Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog fighting (nothing to see here)

(Eds note: this is all self-serving blogger stuff that I try to avoid. If you don't care, feel free to skip this post.)

Blauds wrote this Sunday. He's written about me before, but I've just ignored it. I don't think two writers going back and forth is all that entertaining or informative. However, in this case it starts to creep into the personal and the logic is so flawed, I thought I should responded. His post is sort of all over the place, so let me take on his main points one by one.

1. "Get a credential"

I've been getting credentialed for BC events for nearly 18 years. The reason I am not a regular in the BC press box is more about geography rather than willingness to face the subjects I write about. I covered all the teams for WZBC in the 1990s and have been blogging about BC since 2005. I've been credentialed for away games and bowl games throughout the southeast. I've covered some of the same events Blauds has as a member of the media. I took this picture. Notice the guy to Purvis' right?
I will be credentialed this Saturday. But not so I can "introduce myself to Spaz and tell him what I think." I've met Spaz twice. Once when I was a student and once after the Champs Bowl. Could he put my face to this blog? Doubtful. He didn't seem to care at the time. But why would I go up to him after the game and say: "You are failing. You need to be fired!" Does any member of the media do that? Does any member of the BC community do that? I do not take calling for anyone's job lightly. Despite my extreme doubts about Spaz's capabilities as a Head Coach, I didn't call for him to be fired until last season. But Spaz is a public figure with a public job that is covered by media and debated by fans. People writing, talking and speculating about his job comes with the territory. He knows this and is paid handsomely for it. And if Blauds or he ever feel sorry for him, they only need to look at the scrutiny other Boston sports figures face (Bobby V anyone?) and other college coaches face in other parts of the country. Gene Chizik won a National Championship two years ago and now fans are attacking his wife on Facebook. In the whole scheme of things Spaz gets off easy.

But regardless of the fairness or appropriateness of me calling for a change, Blauds implies that I don't back up my words or statements. One of the reasons I have been open about my identity from the very beginning was the personal belief that having my name attached to everything I post would be the best filter for what I write and how I approach my subjects. Even with that I have made hundreds of mistakes and have dozens of posts that I wish I had never written. But I haven't deleted them. I have apologized. But this is my blog and these are my words.

Even when I was a student and going to Dan Henning's press conferences and flying on the team charter as part of the WZBC crew, I said Henning should be fired. We all did. But not to his face. That's not cowardly. It is just how things are done and Blauds knows this. We had a forum (radio) and we covered and discussed BC. But during our broadcasts we also offered our opinion. And at the time we said Henning should be fired. Now I have a different forum (this blog). I provide news and opinion and it is my opinion that Spaz should be fired. And if I happen to meet Brad Bates this weekend and he asks my opinion, I will share with him what I have already written.

2. "A HEALTHY roster of players that Spaziani recruited is not that a bad a team."

I agree with Blauds on this point. He sees it as a defense. I see it as an indictment of Spaz's tenure and record. This BC team is not as talented as some of our best but it is not as bad as some say. I believe a different coach and different staff could be getting more out of them. Regardless of health, Florida State WRs were running free through zones on Saturday. Yet players were missing assignments or getting caught out of position. Are guys trying to do too much? Are they not paying attention? Did they stop caring? No one knows, but you cannot get rid of 85 players at once. You can change the head coach. This team is underachieving by every measure. If Blauds thinks this is a six or seven win roster, then how can he come to the conclusion that Spaz is getting the most out of what he has? Every team has injuries and it costs them a game or two. Not five.

3. Firing Spaz now accomplishes nothing.

I paraphased that point, because I need this blockquote to capture all of the logic misteps Blauds made here:

"Give BC a head start on finding a new coach? Are you kidding me.

Do you actually believe that Bates is not looking and checking names and availability right now?

Do you not think that when the regular season ends a decision will be made and made quickly.

Fire Spaz now will give a boost to the players on the team? Really. I talk to players on that team. I see them on the practice field. I see them walking around campus. They are mad as hell. But changing coaches, put in someone like Doug Martin in on an interim level. Again that will accomplish? Maybe that is done at places where football is more important than going to school or playing by the rules. But at BC?"


I do believe that Bates is already considering names and I do believe he will have a quick process once he moves forward. But Blauds is either forgetting or ignoring recent college football history if he thinks firing a coach early and moving on in the process early doesn't have its advantages. The last two schools to hire Urban Meyer did so in season and after they got a head start on the process. Now I don't think BC is going to bring in the next Urban Meyer, but for the sake of a simple and credible strawman to help Blauds see the light, let's say Bates has an eye for BC grad and Saints Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. If Spaz is no longer BC's head coach and if Carmichael wants the job, hiring him early allows Carmichael to build his staff, contact recruits and get planning on rebuilding BC. I know something that aggressive and progressive won't happen, but firing Spaz does declare to the football world: "this job is open and available." Bates will hear from dozens of potential candidates. Starting to sort through the process now is not a bad thing.

