't spell citrus without the UT." A reference to Tennessee being invited to the bowl game often reserved for the SEC runner-up.
When Peyton Manning decided to forgo a lucrative NFL contract to come back and play his senior season at Tennessee, Spurrier quipped, "I know why Peyton came back for his senior year; he wanted to be a three-time Citrus Bowl MVP."
The quips have started full bore this year. The first noted one about Georgia's schedule being easier because they play Mississippi instead of LSU this year evidently created some collateral damage with new Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze.
Freeze said, “I will circle that one and hopefully change his perspective of Ole Miss football," when informed of the Spurrier quote. This likely led to the next shot by Spurrier while being interviewed last week by ESPN.
The coach was asked if South Carolina would pursue any of the Penn State players who may be leaving for other schools. Spurrier replied he was “not actively recruiting any Penn State players,” but it is understandable that Ole Miss is: "They need some ball players there."
Should he be considering yet another comeback to the latest line, head coach Hugh Freeze would be wise to just give it up. It is obvious Spurrier is feeling really good about his team going into this year. So, don't expect him to be the first to let it go when it comes to a war of words.