Monday, April 21, 2008

I (Want to) Hate Pete Carroll

Notre Dame held their spring Blue and Gold game over the weekend. The best I can gather after a little reading is that it was nothing special. You never learn much from scrimmages anyway, but apparently Jimmy Clausen was 100% healthy and looked like the guy we expected last year. Plus two top high schoolers committed for the Class of 2009, so that's good. Now we enter 4 1/2 months of no football. Sigh.

But I got a little football for ya.

As the title says, I hate Pete Carroll. I mean, I want to hate him. After all, he's the guy who presided over this, and this, and does stuff like this. Plus he was a hyperactive pro coach, to the point that his constant enthusiasm earned him the nickname "Poodle." His last name is a girl's first name.

On the other hand, he did do this on air, which is pretty cool:

Here's a little backstory on why Petey is so upset.

But, you know, he's still the head coach of Southern Cal in the 2000s, so I hate him.

Then I go and read this profile of him in LA Magazine. If you're reading this blog, you probably don't care for Los Angeles, Pete Carroll, or long Esquire journalism-style magazine pieces. So I'll save you the time of reading and tell you this much:
  • If you print out the article, it's 12 pages long.
  • Carroll seems actually human, and not a phony.
  • He likes KFOG, the San Francisco equivalent of KGSR or WXRT.
  • Carroll can go hours without drinking water, even in the heat.
Here's one snippet:

The first quarter of the first game of 2007. Carroll’s team is preoccupied, heavyhearted, mourning their beloved placekicker, Mario Danelo, who died in January after falling from a cliff in San Pedro. (Danelo was drunk, but police still don’t know why he fell.) The players have honored Danelo with an emotional pregame ceremony and with a moment of silence before kickoff , but it’s not enough. After USC scores its first touchdown, Carroll sends just ten men onto the field to kick the point after. One man is missing—Danelo.

Slowly the crowd realizes what’s happening. They see the holder kneeling in an empty backfield—a sort of missing man formation. Murmurs ripple through the crowd, then a cheer goes up. It grows louder. The play clock runs down, the refs whistle the play dead. USC is penalized for delay of game. The ball is moved back five yards. At last Danelo’s replacement trots onto the field and boots the ball through the uprights. The symbolic gesture, which perhaps has given some extra comfort to Danelo’s family, sends chills around the Coliseum and further cements the bond between coach and players.

Naturally, I did not (want to) believe that Petey did such a nice thing that went unreported. So like any good journalist I did my own research. And goddammit, it's true. (Don't read the whole thing, it's boring and about Southern Cal football ... just do Ctrl-F and type "Danelo" to get to the key part.)

I will be the first to admit that I'm surprised this did not make the national news in the same way Charlie Weis' "Pass Right" did.

Okay, FINE, go read the damn article. It's good. But still root against Southern Cal.


83F said...

Too much football content for April. :) Shouldn't you be writing poetic justice on the Pie that hit his 1st HR of the year yesterday?

mpf004 said...

It's Petey Carroll, the coach that Boston fans (and ND fans) love to hate. That's good stuff any time of the year.

We'll be at Cubs/Mets today. Maybe there will be a post about that.