The sport of college football, and football in general, can best be thought of as a game of strategy, execution, teamwork, grit, and determination. The sport of college football fandom, however, is a game of shock, horror, dread, and unending amounts of spite and loathing. Sometimes, in beautiful moments of anger, frustration, and bloodlust, that hatefulness just pours onto the field and engulfs those on the sidelines.
It’s pretty hard to top the belligerent-ness that was Woody Hayes. Let’s just say that one of the most revered coaches in college football history had just a hint of rage addiction. A former boxer and WWII naval officer, Hayes believed in every conservative ideology associated with the 50’s and 60’s, even going so far as to swear that Richard Nixon was setup during Watergate, angrily walking out of the movie “Hot Shots” when there was a reference to Lesbianism, and quipping that, “Indoctrinate…some liberals are against (the word). I am not.” Woody Hayes’ entire adult life was seemingly one long drawn out balancing act of trying to keep his temper from ever going too far and a lot of his anger was directed at rival Michigan. He despised “the school up north” with such fervor that he refused to ever buy gas in the state during recruiting visits. Once, while up 48-20 late in the game, Woody successfully scored on a two-point conversion. When asked afterwards why, Hayes simply replied, “Because I couldn’t go for three.” Woody was known to hit his own players and in one particular fit of rage, during a nightly session of breaking down film, punched himself in the face so hard that he came in the next day with two black eyes. Those outbursts finally got the best of him when, in the late 70’s during a televised game against Clemson, he punched an opposing player and was relieved of his coaching duties shortly afterwards.
If there was ever one thing in football you didn’t want to be, it was Steve Spurrier’s rival. Often lost in the recent, unending praise of what Dabo Swinney has done at Clemson, is the fact that Steve Spurrier’s Game Cocks beat them five years in a row, a streak in a big rivalry game that most other coaches on the losing end would never be able to survive. But if there’s one team that the Old Ball Coach realllllyyyy liked to stick it to, it was the University of Georgia. While the head coach at Florida and South Carolina, Spurrier loved nothing more than to hand the dawgs one painful loss after another. But probably even more memorable than the beatings he handed UGA, at least to those outside the rivalries, were the one liners he rattled off at press conferences. In a world where modern CFB coaches have the personality and candidness of an IRS agent, Steven Orr Spurrier never let off the gas, on the field or on the microphone:
“To tell you the truth, I’m proud of the fact I have more wins over Georgia than any other coach in history.”
“I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”
“Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don’t understand that. What happens to them?”
There’s rich people and then there’s Joe Jamail. He never worked in any capacity for the athletic department for the University of Texas, but his name is on the football field, swimming center, legal library, and research center. He is the only person to have TWO statues in his likeness on the UT Austin campus. Jamail and his wife, Lee, gave millions to the University (as well as other philanthropic endeavors). While attending the university’s law school, Jamail flunked his first course in torts (he would later be nicknamed “the King of Torts” for his prowess in the subject). He would then go on to take the Texas bar exam on a bet, cramming over the course of a few days and passing one point above the minimum, “I over trained.” He would say afterwards. Classmates remember him as “a gregarious and storytelling saloon companion” and he would continue that reputation amongst some of his more notable friends later in life; Kirk Douglas, Willie Nelson, and Darrel Royal (Hall of Fame Texas coach that the stadium is named after). One of Jamail’s specialties was personal injury cases. One of the more memorable one’s being where he represented the widow of a drunk driver that was killed when he crashed into a tree. Joe Jamail SUCCESSFULLY argued that the city was at fault for planting the tree in THE WRONG FUCKING PLACE. The case that made him a king amongst men, however, was for his first major corporate client, Pennzoil. Pennzoil accused Texaco of interfering with Pennzoil’s acquisition of Getty Oil in 1984. Pennzoil won the judgment, wiping out Texaco and forcing them to file for bankruptcy in the process. Texaco ended up settling for $3 billion (Joe Jamail’s fee is said to have been roughly $345 million). Jamail died towards the end of 2015. Left behind in his office, were several awards and mementos…including the $3 billion bank slip enclosed in a glass paperweight.
And THAT is how you hate, Fat Boy.