Thursday, May 29, 2008

Checking In With Tan Tommy

Let's see, whose name hasn't Tom Crean pulled out of his rolodex to write a "Tom Crean is trying to save Indiana basketball, but it's going to take time" puff piece? Andy Katz? Check. Gary Parrish? Check. Pat Forde? ... Nope, not yet! So how 'bout it, friend? Care to undo the fly on Tan Tommy's khakis and have a nibble on his hoo-hoo-dilly? You know you want to!


You have to give the guy this: in a world of self-aggrandizing me-promoters, he sure does a hell of a job worming his way back into the spotlight.

Tom Crean's get-acquainted tour of Hoosier Nation came to the state's southern edge Wednesday. The highlight of the day might have been a trip to the bathroom.

Hold on. A trip to the bathroom, you say? Give me a minute -- I need to consult urban dictionary for some synonyms for 'fellating.'

Businessman Ned Pfau of Jeffersonville, Ind., has turned the spacious men's room at his office into a replica of the Assembly Hall locker room. Yeah, the men's room. A guy can relieve himself amid lockers, banners, posters and autographed memorabilia of all things Indiana. The only thing missing is Damon Bailey handing out paper towels and mints.

Even for Indiana, this is the fucking dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Lemme take a stab in the dark, Ned Fawww -- you flog the dolphin quite a bit, don't you?

"We had 12 grown men hanging out in a bathroom today," Crean said. "That is not healthy. But that is what it's all about."

No, Tommy, that's called a Greek bathhouse. And I can't wait til you start printing your truckload of inspirational T-shirts for your four players next year: Indiana Basketball: 12 Grown Men In A Bathroom -- That's What It's All About.

"It's not going to be easy next year," the coach told his audience Wednesday evening. "I think most of you know that. It's very, very likely that for the next couple years, we'll be the youngest team in major-college basketball."

We will also run the most dribble hand-offs of any team in the history of sport. It may well look like we're running the three-man weave out there. Actually, it's entirely possible that, at times, we will only have three warm bodies on the floor. This is part of the plan.

Crean made both a telling gesture and a telling comment Wednesday night when he brought his entire staff, including the academic support group, to Huber Winery in Starlight. When he had the academic people stand up and take a bow, Crean said, "I can't wait to see what they can do when they have the full backing of their head coach."

My God, wasn't Kelvin Sampson supposed to be this asshole's friend? Jesus Tittie Fucking Christ. Any more dirt you want to heap on dude's grave, cocksnorter?

Crean drew a combination of groans and laughter from his audience Wednesday when, following a standing ovation, he said, "I needed this a couple weeks ago when potted plants were flying around our office."

Hey, that could be another T-shirt: Indiana Basketball 2008: A Combination of Groans and Laughter.

At least Crean has the luxury of slow-cooking Indiana back to promise. He negotiated an eight-year contract ("It didn't start out that way," he said with a smile) that gives him a chance to methodically crawl out of the smoking crater in which he currently resides. The guy would rather milk goats for a living than lose, but he has the contractual latitude to go about this the right way.

Two things: in two years, when IU is still looking up at Northwestern in the Big 11 standings, it won't matter how long the fucker's contract is. And two: once Crean 'n Crimson is run out of Indiana, his next job will likely involve some form of goat milking. You think your alleged "friends" in the coaching industry are going to hook you up with an assistant's job when you so cavalierly toss them under the bus for your benefit? Give Kelvin a ring in a couple years. I'm sure he'll take the call.

Still, that's always easier said in May than done in February. At a school that is accustomed to success, humility and patience are in small supply. Perhaps that's why a local banker who introduced Crean to the throng said "nobody cares" about the coach's bio.

"We want to know how you're going to win, when you're going to win and who you're going to win with," the banker said.

First he's going to win with his mouth.

I know what you want me to say here. It's too easy.

Crean simply cannot and will not shake enough hands, sign enough things and kiss enough babies over the next year or two. Because the victories will be slow to come on the court, he'd better win the PR campaign first.

That isn't a problem. Crean doesn't just coach a good game, he talks one, too.

No disagreement on the latter point. (I do wonder, though, how well Tan Tommy's huckster routine is going to play in Indiana. There was always a certain segment of the Marquette community, especially those of us who are from / stayed in Wisconsin, that rolled its eyes at TC's schtick. So, I see one of two things happening: either TC ends up like Harold Hill when the people of River City finally figure out he's full of shit -- and by 'end up like Harold Hill,' I don't mean: 'fucking the town librarian,' I mean 'being chased by angry townspeople who are searching for the highest tree and the shortest rope in the area' -- or the goddamn hayseeds buy into his cocksmoke-and-mirrors wholesale. After living through Kelvin Sampson, somehow I don't think the second scenario will play out.

As for the former point -- that TC coaches a good game, too -- let's just say that, at best, the jury is still out on that one. In fact, the jury's been out for a damn long time, about nine years. Maybe someone should check on the jury. I imagine it's getting pretty fucking stinky in the deliberation room.


OK, we checked on the jury. Yep, they're dead. You read it here first -- Tom Crean: Murderer.

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