“That one Merle Haggard sings, where he goes, ‘What am I gonna do for the rest of my life?’ I started thinking about that. What am I gonna do?”
While NFL football is ~technically~ over for the next seven months, I have conjured up this idea where we can all band together as desperate, deprived fans and pretend that it shall live on via the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football. The first two games will kick off on the evening of February 9, while you’ll probably be at home on the couch, fishing for your remote in a pile of empty beer cans with dusty Dorito fingers, mourning the end of the season in the same exact spot that you began six days prior.
But never fear — if the classiest league name of all time was not enough to grab your attention, one Stephen Orr Spurrier’s return to the sidelines should do just that. If you’re shaking your head right now, refusing to acknowledge his greatness, I would strongly encourage a rush trip to the emergency room to check on that weakening pulse of yours. Or a polygraph test. Perhaps one of each if you are a liar in poor health. I’m just looking out for you.
Last seen chucking cumbersome technology to the turf as the longtime coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks, Steve Spurrier is back. The revered Viscount of Visors will be making his AAF debut as the first ever headset-thrower-in-charge of the Orlando Apollos this Saturday night.
Previously, with the highest of hopes and brightest of eyes, I submitted my application to become his hold-back gal/headset-picker-upper/visor-cleaner/literally anything-er he needed me to do-er. To my crushing dismay, my carefully crafted, painstakingly edited email went without response. This could be because I am not worthy of his presence, or because I just made that story up. We’ll never know, and I’ll always dream about what a life that could have been. At least I won’t have to get in shape. Could you imagine trying to restrain the dauntingly powerful six feet-two inches of this hot-headed 73-year-old man?
On my very first day as a collegiate swimmer in the Gamecock football weight room, I was just minding my own business, admiring the pristine equipment, trying to figure out how the hell I was going to last four years on this team (spoiler alert: tapped out after two). Once I made the decision to stop fretting over my inevitable demise during this weight circuit, I picked up my head and immediately did a double-take.
Right in front of my own two eyes, I was stunned to see none other than a beet red, profusely sweating Head Ball Coach, working out harder than I ever have in my life. At some point in the unforeseeable future when I need to start “shredding for the wedding,” I’ll know exactly who to call. You could have run a power plant with the steam coming out of his ears. If I ever spot Big Foot, I’m not sure that it would top the shock factor of the remarkable image that has been seared into my memory for the past six and a half years. I would give my left arm to work for a man built of such grit and passion.
Despite my heartbreaking rejection, I have admirably chosen to shove my battered ego aside and pledge my undying AAF allegiance to the Ole HBC. If you’re smart, you will join me in doing so. If you’re not smart, you’re in luck — I am, and I will now convincingly detail the only reason that your support is of the utmost importance.
Steve Spurrier is a world-class orator whose words shall be cherished until the end of time.
Ever since his entrance into the coaching game in 1978 (I wasn’t around then but I’m going to assume), Coach Spurrier has had a way with the English language that cannot be adequately described by anyone but the wordsmith himself. (My mother runs a very close second.) Approximately 99.9999% of coaches’ press conferences are so annoyingly filled with clichés and buzzwords that I cannot for the life of me understand why they are still conducted. Spurrier is the 0.0001% that you’d pay to stand in front of a microphone for hours on end. Maybe he should start a blog! Or a podcast! Damn it, I should have added “will dictate blogs for you” in the job description when I applied to be his right-hand woman. That’s what he really wanted.
His poetic prowess is easily demonstrated by the many laugh-out-loud quotes that have come out of the man’s mouth over the years. He unapologetically speaks his mind and pastes a stupid smile on your face every time he does. What makes his words so fantastic is that they’re perfectly insulting, which is a tight-rope I struggle to walk daily. The day I can tell someone they’re an embarrassment to society as eloquently as the HBC, I know I’ll have hit my stride as an unpaid writer.
Please, do observe:
–On a fire at the Auburn library that burned 20 books: “The real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”
Real savage of S.O.S. here to come after the deceased. And yet, he is still empathetic enough to acknowledge the sorrow in the situation.
Those poor Auburn kids need all the help they can with coloring inside the lines, and a whole fifteen of them were forced to watch their creative dreams go up in flames. With any luck, the remnants of these lost souls were framed somewhere in an SEC museum next to the empty sleeve that was once home to the laptop
SCam Newton swiped in Gainesville. Rest in Peace.
–On Georgia: “I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”
Why sugarcoat? Totally unnecessary. He’s not gonna give too much credit to his players, or give any credit at all to the players on Georgia that can actually…
I prefer my coaches to be bullshit-free, do you not? Georgia made a nasty habit of gifting the Gamecocks some early-season wins near the end of Spurrier’s tenure, and the man happily took them as he jabbed the Bulldogs right where it hurt. You know what they say — all’s fair in weed and war.
—On his age: “People ask me why are you still coaching? I forgot to get fired and I’m not going to cheat.”
One of my favorite ways to shut down a dumb stereotype is with the word “forgot.” Saquon Barkley forgot that running backs aren’t worth #2 overall picks and Baker Mayfield forgot that only 6’5″ pure pocket passers are the only quarterbacks worth #1. Oops!
Not only is my guy shutting down all of the ageists out there, but he’s simultaneously letting it be known that he is an exceptional coach of integrity. Page flips of a calendar be damned. Since Spurrier is no longer in the recruiting game, it’s safe to say that all colleges are now cheating to bring in top talents. Whether he’s leading your team in the NCAA, NFL, or AAF, it will never be at risk of receiving the death penalty or other punishment of the sort. Sounds like a simple favor, but there are reasons that football fans can’t have nice things. Ride with Steve and the Apollos for a scandal-free experience!
Bonus: The Apollos’ home games will be played at Spectrum Stadium, better known as the stomping grounds of the University of Central Florida Golden Knights. This fact alone has all but locked up a large handful of championships for Spurrier’s guys. You wanna root for a winner, right? Your NFL team probably sucks, so why not ride into the sunset on the coattails of a sports team that you had no influence on for once in your life?
Let’s go Apollos!
P.S. I realize that I just preached a 1,400 word sermon to all of you about my newfound devotion to the Apollos, but I’m going to miss their first-ever game on Saturday. If someone could please send me updates while I am throwing back tequila shots for my sister’s birthday in NYC, I would be forever grateful. The biggest of thanks in advance to the kindhearted human being who will surely take me up on this endeavor.