April 11, 2006

March Madness? Try April.

I realize this may come as news to a lot of you, but it turns out that our fine institution is in the market for a new basketball coach.

Now, I'm a bit of a Tobacco Road anomaly in that I don't pay much attention to college basketball. Actually I suppose that makes me more of a Tobacco Road apostate, but let's not split hairs. Anyhoo, Hublet, while not a rabid, foaming at the mouth obsessive, is, shall we say--interested--in the outcome of this search, so the last week has found me greeting the morning with the bedside clock radio, the TV news and the radio in the den (and the portable radio/cd player in the kitchen, you know, because walking that extra 4 feet to the den might result in his missing important coach search intel!) tuned to the Latest! Coach Search! Developments! Papal elections pale, PALE, I tell you, in comparison to this stuff.

But Hublet's transforming the house into a giant coaching news receiver is nothing compared to what's happening online. Fans on one of the big sites have spent their weekends (and presumably their workdays) obsessively searching for any tiny speck of information about who our next coach will be. And when I say obsessive, I mean that in the DSM-IV, OCD definition kind of way. Examples? Certainly!

Aside from the usual "insiders" posting rumors and wild speculation, some enterprising fans figured out how to use fltplan.com to track the movements of our big booster's plane, and so a large part of the weekend was spent discussing what a two-hour stopover in Memphis meant in terms of negotiations.

Then there was the whole "he's coming today to tour! no he isn't! yes he is!" discussion of yesterday that culminated in fans staking out the webcams and the actual parking lot of the RBC center and excitedly reporting that the Lights! Were! On! at 9 p.m. and there was No! Hockey! Game! OMGWTFBBQ!!!!! There were also reported sightings of a black Lincoln Navigator, which everyone KNOWS is the same car that our athletic director drives! I am amazed that no one ran a license plate check on it to confirm ownership, but I haven't checked those boards, so who knows? Maybe they did.

The most amusing part of all of this is the fact that the local news media are apparently monitoring this same message board, because their cameras are conveniently showing up at locations of interest shortly after they're posted online, and the on-camera sports guys are making sly references to their "sources" while pretty much quoting from the message board.

Actually, the truly amusing part is the fact that the fans on our message board keep expressing incredulity that the folks on the Possible Coach's Point of Origin Board are nowhere near as enterprising in figuring out what's going on.

Well, that could be because those people aren't completely batshit insane and verging on stalkerish, but who am I to judge?

Posted by Big Arm Woman at April 11, 2006 09:02 AM

Just to clarify, I'M not one of those obsessives. I'm ONLY checking these websites about once an hour, or so (maybe more during key negotiation periods)...

It strikes me that all of this falls into the "what makes men different from women" category" (I'm currently under the influence of Harvey Mansfield). I'm guessing 99% of the web trolling and plane tracking is being done by males. What this says about us is probably better left unsaid.

Here is the best quote from one of the fan sites I've seen - a prediction regarding a worst-case scenario where the latest candidate doesn't end up coming: "The school continues its search. The productivity in companies throughout North Carolina plummets to the point where we all go bankrupt and nobody can afford their Wolfpack Club dues."

Not that BAW and I could afford them, anyway.

Posted by: HusbandofBAW at April 11, 2006 10:24 AM

[Insert barely tangential -- at best -- quotations _cited obsoletely_ that are somehow supposed to indict women.]

Posted by: marc at April 11, 2006 10:31 AM

marc -


Posted by: BAW at April 11, 2006 11:13 AM

Um, yeah. I'm from Indiana. Most Hoosier high school/college basketball fans rival Texas high school/college football fans in their interest in the sport.

We also went through the whole coach search thing this year, and because I was born and raised in the state, I was expected to have an opinion.

Posted by: JP at April 11, 2006 12:21 PM

There's a sports table at lunch. Most guys avoid it.

It's audible second-hand smoke.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at April 11, 2006 02:53 PM

You need a new coach? Why not just rent a buggy from the Amish?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at April 11, 2006 09:57 PM

"It's audible second-hand smoke."

Heh. (I'd say "hee," but that's BAW's.)

I remember searching for a sweatshirt at my university (huge research one state school with Nobel Prize winners on the faculty) that mentioned academics. It took me three days.

Posted by: Michael at April 12, 2006 12:19 AM