Few things bother me more than a good opportunity wasted due to bad timing or uncontrollable circumstances. For instance, had the Black Sox scandal occurred in today's media climate, Jay Marriotti's head would explode. If Mickey Mantle played in New York today, he'd have been run out of town before his second season with his constant appearances on TMZ and Page 6. And if Skip Bayless were commentating on sports at the turn of the century, a ballplayer (likely Ty Cobb) would have given him the drubbing he so rightly deserves. Alas, we can only wonder what might've been as none of that will ever happen and we'll have to wonder what could've been. I'm reminded of these scenarios when I read today about the ongoing feud between Geno Auriemma and Pat Summit.
The feud is a good one. It features two folks at the pinnacle of their craft in a very public forum constantly battling through periodic character digs, all the while reminding us how great it can be when competitive sports turns 50 year-olds into 7 year-olds. There are rumors and threats and public call outs and tattle-taling.... this story's got it all. I mean look at this stuff:
Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said the regular-season series against rival Tennessee was canceled because Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt accused the Huskies of a recruiting violation.Now that is good stuff. Unfortunately, because it is women's hoops, no one gives a shit. It'd be like shooting Goodfellas with the cast of Full House (Kimmy Gibbler playing the roll of Sandy and Uncle Joey as Billy Batts). I mean, imagine if this were happening with the two most public figures in a sport that mattered? What if Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre were yapping like this or better yet, Peyton and Brady. Man this coulda been good if not great. Instead we have to listen to two blowhards who coach a sport that is overtelevised and underathleticized (word?) get awfully nasty about some rivalry that no one really cares about. What an f'n waste.
Auriemma, speaking to reporters on campus Tuesday, said Summitt "doesn't have the courage to say it publicly."
"Pat knows ... So she should just tell you why instead of saying, 'Geno knows.' I do know," he said Tuesday. "I already told you. She accused us of cheating at recruiting. She doesn't have the courage to say it publicly. So yeah, Geno does know. And I've said it."