Steve Spurrier has mastered the art subtle trash talk. He knows how to needle you. A few years ago I was paired with the HBC in his annual media golf tournament. A few holes in I missed about a five foot birdie putt. Keep in mind he missed the same putt. Anyway, a few holes later I had another birdie putt and as I was standing over the ball, Spurrier says, “Alright, don’t miss this one like you did the last one.”
I thought that was a funny thing for him to say. It actually sounded like something I would say. Except I would say it to the guy I was trying to beat, not the guy on my team. I was amused and thought about what it must be like to be play quarterback for this guy. Suddenly I felt empathy for Stephen Garcia. It quickly passed.
Also, I missed the putt. Not because of Spurrier’s comment, because I stink at golf.
Maybe Spurrier does this in his regular life too. Maybe Jeri Spurrier has to deal with comments like, “We all know you can screw up instant grits, we learned that last week, didn’t we Jeri?”
Personally, I appreciate this kind of wit and humor. I get a kick out of watching Spurrier do it. I got a kick out of it when he did it to me. I do wish sometimes he could take it was well as he gives it, and I’m not alone there. But Spurrier is certainly the best at the not so subtle subtle jabs.
Here are a few examples of Spurrier’s talents that I noticed from today’s SEC Teleconference (which you can listen to below):
“I think sometimes you forget if you’re gonna run about 85 plays the other team might get 85 too. So it’s just a matter of the approach you want to go at it.”
Is it just me, or is he taking a little dig at Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris? I would admit this could be a reach if Spurrier hadn’t directly referenced Morris earlier this season.
“The teams we need to beat are Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and uh, Missouri, Kentucky Vandy. Sometimes you can beat all of them and not win the division, as we found out last year.”
Obviously Spurrier is still beating his “only the division games should count” drum. The SEC still isn’t listening though.
“Whoever wins the game in Atlanta, their side of the division will be the best this year. That’s the way I sort of always looked at it. Whoever wins in Atlanta their side will be the best so I think we gotta wait and see what happens as we go through the season.”
This is Spurrier’s way of telling a reporter he asked a dumb question after said reporter asked him which division is better.
“He and I really think similar about things. Maybe even a little bit more than Ellis [Johnson] and I did. So we changed a little bit. We really try not to maybe have defenses where I guys can screw up… Don’t put indecision in them.
“We’ve not had mental errors quite as many as maybe we had in the past. But, now Ellis was a heck of a defensive coach, don’t get me wrong. We were third in the conference, fourth or fifth in the nation, we were very good. We just had some mental errors back there at times.”
Yep, that was actually Spurrier’s way of paying Ellis Johson and Lorenzo Ward a compliment. Spurrier loves him some Lorenzo Ward, but even Whammy isn’t immune to the HBC’s needling.
Keep in mind, all of this is just from a ten minute call today.
AUDIO: Steve Spurrier SEC teleconference [7:10]