Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Anybody who reads Cock & Fire nows that I'm not real fond of Ron Morris. Sure, he makes the rare good point. And he writes pretty well.

But Morris has a problem with ... how shall we put this ... consistency. When the Gamecocks do well, his columns are upbeat, positive, sunny. When they do poorly, the columns are sullen, downcast, pessimistic. "Roller coaster" doesn't even begin to cover it.

Granted, swings in perception about a team are a given -- see any poll. But wild swings about the same team, over and over throughout the course of a season, even after weeks of watching said team, are a different matter.

Oddly enough, though, Morris' consistency problem becomes clear in his most recent column on Spurrier getting fined for what I would say were careless comments about referees. I could dispute some portion of Morris' column and agree with others, but that's not what caught my eye. This nugget did:

For that reason, we give Spurrier the benefit of the doubt when he blasts his own fans for cheering after a loss. Our criticism is tempered when he calls out an assistant coach during a post-game press conference. And, we understand where he is going when he calls his team "losers."
There is a lot of gray area in all of those instances. There is none when it comes to calling out officials. [Emphasis added]

That sounded oddly familiar. It sounded sort of like something he wrote during the Ron Cooper incident -- when Spurrier "call(ed) out an assistant coach during a post-game press conference."

What did Morris write then?

Already this season, Spurrier has ranted after a game about how his team plays “stupid.” He also went after USC fans for cheering his team following a close loss to Auburn. At least on those two occasions, there was a wide swath of gray area concerning his comments.
There was no middle ground on what he did to Ron Cooper on Saturday. What he did was wrong. [Emphasis added]

Has Morris never heard of Lexis Nexis? Or Google? Does he realize that we no longer live in a world where you can write one thing, write another little more than a month later, have them completely contradict each other, and have no one notice?

Again, in October: "There was no middle ground on what he did to Ron Cooper on Saturday." In November: "There is a lot of gray area in all of those instances." No qualification. No "with the exception of the Cooper incident." Simply "in all of those instances."

I don't mind criticizing Spurrier; from time to time, he deserves it. Probably in both these cases, he should have been raked over the coals a bit.

But be consistent when you do it. And come up with a different set of sentences to do so.

I actually voted against it being a gray area before I voted for it.


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