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Steve Spurrier or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Ol’ Ball Coach

Growing up as a Kentucky football fan, I always despised Steve Spurrier.  From the heyday of the Florida fun-n-gun offense, to his current stint at South Carolina, Spurrier has tormented Big Blue football followers like no other.  Watching him grin slyly in that ever-present visor as he devised yet another bomb against some hapless Kentucky defensive back in the fourth quarter of a 50 point beat-down was irritating.  Hearing him crow about it to the press afterwards, and knowing that my beloved Cats were powerless to shut him up,  was even worse.  But a funny thing has occurred over the years.  My once volatile hatred for the visored one has dissipated.  Spurrier has for me, and I think many others, become less an object of scorn, and more an endearing comedic character.

shoeless spurrier

 How can anyone not like this guy?


We live now in an era in which most football coaches are little more than programmed cliche machines.  Joyless cyborgs like Alabama’s Nick Saban go to great lengths to avoid making provocative, or even thoughtful, comments about anything. It is the Belichickification of college football.  In this stuffy and corporate environment, Spurrier’s loose cannon approach is refreshing. In Spurrier’s world, football is a game.  And though the competition of big boy SEC football is clearly fierce, it is still at its core supposed to be fun. And for Spurrier, that fun is not limited to what takes place between the lines.  Spurrier also enjoys the media room, and has used his microphone over the years as if he were starring in a perpetual Friars’ Club Roast of rival programs.  So in celebration of our upcoming match up with the Ol’ Ball Coach, let’s take a look at a few of his finest digs.


(Historical note- During Spurrier’s Florida days, when the Gators absolutely owned the Vols, Florida would annually finish first in the SEC East while Tennesse would end up getting the consolation prize of a trip to the Citrus Bowl.)

* You can’t spell Citrus without UT.

I know why Peyton came back for his senior year; he wanted to be a three-time Citrus Bowl MVP.

* (Asked about how loud Neyland Stadium was during a game with Tennessee) It was really loud, possibly louder than the Swamp, then the game started.


* Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all these great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players?  I don’t understand that. What happens to them?

I sort of always liked playing them (Georgia) that second game of the season because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.


(Discussing a fire at Auburn library and the books that were burned) The real tragedy was that fifteen hadn’t been colored yet.


In twelve years at Florida, I don’t think we ever signed a kid from the state of Alabama.  Of course, we found out later that the scholarships they were giving out at Alabama were worth a whole lot more than ours.


You know what FSU stands for, don’t you?  Free Shoes University.


(Asked why it’s tougher to coach in the NFL) Because there are no Vanderbilts in the NFL.

(Asked if he was surprised by a small crowd at Vanderbilt) Surprised?  It’s Vandy.  There must have been something good on TV.


* (After a 52-0 win) Their pass defense was number one in the nation going in, but it won’t be going out.


We thought we had done something beating Clemson.  And then Kentucky beat them…At one point in the year they were a dang good team.  I don’t know exactly what happened to them.

* (Regarding Hal Mumme trying multiple onsides kicks against the Gators) If I had a defense like Hal Mumme has, I would be trying them on every kickoff.

(After dismantling Kentucky 65-0) These sort of games don’t prove very much.  All it proves is that we’re better than Kentucky.


Whether he’s drawing up ball plays, hanging out at practice in attire that would prevent him from entering any reputable Waffle House, or taping his weekly coach’s show after one too many Silver Bullets, Steve Spurrier is truly unique.  Southeastern Conference football could be played for another millennium without reproducing Spurrier’s combination of coaching excellence and brazen indifference to the typical coach speak mentality of his colleagues.  I used to be annoyed at Spurrier’s arrogant steps outside of the accepeted norms of modern college football.  Maybe it is just nostalgia for an age in which coaches were also permitted to be flesh and blood human beings, or maybe it is in response to the walking dead personalities of guys like Saban and Urban Meyer, but I now happily admit that I am a fan.  Of course, I reserve the right to temporarily suspend my fan club status if he runs it up on the Cats on Saturday night.  But it won’t be long until he says something else entertaining, and I go back to relishing the time that we have left to watch and listen to this legendary character.  After all, how can I stay mad at this guy… spurrier



Article written by Duncan Cavanah

24 Comments for Steve Spurrier or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Ol’ Ball Coach

  1. WTF?!
    12:19 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    I think his funniest comment was when asked while at UF why he punted on third down he replied that he couldn’t stand to watch his offense run another play. He’s still a giant douchebag, though.

  2. How Can U tell when Spurrier is being sarcastic?
    12:27 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    His mouth is open.

  3. rick
    12:28 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    He’s human he likes a good cold beer and a good looking ass.

  4. KYStout
    12:30 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    Just in case you don’t already know this, the saying is “go to great lengths”, not “go to great links”.

  5. atlantacat
    12:34 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    As the years have gone by, I’ve grown to like Spurrier. He can say some funny stuff, dig a little yet not to the point you’re totally pissed off. Oh, he can coach also.

  6. Maxwell
    12:36 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll never respect Spurrier. In the 90’s, he was throwing bombs against us in the 4th quarter up by like 50 points. In the post game interview, they asked him if he thought that was running up the score. His response was “if Kentucky has a problem with what I did, they can do something about it when they come to Florida next year”.

