Geno Auriemma is a man often seen with his arms spread wide in confusion or irritation, as if he just got out of his car after a car accident and is staring accusingly at a dead golden retriever. And, also being one of those guys everybody loves because he always says exactly what’s on his mind, he has quickly become one of the loudest people in the history of frequently ignored sports figures.
Because of how loyal we are–more loyal than Cardinals fans, more loyal than Cubs fans, more loyal than that golden retriever who didn’t listen and wandered out in front of Geno Auriemma’s car; it has to be true because a magazine said it–it may be hard to recollect a time when our loyalty wasn’t selling out games 123 times in a row.
Some teams have a lot more trouble than we do, and right now, one of those teams is the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team. They beat Purdue the other day in front 5,729 fans in an arena built for more than 10,000, and to head coach Geno Auriemma, that was just unacceptable.
I mean, sure, those 5,000 people probably had a great time, so when the coach turned to address them after the victory, they were probably expecting some words of gratitude for being cool or bored enough to come out. Their ears puckered up and their souls soared skyward as the man who led theLady Huskies to 90 consecutive wins went to the media and, his thankful heart in his throat, and uttered:
“I think we have a real spoiled group of fans.”
Then he told Uconn’s athletic director to not host any tournament games for the next five years. Then he said
“When I tell the truth, whether I express it in the right way or not, people want to make a big deal out of it because it’s another opportunity to slap me around. But I lose no sleep over it. The only thing I lose sleep over is whether Chase Utley will be ready on Opening Day or whether Brad Lidge will get anyone out.”
So, at the next Uconn Lady Huskies basketball game, when the arena is full of even fewer, bitterer fans, watching the team crumble because the head coach is too busy battling the loss of his own consciousness thanks to his nightmarish, Phillies-related insomnia, we know there is one question to ask.
How many lives must you ruin, Chase Utley’s knee?