Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hey Huggins, Heckling is a Part of Life

Lot to get to in this post, including: heckling Bob Huggins, how he called some Marshall fans a "piece of shit" and asked us if we wanted "a piece of this," and how even I get heckled, so stay with me:

Last night was the annual Capital Classic between Marshall and WVU. It is my favorite sporting event every year, and one of those reasons is, I get to heckle WVU coach Bob Huggins the whole game...

Now, I keep it classy, I don't cuss, but I sit on the second row right at half court so I've got a direct shot to Huggins' ears. I just made fun of his weight (his gut is huge!), his dressing skills (a pullover isn't professional, but again, having to button that top button would be tough for the guy), his D.U.I. while at Cincinnati, I called him Nancy Zimpher a few times (she was the president at Cincinnati who had it out for him and fire him), and I called him Elvis every now and then (we'll get to that later).

I also wasn't the only person doing this -- pretty much every Marshall fan around me was on him, yelling the same things.

Well, with about 15 seconds left in the game, WVU had the game wrapped up, somebody about three rows up from me yelled something at him. I don't remember it being anything horrible, but it set Bobby off and he clearly mouthed "you want a piece of this?" Then, pointed to himself and his area, and said it again "you want a piece of this?" When the buzzer sounded at the end of the game, he went to shake the Marshall players and coaches' hands, he was still looking up at us and clearly said "you piece of shit."

It doesn't end there! The fans stayed on him after this because of his immature reactions, and he had to be held back by as assistant coach! Then, he was pointing at us to a public safety officer/police officer/security guard, whatever you want to call it!

Need proof that this happened:

The only thing wrong with the article is, it had nothing to do with the student section -- it was the alumni baby!

Here's what I think the craziest part of all of this is: Huggins has won something like 600 games, obviously, he knows what he's doing on the court, and he's been coaching for like 40 years. But, how is he going to let a few Marshall fans yelling the same things I'm sure he's heard ever since the D.U.I. and after he's packed on the weight get to him? He's making like $2 million a year and he can't deal with a few fans? The guy is going to have another heart attack! I would have loved to have seen him enter the stands and get in a fight -- let him get fired again!

So now to my next point: Heckling is a part of life. It is. My close friends will make fun of me for this next part, but that's fine. I was a student manager for the Marshall basketball team while I was in school, and when we traveled on the road, one of my game-time duties was setting the stools out on the court for the players to sit on during time outs. One year, we played at Winthrop (who was a good team at the time -- went to the NCAA tournament like 6 straight years!). There were probably about 2,000 people in the crowd, but you could hear every word from every person.

Well, the first time out gets called, and I get up do my job, pick up the stools, and start to set them out on the court. While I'm doing this, I hear a fan up in the stands shout, "Stools? What the hell is this, a camp out?" That was only the beginning. For the next 35 minutes of basketball, I was "Stool Boy." Even the freaking cheerleaders were making fun of me, calling Stool Boy -- the cheerleaders! I'm supposed to be making fun of them!

I won't lie -- it sucked. The game is going on, and Winthrop has the ball, Marshall has the ball, and I'm still being heckled as Stool Boy.

Did I react? No. I just took it, because that's what I had to do. But then guess what happened? We won the game! There's not much of a better feeling than being heckled an entire basketball game, and then hearing the final buzzer go off, with your team in the lead! It made the bus ride home a lot better, and I was able to joke about it too (some of our players heard them yelling at me, and were joking about me being the legendary "Stool Boy.")

Our coach then, Greg White, was heckled at every school where we played! Ohio, Bowling Green, Central Michigan -- it didn't matter. Did he ever react? No. Did he ever even say anything about it after the game? Nope. He just took it, because it's a part of life, and sometimes part of the job.

I even get heckled now in my job. Yeah, it's true! Working in radio will get you some hecklers. Prank phone calls. You might get yelled at while on site broadcasting. You even get heckled on message boards. Do I react, no. It's just a part of life.

But, how does a Bob Huggins, who has more to lose than I do, respond to fans and asks "do you want a piece of this?"

Last point: So I called Huggins Elvis. Why? Because the guy looks like Elvis (and to the King of Rock and Roll, I'm sorry I'm insulting you by comparing you to Bob Huggins). Need evidence?

15,000 Huggins Fans Can't Be Wrong.
Actually -- he looks more like Fat Elvis (again, sorry King):

And just for fun:

After police officers from vomit on his car door, a watery-eyed Huggins politely asked the nice police officer, "do you know who I am?" Too bad he was an Xavier fan.