This is an investigation of dickishness in college football. Please note that by dickishness, we don't mean dancing, or celebrations, or coaches leaving in the middle of the year. We mean in-game decisions that reek of football actions three standard deviations from the core of commonly considered football courtesy or behavior, actions so devoid of any strategic value that their only possible value comes from the holy triumverate of spite, hatred, and distaste for your opponent.
This list is by no means inclusive, but rather a series of highlights. Not included is John Heisman's 222-0 embarrassment of Cumberland College, since Cumberland College was scarcely a team and they were playing in an era where football was scarcely distinguishable from rugby. Neither is garden variety running up the score, which is all too common, or any of Urban Meyer's mild antics, since he does not even rank on this list for sheer spite. (Timeouts and a field goal late do not even come close to sniffing the starting lineup on this list.)
We're talking real live mad dickishness here, and demand high standards. We start with a warm-up, and then get deeper into mad dickishness, since the examples cited at the end are so ridiculously dickish that getting right into them would result in injuries to precious muscles and ligaments. Feel free to add your own afterwards, but remember: they must be quality, or else fail the standard set by the masters of the game.
WARM-UP DICKISHNESS: Phil Fulmer Leaves Peyton Manning In To Rack Up Yards in 1997.
- Properly upbraiding the dickish coach
- Padding stats in the SEC's Ring of Eternal 360 Degrees Of Spite
Spurrier's long and storied master class in ace dickery has a crowning moment, and it is calling a flea-flicker with his backup quarterback in the fourth quarter in an attempt to become the first team ever to score fifty points between the hedges in Athens in 1995. The play didn't go for a touchdown, but Florida did score, and ours truly, leaping up to celebrate the TD like a proper asshole in the band should, was hit at that exact instant in the head by a bolt thrown by someone in the Georgia stands.
At the time we had lustrous, Brian Cook-ish hair, and watched as the rusty bolt bounced harmlessly off our Fauntleroy locks and landed on the ground without fuss. A quick inspection of the bolt showed that it matched the ones that secured the seats to the stadium itself, meaning an astonishing sequence of events and redneck strength occurred in the few seconds surrounding the TD:
0 seconds: TD is scored
2 seconds: Orson Swindle leaps up to full height
2.1--2.4 seconds: A UGA fan rips a goddamn bolt out of the stadium to throw at me
2.4-2.8 seconds: Bolt is thrown from impressive distance uphill. Bill Walsh would be agog at this release time.
3.3 seconds: Impact.
Just an amazing display of redneck strength and quick-twitch muscle fibers. If Ray Goff's defense had played with the same verve that day, we'd have lost by ninety, but as it was they appeared to be under the influence of ketamine, and spent the second half slapping blindly at invisible flies buzzing around their heads while allowing Florida receivers to run unimpeded through the defensive backfield.
The upside for Georgia is that Goff died in the fourth quarter from shame, and rests in a grave buried underneath what is now a Zaxby's in Moultrie, Georgia. A small memorial to Goff is found in a booth in the restaurant, and every Thursday Zalads are a dollar off in his honor.
MAD DICKISH: Pete Carroll, Variation One (Object)
- The value of the number fifty
- Failed spite
- The delicacy that is failed spite redeemed by even more futile play on the part of the opponent
- The tautological answer to "What's your deal?"
- Woody Hayes, naked and sweating in hell
- The three point conversion should be legal in rivalry games
- Woody Hayes really, really hated Michigan.
Because they wouldn't let us go for three.
MAD DICKISH: Pete Carroll, Variation Two (Subject)
- Taking the piss with unnecessary timeouts
- Answering minor dickishness with major dickishness
- Celebrating said dickishness with doubly dickish public behavior
- The concept of "ass-ham"
Up 21-7 with a minute to go in the 2009 UCLA/USC game, Rick Neuheisel, down two scores with scraps left on the clock, calls timeouts. Maybe you've seen the ESPN movie Codebreakers, a relic from the Mark Shapiro SPORTSTAINMENT era when ESPN attempted to make feature films once popular with proles in the early 20th century instead of doing cool shit like 30 for 30. Mark Shapiro was recently removed as head of Six Flags after driving the franchise into the ground. He sucks at everything, and is responsible for introducing Stephen A. Smith ot the world. Hit him with a two by four if you see him randomly on the street, and aim for the teeth.
In Codebreakers Scott Glenn plays Army coach Red Blaik, and in the waning seconds of a hopeless loss to Navy he intones "It all matters" to a team attempting to score in a dire, unsalvageable game. It's spoken like scripture, and is total crap, because the waning seconds of a game don't matter when you're losing by two TDs and the other team is paving you on the ground. You're done. Capitulation is not an option, but game management--i.e. letting the clock run out--is more than an honorable option at this point.
Making the point by calling a time out when the opponent has clearly signalled their intent to run out the clock...now that's slightly dickish. (There's majorly dickish ways of doing this, but more on Mark Dantonio's basement-filled-with-bones-and-tubs-of-quicklime later.) What's mad dickish is going play-action deep on the next play, and then jumping around like a toddler five minutes into the Halloween candy bag on the sidelines to celebrate in a game where, in all honesty, your team played like a sluggish bag of wet ass-ham against a vastly inferior opponent.
It's really a pox on all parties here: Neuheisel for watching his teaching moment blow up in his beautiful face, and to Pete Carroll for taking out Stanford's transgressions
MAD DICKISH: Mark Dantonio Has A Point To Make Everyone, And No One's Going Anywhere Until He Does.
- Mark Dantonio dissolves bodies in his basement with tubs of quicklime
- Big Ten coaches are actually crazier than you can possibly know
- Everyone will die of frostbite to prove a point in East Lansing
As long as you were all wearing ties, we're sure it was fine.
- Properly avenging a rogue road loss
- When going onside and keeping it real goes wrong
- How to make the opposing coach raise his middle finger to you
- Going for a fake punt up by 37 points in a shutout. No, really.
- Ensuring painful defeat the next year.
- Lou Holth lothing any ability to talk about thporthmanship ever
MAD DICKISH: Jack Pardee and Houston Run Out The Clock With Vertical Routes
- How to ruin a lifelong coaching friendship
- Running out the clock by throwing the nine route
- Proper technique for setting a pony on fire in front of horrified onlookers
Jack Pardee and SMU coach Forrest Gregg were friends once. Note: this was BEFORE the 1989 game between Houston and SMU:
That headline had an expiration date, and it was October 21, 1989.
''If I had a choice, I wouldn't have gotten 1,000 yards,'' he said. ''I didn't want that or 100 points. It's a shame to have to work with freshmen and redshirt freshmen. That's not what college football is about. We're not interested in rubbing it in on anyone.''