(The Hawks’ Rob Ferguson hits the game winner, Chaney moaning to follow)
Yesterday marked Temple’s first visit to St. Joe’s since last February’s infamous assault on John Bryant. Owls coach John Chaney seems to think the controversy was a media creation, writes the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Rich Hoffman.
Yesterday, after Temple’s seventh consecutive loss to Saint Joseph’s, Chaney was complaining about the officiating – not exactly an alert-the-media moment in a long, loud, wonderful career. After a 59-57 loss at the Palestra, he was complaining about “six [blankety-blank] calls in a row, six trips down the floor at the end.” He was saying, “Why not allow a good game like this to end in the hands of the kids?”
It is the kind of thing that will get a professional sports coach fined by his league, but not a really big deal in anyone’s universe; just John being John. Except that it happened on a date that everyone had circled months ago, the first Temple-St. Joe’s game since the ugly business of last season, when Chaney sent Nehemiah Ingram into a game against the Hawks to take hard fouls, one of which broke the arm of St. Joe’s John Bryant.
If you didn’t know the history, you would never have noticed anything yesterday – except that you did know the history. And, as Chaney said, “Philadelphia doesn’t let anything go. You guys [reporters] don’t let nothing go. I’m a lightning rod in this city and I know it. I love it.”
Chaney gives as good as he has ever gotten, and is as Philadelphia as anyone ever was. He says that the incident last season affected the officiating in this game, and the selection of the officials by the Atlantic 10. Later, he said, “Everyone overreacts when an incident like that takes place.”
Chaney blames the media in general – and me, apparently, in particular, based on what he said in the news conference yesterday – for blowing up the incident into something that it wasn’t. That’s fine. He can hold whatever opinions he wants to hold – and he gets talked out of very few things, history suggests.
He said, “I thought we resolved it. Phil (Martelli) and I resolved it. We sent money to Katrina and that’s what we did to resolve it. But you want to sing that song? Keep on singing it. Keep on singing it.”
Chaney ignores the fact that he was the one who brought up the incident when he said it affected this game’s officiating – but, again, that’s fine. After yesterday, everybody around here looks to be pretty much done with it. Hopefully, this is where it ends.