It has been 26 days since the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl/Debacle/Embarrassment.
In an interview that evening with ESPN's sideline reporter, West Virginia's Head-Coach-In-Waiting-to-Be-a-Pensioner Bill Stewart said he got his "marching orders" and since he's "part of the family," to mix metaphors like a Mai Tai, he "knows what to do."
Late this Sunday morning, I was alone at a hip restaurant having lunch, just one man at a two-man table. People were entering and waiting as I enjoyed the veggie burger and green tea. I was deeply involved in a re-read of Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent, this go around on my iPod touch, as the nice guy on the waitstaff brought my check. He said through a smile, "Take your time."
This is what Stew doesn't understand.
The waiter was talking in code. He effectively meant, "Choke down the fake meat, gather your jacket and all that you think is cool about you, and make tracks, dude!"
I knew that. So, I left cash, tipped 25 percent because I heard Yankees' catcher Jorge Posada drops that much, and, after considering a gavotte, humbly walked out.
I always thought Bill Stewart was a man of humility. His unassuming nature was the quality I most admired, even though at times he was humble to his detriment.
No. He's circumvented himself. Stewart's "respect all, fear none" cycle has been missing that first wheel for some time.
He's not malicious. Again, no. I think Stew has confused himself. He truly doesn't know what to do. Or, worse, maybe he knows what to do, but he can't bring himself to do it.
WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck would gladly buy him out, so it's not money...I don't think.
What I do think is Bill Stewart wants to go out a big winner. That's how he came in. Coach Stewart is looking again for that 2008 Fiesta Bowl when every person in the nation, including Jorge Posada and the guy who nudged me out of the restaurant today, knew the vestigial West Virginia was going down hard.
Bill Stewart showed them to the tune of WVU 48 Oklahoma 28, and he thinks he can show them again.
Thing is, Stew, as he gropes for that magical time, is dragging the Mountaineer football program down with him.
Message to Oliver Luck: I don't think your 2011 head coach "gets it."
Cypher that, AD. It's not working, whatever you call "it" is.
You've described the door to Bill Stewart. You've told him what color it is, where the knob is, and, in case he is afraid it will get stuck, you've also told him in which drawer of his desk the keys are. There's even a crowbar in there if you need it, Bill.
I'll say it again. Whatever ruse Oliver Luck has set up is not working.
Do him a favor. Show Bill Stewart the door.