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Unirsday. 4 October. 2(Mi t . w'ww.lhegatewaMxiline.ca 


20 skirts 


You cant spell crazy whacko’ without coach’ 



SPORTS 

STAFF 


Group 

Commentary 


If it were perfect world, all public 
figures would be even-tempered, 
soft-spoken role models, shining 
beacons of reasonable behaviour 
there to show us how to act under 
trying circumstances. But. since it 
isn't, we might as well make die best 
of what we have And that means 
using famous sports figures' crazy-ass 
antics for our personal entertainment. 
Coaches and managers are particularly 
known for having hair-trigger tem¬ 
pers, and luckily for us, when they 
blow a gasket, it's usually caught on 
tape. Read our favourite freak-outs, 
then see them for yourself online at 
thegatewayonline.ca. 

Justin Bolivar 

Picture a typical NBA coach and you 
likely envision someone who exudes 
toughness and grit unparalleled by 
any coach in professional sports. The 
likes of Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, and 
Sam Mitchell are scary enough to make 
anyone back down in a fight, but there's 
one NBA coach who always seems to 
get caught in the middle of a brawl. 
This bench boss looks more like the 
water boy than the brains of the opera¬ 
tion. This coach is Jeff Van Gundy. 

It was during the intense Miami 
Heat-New York Knicks playoff rivalry 
of the late '90s: tensions boiled over 


in 1998, when Heat centre Alonzo 
Mourning punched Knicks forward 
Larry Johnson in the fourth game of 
their first-round Eastern Conference 
series. Mourning's punch triggered 
a bench-clearing brawl on the hard¬ 
wood at Madison Square Garden with 
both sides going after each other. 
But one detail seemed out of place in 
this fight: Van Gundy clutching onto 
Mourning's leg in an attempt to pry 
him away from Johnson. Of course, 
the only thing he accomplished 
lie re was shining the floor because 
Mourning didn't even notice he was 
there. The only thing Van Gundy got 
out of this was a gash to the forehead 
and some stitches. 

Evidently, this action wasn’t 
enough, for three years later he 
would beat it again, getting between 
Knicks forward Marcus Camby and 
Spurs forward Danny Ferry. He 
tried to separate the two during a 
heated exchange; how'ever. Camby 
would have none of it and threw a 
right hook at Ferry. This didn't con¬ 
nect with Ferry but instead with Van 
Gundy's balding forehead, causing 
an excessive amount of bleeding and 
more stitches. 

Nick Frost 

While it may not have been at wacky as 
some of the other examples of coaches 
straight-up losing it. former Oilers 
bench boss Ron Low's immensely 
underrated tirade on former Avalanche 
coach Marc Crawford during the 
1997/98 playoffs stands out to me. I 
can still remember watching the game 
and seeing Low so beet-red with anger 
that he looked like he was going to 


suffer an emboiism. 

It was 2 May, 1998, and the Oilers 
were up 2—0 in game six against 
the Avs—who had a 3-2 lead in the 
series and. as we all know, ended up 
losing 4—3 to the Oil (clearly. Monica 
Lewinsky wasn’t the only one blow¬ 
ing around that time). With the game 
near conclusion. Crawford sent in 
goons JeffOdgers and Warren Rychel 
against a smaller Oilers line that fea¬ 
tured Mats Lindgren and the recently 
concussed Dean McAmmond. 

Low, liowever, took exception to 
this, and tried to take matters into 
his own hands by jumping the glass 
between the benches and laying a 
few liaymakers on Crawford's coiffed 
pretty-boy ass. 

The players restrained him, but 
they couldn't stop him from tlirow- 
ing his gum at Crawford from across 
tlie glass, flipping him the bird, 
and dropping a few F-bombs that 
could be easily noticed by the CBC- 
watching audience at home It’s not 
so much what he did. or tried to do, 
that stands out to me; it’s the fact that 
I don’t think I've ever seen anyone 
so incredibly infuriated like that in 
my life—far less a stocky, balding 
man in a grey suit with one bell of a 
mustache. 

Marc Affeld 

No discussion of this nature would 
be complete without a mention of 
the walking meltdown that is Bob 
Knight. 

Consider, if you will, that despite 
being one of the most successful bas¬ 
ketball coaches of all time—indeed, 
the winningest NCAA Division I head 


coach in history—Knight will likely 
be most remembered by many for his 
often-violent and almost always pro¬ 
fane outbursts on and off the court 
instead. The now-infamous 1988 
game in which Knight tossed his chair 
across the court in protest of a techni¬ 
cal foul called on his Indiana Hoosiers 
is actually one of his least controversial 
incidents. 

The list of worse things he's done 
is extensive. In 1979, he was charged, 
and convicted in absentia, of assault¬ 
ing a police officer while at the Pan 
American Games in Puerto Rico. In a 
1988 television interview with Connie 
Chung, when asked how he handles 
stress. Knight replied. "I think dial if 
rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it." 
In 2000. he was fired from Indiana 
University for allegedly grabbing and 
injuring die arm of a student while 
lecturing him on respect after the stu¬ 
dent addressed him by saying, "Hey, 
Knight, what’s up?" 

Over the years. Knight lias also 
repeatedly been accused of kicking, 
clicking, head-butting, and otherwise 
physically, and verbally, assaulting his 
own players. 

Yet. in spite of all of these incidents, 
Knight continues to coach Division I 
basketball. Somehow, he consistently 
manages to brush off scandal after 
scandal by invoking the "Bobby Knight 
is just being Bobby Knight" defence. 

Maybe my personal lack of respect 
for Knight stems from the fact that I 
wasn't even bom the last time he lead 
a team to a NCAA championship—or 
perhaps it has something to do with 
Knight once claiming at a press con¬ 
ference lliat sports |oumalism is "one 
or two steps above prostitution." 


Paul Owen 

Oklahoma State football coach Mike 
Gundy’s rant at a reporter over what 
he saw as unfair criticisms levelled 
at his quarterback really should go 
dow n as the best coach tirade ever. 
Unlike other situations where a 
bench boss flipped. Gundy’s shouting 
spree at Oklahoman columnist jenni 
Carlson served not just as a glimpse 
into how crazy one man could be; it 
was also the best recruiting video 
his Cowboys could have ever have 
hoped for. 

Forget about the fact that Gundy 
crossed many hues in his criticisms 
of Carlson—most notably saying 
that her childlessness was the reason 
she wasn't afraid either to bring up 
the relationship between the team's 
embattled quarterback Bobby Reid 
and his mother or to call him a wimp 
about it. Gundy did what every strug¬ 
gling player wants his coach to do: he 
stood up for Reid, telling reporters that 
it wasn’t okay to criticize beyond what 
liappens on the field, and demanding 
they come after Itim instead because 
lie's "a man” and "40." Additionally, 
he managed to deflect all attention 
away from their mistakes onthe field. 

High-school players all over the Big 
I2's recruiting base should flock to 
Gundy, perhaps the most visible "play¬ 
ers’ coach" ever. Also, OSU claims that 
the vast majority of correspondence 
the University has received about the 
matter has been in favour of Gundy's 
actions. So not only should it make his 
team richer in talent, but it will also 
probably make his school richer. How 
many other coaches can boast that 
their temper tantrum did that? 





“Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

You can't imagine how this 

changed my life and stress 
levels. I feel like a ton of bricks has 
been lifted off my chest and I can 

breathe now.” —4th year Agricultlkf Si 


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