I Preach, I Cuss, I Don't Care Anymore: Memphis' Tommy West Sings the Boos

Ryne E. HancockCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 21:  Head coach Howard Schnellenberger (R) of the Florida Atlantic University Owls is congratulated by Head coach Tommy West of the Memphis University Tigers in the New Orleans Bowl on December 21, 2007 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

My mother, a University of Memphis employee since the Chuck Stobart days, always had this saying when she used to lecture me.

“I preach, I cuss, I hit,” she would say to me.

While most of it knocked some sense into yours truly, the same thing didn’t register hasn’t registered for the University of Memphis and their football program nor their pitiful excuse of a coach.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Tommy West as a person. I really do.

But never in my life have I seen a coach who, just in so many words, didn’t want to be there with his team, teaching them, encouraging them, doing the things that a coach is supposed to do.

I was always taught by my baseball coach at Fairview a decade ago that there are two types of losing.

Losing and trying your best, giving it all you got for the team until the final whistle, showing that you may be down, but your heart is stronger than ever.

The opposite of that is losing and not giving a damn, something that would apply to Tommy West and the coaching staff.

A week after you practically try to throw Tyler Bass under the bus, after he shows you with a still-screwed up knee that he can start at QB and play well, something he did against UT-Martin, you put the kid in terrible positions.

Show me a QB that is constantly throwing screens when it’s 3rd and long, or worse throwing it to the sidelines, something I only did when the situation warranted.

Then the defense, the only part of the team I haven’t ripped yet in my column, acted like they couldn’t figure out Marshall’s star running back, Darius Marshall who had 3 touchdowns and 203 yards and made the defense look sadder than that little boy who cried after the Pistons-Pacers brawl five years ago.

And what did West had for an explanation?

“The defense played well.”


Your team just let a guy run roughshod over your secondary, you have a quarterback placed in terrible situations, and an offensive coordinator that should be replaced by my buddy Bradley “Nutz” Greer, though I know for a fact he would know better to come and coach at a school like Memphis.

Oh wait, he goes there.

Simply put, I have no more love to give to the football program for the University of Memphis, something I cringe at saying because that’s the place my mother has worked for over 20 years.

You guys got spoiled when DeAngelo was there, and once he left, West couldn’t find a player with that talent again.

And now instead of contending year in and year out for a C-USA title, something the Tigers didn’t even win when DeAngelo was here for that matter, you’re left wondering what could have gone right.

Here’s what needs to go right in the moment for the program.

Should Central Florida beat a tattoo on the Tigers, hold a press conference Sunday afternoon and relive Coach West effective at the end of the season.

Give the fans some hope, R.C.