  7. Juan4UK
    12:37 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    I hate him. But, he is very funny. You can do both. So no, I don’t Love the Ole Ball Coach!

  8. Wedding Planner
    12:39 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    He’s hard to hate even though he kills us most times.. Bobby Knight but funnier, less mean and a whole lot more successful

  9. Classic!
    12:49 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    #6 you just added another classic Spurrier quote! And he was right, damn I love that quote. “If they don’t like it, they can do something about it”. We all love the fact that everyone hates Calipari, and we ring up 20-30 point bball victories. I would take Spurrier as our FB coach any day and bring on the hate.

  10. rick
    12:51 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    #9, So would I.

  11. kadizkat
    1:08 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    Funny, yes, but if he was on fire, I wouldn’t pi$$ on him.

  12. Loved the article
    1:22 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    Loved this read… ya know I think I like him too. Hate to get run over by his teams, but just as he says, that is our fault.

  13. TTA2
    1:37 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    As others, I now have more of an appreciation for Spurrier than I did several years ago. Some have said he’s a football Bobby Knight. There’s a big difference…Spurrier is a [email protected]$$, Knight is a dumb one. I’d probably pay for a ticket to listen to Spurrier talk football. I wouldn’t walk across the street to hear Knight talk about anything.

  14. Hal
    1:40 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    thru 4 games:
    UK 45rd in scoring D: 9th in sec
    46th in def YPG: 8th in sec

    91st in PPG: last in sec
    58th in YPG: 10th in sec
    55th in pass YPG: 9th in sec

    so far, we’re improving. w/ a decent/stable qb, we might even improve on some of these numbers. well, maybe. after the usc & bama games

  15. When The "SEC Network" gets rolling...
    2:03 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    will there be a “Late Night with Steve Spurrier” monologue?

  16. David Rust
    2:23 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    A football version of Bob Knight. Grumpy, outspoken, and totally out of touch. Got a love that.

  17. RealCatsFan
    2:31 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    I would probably hate him a lot less if we would beat him once in a while. Most Cats fans will admit that we would love him if Barnhart had had the wisdom way back then to throw some serious coin at him when it was clear that he was back on the college FB market.

  18. Duncan Cavanah
    2:55 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks #4! It’s amazing to me how I can read one of these posts 50 times and miss something like that. Always appreciate the help. Fixed.

  19. Editing experts
    3:24 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    Read what you write backwards. H/T to you Duncan for being humble.

  20. John Bivens
    3:37 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    I Remember Fla was up like 59-7 with 4 seconds to go in the game. The TV game callers said Fla will take a knee, and this one will be finally over.
    But no Fla threw the Hail Mary for the TD. I thought after the game Coach Curry would punch him in the mouth, but he just shook his hand. I would have knocked his lights out, and probably have been taken out by a state policeman.

  21. Clam
    4:24 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    I went to UK for undergrad and USC for grad school: I have to admit it is a lot fun having Spurrier coach a team you root for.

  22. C...A...T...S....CATS!
    6:36 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    As a huge life time CAT FAN…

    I tip my hat to “THE BALL COACH” and appreciate Steve Spurrier…

    For me, he is one of the “ADOLPH RUPP’s of SEC Football” in that he provokes those teams around him to “get better” through honest comments, even honest CRITICAL COMMENTS.

    I applaud Steve Spurrier for being an SEC coach who wants other SEC Universities to STRIVE FOR THE BEST, and if you are not striving to be your best, then he will beat you badly, then comment on your lackluster performance to GET YOUR ATTENTION to play better.

    I’m proud to have Coach Stoops, but admire Steve Spurrier and am proud to have him in my SEC Conference. Just hope we BEAT HIS PANTS off this Saturday so THE BALL COACH will see UK and Coach Stoops are striving to be the best.

    ON… ON… UK

  23. John
    8:27 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    Love him. We want to run up the score on every team we play in basketball…we all love the lobs and nasty dunks on our opponents…we go nuts when we cap a game off with one when we are killing someone…we yell for the benchwarmers to shoot 3’s when they are in the last few minutes of the game while we are up 30 pts. But all the morons and pansies hate Spurrier for whipping teams and allowing his 2nd and 3rd stringers do the same. Anybody that has played would much rather get whipped than have a team disrespect you by kneeling the ball every play. You can always tell who the turds and hypocrites are in the comments section.

  24. BluKudzu
    10:54 pm October 3, 2013 Permalink

    Hiring Steve Spurrior sends out one message, loud and clear, South Carolina is serious about college football. This man can coach, this man can compete. Not only that, but look also at the coaches in other programs that worked with him.

    I pray for the day we beat him on a regular basis. To do so would mean we are an elite program. I love Stoops and what he is trying to do, and I hope he gets there, but, after all the buyouts, and contracts for what we have had, we could have had Spurrier for less money, and a heck of a program too.

    I doubt I will live long enough to see UK be an elite college football program. If this does not work, Barnhart needs to go. Guy, Rich and then Joker. None of these names provided confidence in the future of UK football.

    Mark, please build this program. Do what it takes, bring the best everyday.

    Go Cats.