During his silly, high school bully routine for the benefit of Orlando Sentinel, reporter Jeremy Fowler, Urban Meyer...I don't know...boasted, "If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now. Be very careful."
Reading between the oh-so subtle lines, I'd say there's a challenge tucked in there. Something along the lines of, "Don't push me or we will go at it."
Be very careful, Urban.
For the sake of self-impressed college coaches across the nation, I wish someone would take Meyer up on his tacit offer.
These enormous egos amongst the college ranks were probably out of control several years ago because they're intolerable now. So maybe a slap or two to a poster-child's chops would serve as adequate notice that the charade is over.
Our appetite for megalomaniac "leaders" of young men acting like jackasses or flat-out scoundrels has been exhausted.
Meyer represents one of the primary factors that drives my increasing distaste for college sports. That would be the incredible amount of conceit that allows a coach to believe he is the headliner, rather than the product on the field, or by association, the youngsters.
Granted, you can't totally blame my Sigma Chi brother.
Most superstar athletes move through programs at an accelerated pace. Even if they stay for their full allotment, they're gone in four years of playing time.
Combine that with the fact that the money can't go to the players so fat stacks end up in pockets shared by whistles, and it's easy to see how the men—and a few women—who orchestrate these proceedings have become a more prominent part of the main attraction.
At least as far as they're concerned (and some in the media).
Consequently, we have Meyer acting the fool. Again.
We have Kentucky's John Calipari bed-hopping from one basketball program to another, leaving a trail of body-shaped infractions in his wake. Yet, he gets welcomed as a hero at every stop, and it's not just by the hometown faithful who have a viable excuse as far as this Barry Bonds fan is concerned.
We have college football coaches bailing on their charges with the only parachute weeks before the biggest games of the year (i.e. bowl games), or doing their best Calipari impressions—that's you, Lane Kiffin.
Shoot, it's gotten to the point where even non-revenue darlings have been infected.
My little sister's former team, the University of California, Berkeley Women's Soccer team, saw its coach Neil McGuire come down with a serious case of the me-firsts. Yet, he still is at the program's helm despite the disappearing act.
That's not to condemn Meyer and his camp as horrible or even bad people (it should also be noted that there are still good guys in the ranks like Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Mike Montgomery, Johnny Dawkins, etc.).
The Florida Gator coach's tirade certainly came from a good place. I'm sure he was motivated by a desire to protect receiver Deonte Thompson. I'm sure he was upset about the beating the kid was apparently taking for referring to Tim Tebow's heir as a "real quarterback."
For the record, I can't believe that quote and this story got people riled up.
I almost hope Tebow washes out just so this abhorrent obsession with him doesn't spread. That's pretty miserable.
Good grief, the kid is a young WIDE RECEIVER. Even if he were taking a shot at the prodigal son, who freakin' cares? With exemplars like Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson, Terrell Owens, and Chad Ochocinco, it's no longer news if the position mouths off.
Nor need it be taken at all seriously.
Like the divisive rhetoric of the world's Rush Limbaughs, the only potential remedy is to ignore it.
Furthermore, I think it's pretty clear that Thompson was clumsily saying exactly what Fowler implied he was saying: The new kid, John Brantley, is a more conventional passing QB than the hybrid Tebow, and that's better for the rest of the individual offensive pieces.
Maybe subconsciously that makes Brantley a "real quarterback" to Deonte. I'd say that's fair and no slight to the flex-type guys.
But back to Urban Meyer's infantile tantrum.
Like I said, I'm sure it was rooted in good intentions. Partially.
However, unless the 45-year-old is a moron, he understands that Fowler wasn't the villain for simply pointing out the possibility that Thompson took an intentional swipe at the departed signal-caller. Perhaps it was unnecessary to do so, but unnecessary and condemnable ain't synonyms.
Clearly, the real ogres are the ones assuming the worst and giving Deonte Thompson both barrels (The Sentinel would NOT be one of those).
Urban either knows this, or he should.
My bet is that he does and also recognizes he can't get at all the half-assed opinions, so it's much more effective to cut them off at the source via intimidation. Menace one reporter and perhaps others will be cowed as well.
The two-time National Champion also knows there's not a snowball's chance in hell of any serious repercussion coming from the posturing.
Maybe some condemnation from the blogosphere and print, but a dude that egocentric must be safely insulated by yes men and back-patters. He can't possibly care about reality, and such an outrageously talented coach definitely won't be professionally damaged by such trivial episodes of character.
The absolute worst el jefe will face in the wake of his performance is a slap on the wrist, and I'd be astounded if he got that. Nope, his reality won't be threatened in the slightest.
Which only reinforces the behavior.
But if Urban Meyer and his ilk really thought a shot to the mug were a possibility when they got too self-impressed?
Oh, what a wonderfully interesting world that would be...