I'm not sure what it is about Greivis Vasquez, but he sure does seem to elicit some passion from opposing fans, no? Passion here meaning "spittle-flecked mindless anger." It happened again in Indiana Tuesday night, when the home crowd chose to chant a word at Greivis that you might have expected to hear had Indiana been playing the Catamounts instead of the Terrapins, except maybe they didn't really mean it in strictly the kitten sense.
Anyhow, a fired-up Indiana Coach Tom Crean tried to get on the mic to tell the fans to stop during the game, was rebuffed by officials, and then began his post-game news conference by upbraiding the fans for their vulgarities. It's actually a pretty admirable speech, managing to praise his own fans repeatedly while insisting they have to be better than that.
And I'm guessing he won't be the last coach afforded an opportunity to turn the Greivis fan response into a teaching moment this season. Transcript:
"Turn the cameras on. You got em on? All right, first things first. I love our fans. I love our students. We come to the games, we cheer like crazy for our team. We can be obnoxious, we can be nasty, we can cheer against the other team. But we never use vulgarity. We never use vulgarities against an opponent. That is not what happened at Indiana in the past, and it's certainly not gonna happen under my watch.
"But I love our fans. I love the energy that they brought us tonight. We did not match the energy of our fans. All right, but at no point in time are vulgarities in that crowd ever gonna be accepted. And that cannot happen at Indiana. We have too much pride, we have too many great students, great memories, great tradition-based things here, for anything to ever turn it the other way, and nobody deserves that. Nobody deserves that. We've got to find a way to be obnoxious without ever being vulgar, because we're too good for that."
Very well done. And no, this isn't about Rock & Roll Part II. At least, not yet.