|Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries|
|Tuesday, 27 March 2001 18:00|
Bobby Knight has a new coaching job at Texas Tech, and he’s asked us to destroy all copies of the following farewell address from last fall.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I could say a lot of things right now.
I could say, ‘You won’t have old Knight to kick around anymore.’ I could say, ‘Well, there’s $500 in yoga lessons down the drain.’ I could say, ‘Old coaches never die, they just get endorsement deals.’ I really could. In fact, I’ve been offered my own version of the George Foreman grill — it’s called the Bobby Knight Pressure Cooker — but I turned it down. And you know why? Because I wanted to win a lot of noisy, badly officiated basketball games for a bunch of great kids here in Indiana — and those are the same kids who don’t mind it a bit if I smack them around a little when they lip off to me in the hallway.”
“As you know, last week I was minding my own business, thinking that I’ve only taken this team to two NCAA tourney games in the last six years, when some little creep gets right in my face and says, ‘Whazzup, Knight? How about showing us some deep breathing exercises?’ And all I said was, ‘That’s Coach Knight, you little sack of horse manure. How’d you like a foot of shoe leather up your hind end?’ That’s all I said. I didn’t even raise my voice. And the next thing I know, some Doctor Somebody is telling me I’m fired because I violated some ‘zero tolerance’ policy. I asked him, ‘Can you explain this ‘zero tolerance’ policy? And he says, ‘Yeah. We bought an insurance policy in case you tear someone’s arm off, but if you actually kill someone, we get zero.’”
“Now, let me set a few things straight. I always went to those stupid alumni things and I never punched any of those drunken yahoos in the nose, even when they asked me to put their miserable kids in the lineup. And I didn’t insult any high-ranking female university administrator either. I just told that broad where she could stick her women’s lib briefcase. And as far as not having enough contact with the athletic director, let’s put it this way. If I need to borrow a whistle, I’ll stop by your office. Otherwise, you draw the lines on the running track and I’ll win the basketball games. Capeesh?”
“The fact is, they’ve been trying to dig up dirt on me for years. They say I slugged a cop at the Pan Am games. They say I banged my fist on the scorer’s table after getting a technical. They say I threw a chair across the court after losing to Purdue. They say I’m a psychopath who’s gone off on everyone from sportswriters to Connie Chung. And you know what? They’re right.”
(applause, stomping of feet)
“Because sports isn’t for sissies. You have to be tough enough to spit on an umpire, strong enough to hit a player with a hockey stick, and sometimes — yes, sometimes — even get arrested for committing a homicide. And if winning three national championships doesn’t entitle me to knock people around once in a while, then why don’t you hire Phil Jackson and have him teach these little freshman punks how to meditate.”
(more applause, several chairs thrown)
“In closing, I’d like to tell you a little story which may inspire you. Most of you would think I have a pretty good life. Fairly interesting job, make lots of money, pretty darn successful. So you’re probably saying, ‘Then why, Coach Knight, are you always acting so pissed off?’ Well, I’ll tell you. When I was a young boy, I realized I would have to make myself tough and strong to survive in this cold, hard world. So right then and there, I decided to start wearing my underwear three sizes too small. That’s right, three sizes. Well, I’ve done that ever since and — you know what? — it made me what I am today. So goodbye for now, and God bless basketball.”
(tumultuous applause, and exit)
Copyright 2001 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW’s on WGN Radio 720 and wgnradio.com.
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