Last Modified: Thursday, August 09, 2012 10:08 PM
It was the kind of email that, ordinarily, I would just ignore.
But something jumped out at me. Something sinister. Something mildly uncomfortable.
So, sad to say, but I’m here to report that there’s a dangerous new inflammatory book out on the market, just in time for football season, a tome that apparently cuts deep into the very heart of your God-given rights as a college football fan.
I guess it does, at least.
I haven’t read it and don’t plan to.
It was written, as you might have already guessed, by the former wife of an ex-football coach at, according to the email notes, some vague college or another.
The title of the book is “Mrs. Coach,” but the subject of the email and accompanying article tells you all you really need to know about it:
“The Ignorance of Booing.”
It was actually penned by a Kathy Kronick, who in a previous life was married to a Dave Currey, who evidently spent time as an assistant coach at Stanford, Long Beach State and UCLA.
And maybe that’s the problem. You don’t trust much propaganda that comes from the Left Coast, and perhaps there really is a certain ignorance of proper booing in California.
Maybe they just don’t practice it enough.
But I’m here to tell Ms. Kronick that, over here in SEC country, the good folks have booing down to a fine science. It is not taken lightly. They take as much pride in it as grooming their hound dogs and cleaning their squirrel rifles.
Maybe the places her ex-husband coached just didn’t ever get the hang of it properly.
It’s not rocket science.
But if her point is that booing is somehow destructive, then I’m guessing Nick Saban is standing somewhere in the shadows behind this project.
Booing, relative to the team’s performance, just absolutely drives him crazy.
It was one of his many pet peeves and he went to great lengths to get his point across, something about never letting the other team see you sweat, that boos raining down in a home stadium was a sign of weakness and doubt and some other bigger words he used.
He was probably right, but that’s not the point.
For all the culture changing Saban accomplished while whipping LSU into shape, he made only marginal progress with his quest to banish booing in our lifetime.
It was the one thing LSU fans thought he really ought to mind his own business about.
Les Miles, not so much so.
Of course, Miles has always been more laid back, seemingly more oblivious to boo-torial comment from the cheap shots.
Probably the loudest boos I ever heard in Tiger Stadium came two years ago in the moments after LSU had just BEATEN Tennessee, although, if you recall, the do-over for the victory was certainly not the coaching staff’s fault.
Yet there was Miles, engulfed by boos, standing tall with his chagrined Tigers in the stadium corner, still grinning and bellowing out the alma mater victory sing-a-long like there was nothing untoward in the midst.
Granted, booing hasn’t been a particular nuisance in Tiger Stadium of late, and there’s a good reason for it. LSU has been mostly wining although, as that Tennessee game pointed out, it takes an especially adept and nimble fan to know when to boo a victory.
Ms. Kronick probably would not understand. She writes that her times in the stands supporting a coaching hubby often left her thinking, cleverly, that “I wish they would bottle their BOOs.”
There again, I don’t know how it works out on the West Coast, but down here it’s documented that a lot of boos come straight out of the bottle or, more likely in your classier stadiums, a flask.
But it seems — again, haven’t read it, just judging the excerpts — that the thesis of the book is that, in the end, the “coach knows best.”
Really, that’s what she wrote.
“It’s the coach’s job to obsess over every detail that will help the team win,” Kronick wrote.
Yeah? And the fans don’t? Plus, they have to spend valuable obsessing time on message boards, call-in shows and Twitter bombs. Let the coaches try that.
She points out that there are a lot of subtle factors to any decision that the common fan isn’t aware of.
Yeah? Then how come the common fan’s grandmother can tell you what play is coming next from the dimwit coordinator?
More: “A bad call is only so labeled if a play doesn’t work,” she complains.
Well, of course it is. Not sure what her point is there, but she adds that you “should be aware of that before criticizing.”
The boo birds are actually there to provide a valuable service. Call it quality control.
If a fan sits there and chirps along merrily no matter the chaos on the sidelines, the coach is never going to know he doesn’t have a clue with out some immediate feedback?
Anyway, the literature says Kronick was divorced from her coach-husband in 1996.
Probably, I’m guessing, a marriage torn asunder by a dumb third-down call.