The phone rang, and when I picked it up, I could almost hear the grins of Steve Spurrier wafting over the AT&T airwaves when I said:
“So, you’re a Head Ball Coach again! Congratulations. I’m so happy for you.”
In case you missed the announcement March 20, the Alliance of American Football, an eight-team development professional league, is set to begin play one week after next season’s Super Bowl. Among its advisers are Charlie Ebersol, the son of former NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol, Hall of Fame NFL general manager Bill Polian, former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and executive J.K. McKay, the son of the late John McKay, who coached at USC and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 10-week season will end at the end of April.
Orlando has been awarded the first franchise, and Spurrier will be its head ball coach.
“It’s ideal for me. Perfect,” Spurrier said from Orlando, where he was about to catch a flight home from New Home #2 in Orlando to New Home #1 in Gainesville.
“But most of my friends said the same thing – they’re all happy for me,” HBC said. “Short season, over by April. Staying in Florida and living six months in Orlando around friends and family.”
Spurrier went on to explain that he missed coaching and, for the first time, revealed the real truth why he left South Carolina.
“I didn’t leave South Carolina and coaching because I was 70,” he said. “It was because I had put together a sorry team with a sorry bunch of coaches, including me, and I couldn’t do anything to change it. And it was my fault. So, it was time to get out.”
Remember, Spurrier never said he wasn’t going to coach again when he signed on to become Ambassador/Consultant at Florida. In fact, he said he would love to coach again if the right thing came along.
The Alliance of American Football turned out to be exactly the right thing for him.
“Even Jerri’s fired up,” he said.
Here’s the Spurrier interview from CBS, which will broadcast the games: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nfl-competitor-alliance-of-american-football-new-football-league-first-team-orlando-steve-spurrier-today
Don’t think for a minute that the HBC is gliding into a rocking chair and taking a paycheck.
“We’ve got to go compete and win a championship,” he said, not even knowing yet what teams he would be playing. “People want you to say that. I don’t think fans come to the ball part to drink beer and giggle.”
The new Alliance of American Football Alliance has its first coach and first team in its first city for 2019 – without knowing who it’s competing against.
I told him about the Tweet I had just sent – “Coaches gotta coach, singers gotta sing and writers gotta write.”
“THAT is exactly right,” HBC said.
Steve Spurrier is back in the game.
Mackie’s back in town.
The world order of football is once again properly aligned.
(Hear Steve Spurrier on @The Buddy Martin Show next week. And check out the Buddy and @Bradyack Show live from @World of Beer Gainesville-Tioga Wednesday night April 11 #Pack the Swamp #Pack the Pub)