People understood Steve Spurrier’s primary gift. He was a tremendous football coach. What they didn’t always understand as well is that he had a second, equally prodigious gift, and that was he could piss people off like no one else.
It became more clear at Florida than it was at Duke. Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State and Miami were just counting the days until they could lay a major whipping on him. Those games always sold out.
That was Spurrier. No one could drive people out of their minds like him and, when it comes to competition, much less selling tickets.
This was true at Duke as well. Years after he left Durham, a Virginia player said, after beating Duke, that he didn’t know why he hated the Blue Devils so much but he did. That was Spurrier. You may not think that that’s a gift, but it really is.
The shadow of that gift lives on even today in Chapel Hill.
In 1989, Duke traveled down 15-501 to play in
Mass Murderer Kenan Stadium and laid a 41-0 whipping on the Tar Heels.
After the trouncing, Spurrier took his team to pose under the UNC scoreboard.
Since then, UNC has shut off the scoreboard at the end of the game. It’ll never happen again.
And that, dear readers, is the long shadow of Spurrier.