Steve Spurrier is your classic southern gentleman… just kidding, he’s the kind of guy who chases whiskey with vinegar, but by god do we love him for it. To be completely honest, the SEC — shoot, college football as a whole — is better when Spurrier gets a little bit myopic and starts fire-breathing. And you can always tell when Steve Spurrier is winning because that’s when he starts accessorizing his predominantly garnett and black wardrobe with colorful remarks.
Today, in an interview with ESPN.com SEC blogger Chris Low, Spurrier was especially frisky, and conversation of his SEC rivals was fruitful. He unleashed a few classic “Spurrier” moments while commenting on Georgia, Nick Saban’s legacy, and his retirement plans.
Perhaps the best of all of his remarks came when he was referencing the rescheduling of the Georgia game from Week 2 to Week 6. That’s when Spurrier let this little gem fly:
“I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”
Hilarious, indelible, and brutally honest. A snapshot of what has made Steve Spurrier one of college football’s most kaleidoscopic characters. It’s no secret that Georgia has had historic troubles with the law throughout the Mark Richt era — it’s been the subject of message board fodder for the majority of the internet age — but to hear Spurrier say it in his typically crass way is especially funny.
“He’s got a nice little gig going, a little bit like (John) Calipari. He tells guys, ‘Hey, three years from now, you’re going to be a first-round pick and go.’ If he wants to be the greatest coach or one of the greatest coaches in college football, to me, he has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they’ve always won there at Alabama.”
It doesn’t exactly qualify as vitriol, as his only truly hateful comments are normally reserved for Tennessee, but it was certainly a dig at the defending national champions. I don’t know that I necessarily agree, because Saban won a title before he arrived at Alabama, but Steve Spurrier is obviously more qualified to comment on a colleague’s legacy than I am.
However, the content of Low’s one-on-one wasn’t simply relegated to subtle jabs at SEC rivals. Spurrier also commented on the time table for his retirement.
“Let me ask you this: How many coaches do you know that have retired in the last 10 or 15 years, and I’m talking honestly retiring, guys who had a good job, were winning and stepped aside on their own ? There aren’t many. They all got fired. Who would have ever thought that Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno would have to get forced out? When I leave, they’re not going to pay me $4 million because I had another five years on the deal and got fired. I ain’t going to be one of those guys. I just have too much pride. That’s not going to happen.”
I wouldn’t believe any time frame that Steve Spurrier gives on his retirement, but this is a comment that certainly strikes a chord. Spurrier’s ego is legendary, and I can’t imagine that he’d allow himself to become feeble, thus being forced out of his position. He has a few more seasons left in him because South Carolina appears to have turned a corner, but I doubt he’ll miss his cue to exit on a high.
Like I said, that should be a few years away — at least I hope it is — because as long as he’s gracing us with comments such as these, he’s invaluable to college football.
(Again, all quotes are product of THIS interview with ESPN.com blogger Chris Low.)