As for the players at this point they deserve better. They deserve someone who believes in them and will do everything he can to win these games. I don't go to practice (once again, geography) but you don't need to live in Cleveland Circle to judge the mood of the players and the team. Just look at social media or what player parents are writing on the blogs and message boards. Putting Martin or McGovern in charge for the rest of the season changes the mood. It won't change the team dramatically or wipe away their flaws overnight, but it is one of the only options BC has. It has nothing to do with going to class or playing by the rules.

Because this has already gone on long enough...

I don't know why Blauds decided to call me out now. Maybe because among the hundreds of anonymous BC fans on message boards and blogs, I am one of the few with a clear name to attach to my argument. It doesn't matter. I stand by what I say. I've been wrong before and will be wrong again. But this time I am confident in my opinion. BC football and its players would be better off if Bates fired Spaz midseason. Their careers on finite. Most of them only have a few games left and want to win. As I've said, they deserve better. They always have.

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27 Comments:

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Matt said...

You're a class act, Bill. Thanks for all that you do for all of us.

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Ry said...

Well done sir. And in complete paragraphs comprised of multiple intermediate to complex sentences....something Blauds can't seem to manage.

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger K_Egan said...

Brilliant Piece. The guy probably won't even acknowledge it in his state of ignorance. Don't get angry, get even. I think you really did that with this.

 
At 11:23 PM, Blogger Philip said...

We have known he is a tool for years, this is the best press he is ever going to get and he knows he can use it to get his hits up. The best thing we can all do is NOT visit his site and unfollow him on twitter.

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger dixieagle said...

Something "aggressive and progressive" is exactly what we need to happen right now.

Spaz may be a very nice man... I have no idea. He was a good defensive coordinator but it has been clear from the beginning that there has rarely been someone less equipped to be a head coach as he; his sad sack, hangdog demeanor is toxic, and I can't imagine how the players must feel this year.

Allowing this to go on is torture for all involved; send a strong signal that utter incompetence cannot be tolerated and that there will be change... before every decent recruit heads for the hills.

If a sportswriter can't see that there is everything to lose by "letting the season play out" he's in the wrong profession.

 
At 11:29 PM, Blogger Cliff said...

Thanks Bill. Nicely done, but if this was truly Blog Fighting, the venom was missing. (Thank God!!!)

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger Gethin Coolbaugh said...

Bill, love it. Love it all. Keep it up, my friend.

 
At 11:42 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Awesome post, ATL. Blauds is a hack and a fraud; and he knows it at this point. Now he's just pandering.

FWIW, I along with innumerable other BC alums have our real names attached to our Twitter when we call for Spaz to be ired, and I make no efforts to hide my identity. If I met Spaz tomorrow, I would tell him I think he's doing an awful job. That's not bravery, that's holding people accountable.

 
At 12:05 AM, Blogger Chris B. said...

BC fans that want to fire Spaz midseason may want to take a look at this article about the Arizona AD's hiring process for Rich Rodriguez. Arizona fired Mike Stoops midseason.RichRod was named the new coach before the final game of the season and he was able to hit the ground running by being able to recruit right away and even being able to watch some practice and evaluate what he had. At the end of the season, there's basically two months left before signing day (including a sizable dead period). Every day counts.

 
At 12:55 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Blauds is a sad case. Low on the Globe totem pole. Never got or kept choice assignments. Naturally lazy, sloppy. His work product went without any acclaim. Further marginalized st Globe. And ultimately dismissed after decades of service.

Now he has his super shitty blog with few readers. And he is engaging in distortion, seemingly fake sourcrs and now petsonal attacks.

Blauds is Willy Loman.

 
At 2:53 AM, Blogger BCMike said...

But Spaz is a JERSEY GUY?!?!?

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger Tim said...

You just gave Blauds exactly what he wanted: airtime and a link to his website. You should've just ignored his nonsense.

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

BC football players are just as much employees of the university as the team's staff, or the athletic department. Student athletes do so with even more strict rules, and requirements to continue as members of the football team.

All employees of BC deserve competent leadership, and competent support in their individual development. If is is clear that the current head football coach does not do either of two, then it is the responsibility of the senior management of BC to make a change as soon as possible. Waiting to make needed change in leadership is a strategy for losers. It reflects poorly on the prospects for any organization, and hurts its employees. It is dangerous with something so visible as college football where your leadership failings are broadcast coast to coast. You lose your best employees while you wait while you become less attractive to potential employees.

BC owes its employees to remove underperforming members of its leadership on a timely basis. As a teaching institution it should set a good example. Support your employees, terminate the offending head football coach now.

