The Rant – Gus Malzahn Edition

The Traitor Gus MalzahnI can only truly express the unhealthy and sinful hatred I feel right now toward Gus Mal-(expletive deleted)-zhan in this mental image: Jesus on the Cross, flashing a middle finger at “the visor’ed one” berating him like he was a vendor at a table outside the Temple for the cowardly acts he has done that have caused so much damage to Christianity by being such a hypocrite.

Or maybe what I see is just the average Arkansas State fan from the top of Liberty Bank Stadium cursing, yelling, as only a good ‘ol country boy can.

I got new glasses today, so things can get blurry at times.


I was heading back to work from lunch when I popped my phone out before taking off to take a quick peek at Twitter to see if the Kansas City Royals had finally made a trade for a pitcher at the Winter Meetings.

Half expecting to be pissed off about some foolhardy trade made by Dayton Moore, I am greeted by a tweet saying Arkansas State University had, for the second straight year, lost its head coach.

This year, somehow, hurts so much worse…

I could make several metaphorical references here (or include the word “like” and make them like a simile) as to how this feels.

Last year A-stAte felt the Freeze.

Last year, coming off a 4-8 record in 2010, the much-maligned advertising department at A-stAte ran with the easy play on Hugh Freeze’s last name and made the marketing pitch for 2011 all about the coach.

It worked; it worked up until a few days after the team clinched the conference championship on… Wait, which year was I talking about?

Mal-(expletive deleted)-zhan pisses me off on so many levels.

The easy ones are that that (expletive deleted) promised he was “home.”

Promised he was “home” to build a program that we could all be proud of.

Promised that he wasn’t going to leave after one year.

Promised he was different.

Promised this was different.

Promised “Next Level.”

And there we were, like battered wives (See what I did there? It’s that simile I had to use.) eager and willing to believe the lies of the new boss – only to find this boss was same as the old boss, but worse.

Freeze left because the one job he had always wanted came open, open at the most inopportune time for A-stAte fans.

Then, like fat people coming off of a binge and finding a new Hollywood diet while being up at 3:00 a.m. watching HSN, we bought in, bought it all in.

Pledged to more than quadruple the salary.

Pledged to pay his assistants more money.

Went to the legislature and put all of the university on the line promising to not use public funds for our new in-door practice facility.

Pledged to make the commitment to go “Next Level.”

The only thing Mal-(expletive deleted)-zhan was worried about taking to the next level was his bank account.

Oh, they had specials.

Specials where his wife explained that crazy-ass video tape – and we sucked it up.

Specials where his daughters talked about how great Jonesboro and A-stAte were and how his youngest daughter was going to school there and blah blah blah – and we sucked it up.

We sucked it up and now we are left to swallow and endure the bitter after-taste and clean up the sticky mess that was A-stAte football.

And yet, like junkies looking for a fix, A-stAte fans are wanting that next great coach, who will leave us for whichever SEC West team has an opening next year.

Like that junkie, we are willing to beg, borrow and steal to get it done.

Like that junkie, we want that high, that ever elusive high.

Only like a junkie, it will be harder and harder to get and last shorter and shorter – which can only mean a coach leaving before the season ends, I guess?

Like that junkie, A-stAte has an enabler, at least right now.

That enabler is the Governor of the State of Arkansas.

But soon that enabler will leave us, too (stupid term limits).

And as a junkie’s world is really beyond his/her ability to handle, the world of college football around A-stAte and its fans is starting to eat its own.

The reality is, the future even with Mal-(expletive deleted)-zhan as coach wasn’t bright.

Maybe this gut punch is what A-stAte officials, fans and alumni need to realize that continuing to chase our tail in the big-boy world of college football is fruitless and, more importantly, damages who we all are.

Maybe, just maybe, A-stAte realizes what the future truly holds, and the only way for it to stay afloat will be to win the next $500 million PowerBall lottery.

This could be A-stAte’s tech-bubble bursting, and we, the fans and the powers that be, can see what needs to be done.

Alas, we all know better than that.

People in power mostly want more power. Rich people want more money. The A-stAte administration and fan base will continue to chase that high and wait for a few years when the conference realignment mountain tumbles down upon it like the ash of a volcano.

What is coming will be A-stAte’s equivalent to the housing bubble burst in 2008. A bust that will somehow catch everyone by surprise and leave schools, like A-stAte, that didn’t plan ahead broke, unemployed (without a conference) and in the welfare line, begging to be scheduled… on the road…


Back to the Royals.

I have been a Royals fan since I was 13.

I am a bigger Royals fan than I am a fan of any team in any sport. Probably a bigger Royals fan than I am a fan of all other sports and teams.

1986 the Royals were coming off of their first and only World Series Championship.

That year they drafted Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson.

I remember watching ESPN’s SportsCenter, seeing Bo throw Harold Reynolds out from the warning track in left field.

I remember seeing him run sideways on the outfield wall.

I remember seeing him breaking bats over his knees.

I remember seeing him in commercials on TV with Bo Diddley – all in a Kansas City Royals uniform.

I remember seeing him run for the Oakland Raiders and injuring his hip.

I remember mourning the loss of what he could have been.

Now, now Mal-(expletive deleted)-zahn has made me have to hate Bo Jackson.

Bo Jackson interviewed Mal-(expletive deleted)-zahn and was on the selection committee that hired him to Auburn.

Bo may not know diddley, but Bo knows how to hire the one coach who makes me hate college football, hate that coach and hate even Bo himself.

For that, Bo, I cannot forgive you.

Number 16 is dead to me.

Billy Butler is a much better player wearing your number. At least I have Country Breakfast to bring pride to that number.

I-I-I-I hope y-y-you li-i-i-ke your new coach, Bo.

I hope he leaves your (several expletives deleted) in the dust.

I hope the NCAA goes all USC and Penn State combined on your beloved Auburn.

Oh, and I am glad that crazy (expletive deleted) killed your trees.

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