Monday, May 28, 2012
Community and SEC football are both great things, and as we all know, great things are great together. Also, my mind works in mysterious ways; ESPN declaring Steve Spurrier as the most-hated coach of all time surprised me, as South Carolina-era Spurrier seems to give off a Pierce Hawthorne vibe; sure, he's often annoying, grumpy and pushing others' buttons, and he's an odd fit amongst today's group of SEC coaches, but there's value to having him around and everyone just sort of ignores his terrible moments. That led to a discussion with Lisa and Eddie about recasting Community SEC-style, and it turned out to fit surprisingly well. Here's what we came up with (casting's a group effort, comments are mostly mine):
Steve Spurrier as Pierce Hawthorne: Spurrier's famed trash-talking of other schools ("You can't spell Citrus without UT," "Free Shoes University," Auburn library fires, etc) is straight out of Pierce's playbook, but both of our "villains" have their softer sides and can be crucial parts of the group at times. Plus, I can see Spurrier saying "I can't hear you over the sound of me rubbing his sword on my balls."
Derek Dooley as Jeff Winger: Much like Winger, who had to go back to community college to get his bachelor's degree and return to practicing law, people might think Dooley's more qualified than he is thanks to a certain bloodline. Winger walked into a weird situation at Greendale, and Dooley walked into a weird situation at Tennessee, replacing the infamous Lane Kiffin. Both are lawyers, both are also known for being continuously well-coiffed, and like Winger, Dooley's been known to inappropriately reference historical events (while Winger once invoked Sept. 11 to get a client off on a DUI charge, Dooley compared his team to the Germans in World War II). Both can give a pretty good speech, too. "To victory; it feels unfamiliar, but it tastes like chicken."
Will Muschamp as Troy Barnes: These two have incredible enthusiasm in common: Muschamp enjoys going "BOOM", while Troy likes bouncing around in video games and on trampolines. They also had pretty notable football playing careers, and Muschamp might just make a good dancer. "Wi-ll Muschamp in the MORNING!" "There was an episode of Happy Days where a guy LITERALLY jumped over a shark, and it was the best episode ever!"
Ole Miss (and coach Hugh Freeze) as Britta Perry: Much like Britta, Ole Miss is just the worst. It's possible to see the Rebels more concerned with the beleaguered status of gnome waiters than actually winning games, and it's very possible to see them mispronouncing "bagel". Freeze's recent overrecruitment also smacks of Britta's initial additions to the study group, and the way Freeze was involved with Michael Oher seems very Brittaesque."I want to know why these defenses are attacking us. Maybe this gridiron is their rightful land."
Vanderbilt (and coach James Franklin) as Abed Nadir: Abed is an outsider who sometimes seems above the rest of the study group and sometimes doesn't seem to fit at all; does that sound like Vanderbilt's football program to anyone else? Their presence in this conference is appropriately meta. Also, if the SEC ever descends into madness or civil war, you know Vanderbilt will be filming it. "When you guys first came in, we were as wholesome as the family in the Brady Bunch. Now we're as dysfunctional and incestuous as the cast of the Brady Bunch."
Mark Richt as Shirley Bennett: Both are generally overwhelmingly nice and outspokenly Christian, which makes them interesting fits in these cutthroat groups. I can see Richt being told at a coaches' meeting that "You're not allowed to have baking things as an identity!" Like Shirley at foosball, though, Richt's will to win can also be strong. Richt's comments on vampires and Shirley's attempts to keep Britta from one fit, too. "Oh, look. Britta brought what she believes in: nothing."
Kevin Sumlin as Annie Edison: Like Annie, Sumlin's relatively young by the standards of this group, and he's quite enthusiastic. Maybe he's also a little naive about how things work in the SEC, and the conference is sure to warp him like a Barbie in a microwave. We'll see if gifs of him become as popular, and if he's able to obtain Pegasi. "I don't want to die in a place like this. People shouldn't die in the same place as People magazines do."
Bobby Petrino as Star-Burns: Many hate them, they both left in odd ways, and dying when the meth lab in your trunk explodes is right up there with getting fired over an affair with a subordinate that was discovered following a motorcycle crash. "El Starprince" is the equivalent of Petrino's 11-2 2011, and like Star-Burns, we may not have seen the last of Petrino. "Who wants to walk my plank, huh?"
John L. Smith as Leonard: One's a 63-year-old who skydives and wants to "go get on a mountain"; the other's a man of indefinite age who swims naked, takes over the PA system, only racked up two pregnancy scares in a year and has been banned from a Denny's. As Pierce said, "Everyone hates him; that's why he's cool." Tell me you can't replace Smith with Leonard in this EDSBS piece and have it still work. I'd also watch Smith reviewing pizza. "I'm thinking about breaking into the TV game, seeing as it's apparently sticking around."
Les Miles as Chang: What's crazier: posing as a Spanish teacher or pulling off this win? Living in the vents or eating grass? A one-time Spanish professor raising an army of kids and taking over the school, or a man who tweets "Woeojuwejhdjwe" winning a SEC championship without a semblance of an offence? It's tough to pick between them. Plus, Chang goes by "El Tigre", and Miles coaches the LSU Tigers, and both recently had their convoluted schemes crash down around them. "I did what any man would do. I faked my way into a job teaching Spanish at a community college using phrases from Sesame Street."
Mike Slive as Dean Pelton: Someone has to keep the asylums of Greendale and the SEC in minimal order, and that job falls to Pelton and Slive. They both have their own weirdness, though, and both often preside over strange rituals and ceremonies, from the STD Fair to Missouri's induction. The world would be a better place if Slive donned Pelton's outfits to visit coaches. "Just reminding you to keep any April Fool's pranks physically safe, politically balanced and racially accessible."
Nick Saban as Vice-Dean Laybourne: Saban can appear evil and manipulative at times, and like Laybourne (especially early on in his arc), it often looks like he's running the show. I imagine Saban speaks about defence the way Laybourne does about air-conditioning, and they're both known for their ability to recruit and their single-minded focus. I can also see Saban manipulating people into a war and destroying friendships along the way, as Laybourne did with Troy and Abed. "Once you're in, you're in. Air-conditioning repair will be your life."
Gary Pinkel as Dr. Ian Duncan: Duncan's a professor who gets no respect; Pinkel's a new SEC coach who gets no respect. I envision the rest of the conference reacting to Missouri exactly as Jeff reacts to Duncan in the pilot: "You can't talk to me that way! I'm a professor!" "A six-year-old girl could talk to you that way!" Both have also had their issues with DUIs, but Jeff wasn't around to save Pinkel. I'd love to see Pinkel try to rap, too.
Gene Chizik as Fat Neil: One glorious triumph (national championship/the Dungeons and Dragons episode), but everyone still picks on him anyways.
Joker Phillips as Professor Marshall Kane (Michael K. Williams' bio professor): Both Phillips and Kane are tough, serious men in difficult situations; Kane spent most of his life in prison, Phillips has spent his football head coaching career at Kentucky, which may be worse. "Something happened while I was inside: Harry Potter Legos, Star Wars Legos, complicated kits, tiny little blocks..."
Dan Mullen as Magnitude: Mullen's received a lot of attention thus far as a head coach, but his Mississippi State team hasn't really done all that much yet. Similarly, Magnitude gets a lot of attention and love over just two words.
Further suggestions for the Community-SEC crossover? Leave them in the comments, or yell at me on Twitter.