It’s been a week since Presbyterian College admitted it had fired Tommy Spangler. It has been eight days since it fired Spangler. It has been nine since a trusted, supportive PC fan tipped me off that it was about to occur.
If he had told me that the earth had just been knocked off its axis by a cosmic blast and that we were all hurtling in the general direction of Neptune, but there was no need to worry because we would all be dead long before we froze to death, it would not have surprised me more.
Now I’ve lost the thrill of the hunt. Apparently, the Blue Hose braintrust (a questionable term, at best) has come up with a list and probably isn’t checking it twice, and interviews are soon to commence.
So what? If Presbyterian College isn’t interviewing a Biblical prophet who happens to be well versed in the air-raid offense, it isn’t going to find a coach better for the job than the man it just fired for espousing manly virtues.
There is an old, folksy saying, one of those used by folks who have no idea what it means.
Never stare a gift horse in the mouth.
When I was a kid, growing up on a farm, the way a horse’s age was determined was to look in its mouth and note the amount of tooth decay. A 2-year-old filly had relatively little. A 12-year-old mare had quite a lot. Undoubtedly the state of this art has advanced, but what the saying means is “if somebody gives you something, don’t be nitpicking about the gift.” If someone gives you a 6-pack of Coke, don’t tell him (or her) you only drink Pepsi.
In firing Spangler, Presbyterian College stared a gift horse in the mouth.
In a sense, I don’t care whom they hire. He’s not going to be as good as the man they inexplicably let go and whose contract extension they now apparently are seeking to void with frivolous semantics.
Hence the inexplicable silence continues. Lawyers lurk about.
I thought Spangler a godsend. It was common for me to remark that PC was extraordinarily lucky to have him. Lesser, more modern men would have bolted when the school phased out scholarships. Spangler kept his britches hitched and his whistle blowing. Somehow, after a year of pandemic plague, Spangler kept together a football team capable of competing effectively in its enforced world of lowered expectations. Presbyterian athletics policy for most of this century hasn’t been a primrose path. It’s been the graph of an earthquake.
Put your right foot in, take your right foot out, pick your right foot up and shake it all about. You do the hoochie-coochie and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about!
I don’t know, and somehow can’t quite believe, that Presbyterian College wants to eliminate football entirely. What I know is that they couldn’t do it any better if they did.