This whole Brandon Spikes episode is sickening. Not just the fact that Spikes did a stupid and potentially dangerous thing to another player, but also the fallout. The commentators, the fans, the haters, all ought to be ashamed of themselves.
We hear the same old same old all the time in college football. It's all about sportsmanship. It's all about graduating players. It's all about giving your best and letting the chips fall where they may. BULL! It's all about my school beating your school. And if we can't beat you on the field, we'll beat you on the message boards and on the call in shows. We'll crucify your coach for winning with a bunch of thugs. Then we'll crucify ours for losing to him.
ESPN talking heads have bought into this. Every story has a sinister subplot. Every story has an evil doer who must be publicly flogged. Never mind the facts. They just get in the way.
Brandon Spikes has been playing college football for four years now. To my knowledge he's never been in any kind of trouble. He always plays at a high level. Sometimes he will play in pain when he should be sitting. He's a team leader. His teammates listen to him. He passed up MILLIONS of dollars this year to come back to school, get his degree, and finish his college career. He came back to try to win another national championship. Did he need to? Of course not. He's got two rings already. He wanted to.
So now because he retaliated for repeated cheap shots perpetrated against him and his teammates, he is being made out to be some kind of criminal. "Kick him off the team", "charge him with a crime", "suspend him for the year" have been heard from all over the college football world. Mostly from people who admittedly did not even watch the whole game. All they saw is one play on a youtube video.
So now not only is Spikes a dirtbag, his coach is an evil hypocrite for not throwing him off the team. "Urban Meyer only cares about winning football games." WELL WHO IN THE HELL BROUGHT THAT ABOUT?? Not the fans? Not the media? No way. Fans don't care about winning. They don't put up firethecoach.com websites for coaches who are 86-26 at their school. www.firemarkricht.net
They wouldn't park a moving van outside a coach's house? Or hang a coach in effigy? Would they? No. And the media wouldn't call for a coach to be replaced who wasn't winning, would they? Oh no. No way. Right Charlie Weiss? So a coach with a player who came back to school to play for free while he makes millions, is supposed to pitch this kid under the bus the FIRST TIME he makes a wrong move? And he is seriously supposed to be criticized for putting winning above all else when we as fans do the same thing? Ask a Georgia fan what he thinks about Richt. Ask a Nole about Bobby Bowden. There WAS no FSU before Bobby Bowden.
As long as fans demand that coaches win to keep their jobs, then fans better be prepared to endure some embarrassing moments. Football is a game played by athletes. It's not played by choir boys. If you want a team full of choir boys, then root for Vanderbilt. And you can spend your fall Saturdays watching the Floridas, Tennessees, Georgias, and Alabamas thumping your team upside the head every week.You cannot expect your coach to run a champiopnship football program and a 110 strong boys choir at the same time. Make up your mind which one you want.