It’s one thing for Bobby Knight to call Martin Zeno a faggot twice a day for four years — it’s a bad thing, but the sort of thing that defined Bobby Knight’s coaching career, and it wasn’t like Martin Zeno didn’t know it was coming. (Perhaps he just laid back and tried to enjoy it) And by “it” I mean: abuse, unrelenting abuse. For whatever reason, that seems to be what a lot of people liked about Bobby Knight: that he had the courage to, while wearing a windbreaker, call much taller, much younger men some really nasty names. But all in the interest in making them better people. It’s old-time values, you see. Your good coaches make their players hate themselves, and the game, so that they might better themselves, and be better at the game. Seems complicated? That’s typical. Typical for someone like you. Sorry, but it is.
Anyway, thankfully Bobby Knight’s mid-season resignation from a sinking Texas Tech squad at least prevented him from berating any kids who hadn’t already been berated by him. Less fortunately, it has opened him up for a studio analyst gig at ESPN, upon which I saw, earlier tonight, a segment that is currently being hosted on ESPN.com. (I imagine that GC, who actually knows how to embed video, will do so after he gets back from the People’s Party show at SXSW)
This segment features Bobby’s piquant opinions on conference tournaments; it also features lots of surly rambling, but mostly that. Would it surprise you that Bobby doesn’t like conference tournaments — in that they give a shot to underdog teams, and that Bobby Knight is the ultimate overdog (again, wearing a windbreaker)? It ought not. Would it surprise you that his posture is terrible and he won’t wear a blazer even on TV and that both Digger Phelps and Reece Davis are obviously fucking terrified of him? And suck up to him relentlessly? It ought not. But yet that’s typical of you. Do you see how much better a reader this sort of relentless, high-handed abuse is making you? Someday, you’ll thank me.
I can only hope this post bettered you as a person, but if it hasn’t, that’s probably on you. I wrote it on my own terms, and am at least proud of that. Bobby Knight may indeed be a great coach — I don’t necessarily believe this, but it may be so — but let me just say here that while I wish him all the best in his post-coaching career, I also think he’s a cancer on American sporting culture of such malignant, relentlessly retrograde negativity that he makes Bill Parcells look like Martin Luther King, Jr. That said, while I know he’s not going away, I hope he gets hired by Versus, maybe to co-host a show with Dennis Miller, so that no person in America will ever have to stare down his nightmarish image ever again. Man, all I wanted was the final score in the Mount Saint Mary’s/Sacred Heart game.