by Robert Vincent
The Old Ball Coach Rides Away
There are a few personalities in sports that are so polarizing that you mainly dislike them because they beat your team all the time or they have a swagger of pompousness that makes you want to throw things at them, but you still would love to have them on your team because you know, at the end of the day, they would help you win.
Steve Spurrier was one of those personalities.
This week, after posting a 2-4 record in the first half of his 11th season at South Carolina, Spurrier did something no one has ever done. He left the head coaching job at South Carolina on his own terms.
Spurrier started coaching at Duke University, where he made them winners, posting a 20-13-1 record in three seasons before heading to his alma mater of Florida in 1990. At Florida, he coached 12 seasons, won 122 games, six SEC titles and a national championship in 1996. After a few years treading water in the NFL, he was hired at South Carolina, and he turned a program around, winning 86 games. He had one losing record before this half season, and that was his first with Duke.
Spurrier will be missed on the sidelines, even by those who say they won’t miss him.
And speaking of greatness…
Last week was the San Francisco Giants at 20, this week…
THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS
The Spurs have a pretty good history, but the “storied” part of the #19 sports dynasty doesn’t really start until 25 years ago. Since the 1989-1990 NBA season, the Spurs have missed the playoffs once. ONCE. That was the year of The Admiral. When David Robinson came to San Antonio, the team started to win.
The only losing season came in 1996-1997, but the year after really started the dynasty. In 1997, the Spurs picked Tim Duncan in the draft, and two years later, in 1999, won the first of their five titles. The first against the Knicks, the second (02-03) against the Nets, the third (04-05) against the Pistons, the fourth (06-07) against the Cavs and the fifth (13-14) against the Heat.
They went 15 seasons winning at least 50 games a year…out of 82.
Alongside of Robinson and Duncan, there are names like Parker, Ginobili, Horry, Bowen and more. They had the antithesis of an NBA coach in Popvich. They won not by pulling players away from other teams with big money, but by building a team and letting it grow.
They are champions over the long haul, and that is why they are the 19th Greatest Sports Dynasty (in my eyes).
Bits and Pieces
What did I say about the Cubs?
In the NFL, things are forming up to being interesting. Look for Denver, Green Bay, The Giants and The 49ers to be winners this weekend, but the game of the week will be Pats vs. Colts.
Next week, get ready for college basketball and the 18th on the list.
“It’s a game in which you can feel a clean hatred for your opponent”- Ronald Reagan on football.