Jeff

 
At 8:29 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

BC football players are just as much employees of the university as the team's staff, or the athletic department. Student athletes do so with even more strict rules, and requirements to continue as members of the football team.

All employees of BC deserve competent leadership, and competent support in their individual development. If is is clear that the current head football coach does not do either of two, then it is the responsibility of the senior management of BC to make a change as soon as possible. Waiting to make needed change in leadership is a strategy for losers. It reflects poorly on the prospects for any organization, and hurts its employees. It is dangerous with something so visible as college football where your leadership failings are broadcast coast to coast. You lose your best employees while you wait while you become less attractive to potential employees.

BC owes its employees to remove underperforming members of its leadership on a timely basis. As a teaching institution it should set a good example. Support your employees, terminate the offending head football coach now.

Jeff

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Alex L. said...

Blauds called out Bill by his real name. Normally, it would make sense to ignore and not take the bait, but in this case it makes sense to respond. Well done, Bill.

I watched the first half of the Fla St game. Other than the first drive, the team looked apathetic. The 20 yard cushion by the defense certainly doesn't help either. We have talent on this team, we really do. But the players are being very poorly coached. The talent is not being cultivated.

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger The Sean McMahon said...

Bill, great article. Way to put what a lot of us feel into words. I was one of the many "Sparkys" Blauds called out on Twitter. I tried to explain to him that I'm not (to quote his website) an "acclaimed national sportswriter. I'm a guy with a Twitter account, a passion for BC and usually a few too many beers in me. Instead of trying to debate the issue he just calls people names. Its nice to see an intelligent well written response to his journalistic drivel.

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

Thank you ATL for sorting out Blauds' spin cycle. What an absolute joke that guy is. "get a credential and tell him to his face" LOL did a 9 year old write this? In what world does this guy live in?

Regardless, there is no reason to keep Spaz around. The remaining games are winnable and we could have a coach who game plans "not to lose" or we could have an Interim like Martin who actually wants to win some games. It would also accelerate the coaching search and allow us to make a move faster. Those are all positives. there are NO positives to keeping spaz around -- we will lose out the season, be behind on recruiting, and suffer the same cowardice every saturday with regards to game plan and execution.

#FIRESPAZ

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger eddierock said...

Bill: You are the man. I know I speak for many when I say that I check your website daily, soemtimes multiple times per day. Your postings are inevitably interesting, well informed, and appropriately passionate.

I agree that you needed to address Blauds on this particular posting.

Going forward, I join others in believing that the best way to handle blauds is simply to ignore him. No hits on his website, no twitter following, cut off the oxygen...

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger BMurray said...

Great work, Bill. Keep it up.

Atl rules - Blogboy drools.
www.winninginc.sandler.com

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger BMurray said...

Great work, Bill. Keep it up.

Atl rules - Blogboy drools.

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger Chuck said...

Bill,

I have been following your blog ever since I graduated in 2007 and moved away from Boston. I have always enjoyed the content and style of your blog. In particular, you provide a passion for your subject while remaining genuine. There are no alterior motives. This is not a selfish blog looking for attention but a blog that is built for others, providing us with a forum to read about and share our love for BC. I happen to think you are right about Spaz and Blauds is wrong - but I know that your style and desire is authentic and genuine, and that's even more important to me. Keep up the good work!

Chuck

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger Knucklehead said...

If there ever was a coach that should be or needed to be fired mid-season it is Spaz. The only reason that he is going to finish the season is that Bates is brand new and needs some time to figure out what the hell is going on with the football program.

I am very leary of hiring Pete Carmichael. The Saints program is a complete cesspool.

We need a disciplinarian who can recruit the players parents like O'B and Coughlin did. Need someone who can sell the parents on the fact that the kid will get educated and will have a chance to play in the NFL.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger beighsman said...

Great job Bill. Pete Carmichaelcwould be a perfect fit and with the mess the Saints are going through I imagine that it would be a perfect time for him.

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

also, it is clear as day that Blauds has basically one "scoop" and that is with Spaz and Gene D. Gene is gone and he's desperately hanging onto Spaz. his blog only "breaks" stories (i use quotes since it was Blauds who "broke" about 4 different ADs getting named) regarding BC and as soon as Spaz is done he'll have no sources left, either with BC or any other sports topic. a journalist with no more sources or scoops is the equivalent of being a typewriter salesman -- the world has passed you by. its pathetic that he's resorted to "calling out" a guy who blogs about his passion (BC sports) and gives his honest opinion.

long live Eagle in Atlanta.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger BCAlum2000 said...

Blauds is losing his mind dedicating posts to Eagle in ATL and now taking weak shots in his comments section. I almost feel pity for him. Clearly the years on the unemployment line are really taking their toll ...

 
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