Gamecocks Spurred by Ol' Ball Coach

By Tony Kornheiser
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

How about a big round of applause for the Ol' Ball Coach!

What a triumphant return Steve Spurrier has made to the place where he belongs -- college football. (Though hour by hour in Gainesville, an increasing number of angry souls fume about what on earth Spurrier is doing in South Carolina, and not back at his alma mater, Florida.)

I'll defend my position until my dying breath that it was the right move for Danny Snyder to hire Spurrier. A man that innovative and dominant in big-time college football deserved the chance to carry that magic to the NFL. Okay, he couldn't. We're all wiser and more humble. . . . Well, I'm not, but Spurrier is.

Spurrier never lobbed grenades at Snyder and the Redskins. He sat out a year to watch his son play high school ball, then jumped back in at South Carolina -- because the geniuses who are running Florida didn't want him. They wanted young, hot shot Urban Meyer instead. How's that working out for them?

Spurrier went boldly back to the Southeastern Conference -- even though it meant playing Florida -- and cleaned out the trash Lou Holtz left behind in Columbia, S.C., some of whose names Spurrier had to read on a police blotter. In his first year Spurrier has coached 'em up pretty good. He's 7-3, and ranked No. 19. He beat his perennial patsy, Phil Fulmer, and over the weekend he humiliated the Gators' Whiz Kid.

How sweet to be the Ol' Ball Coach now. Spurrier is happy coaching South Carolina. (You'll love this: To raise money for a short-game practice area for the school's golf team, Spurrier has lent his name and likeness to a California vineyard producing, hello, "Cock-n-Fire Cabernet" at $15 a bottle!)

And everybody here is happy with Joe Gibbs coaching the Redskins. Who says there are no happy endings?

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