"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Monday, February 26, 2007

If we had the Internet in 1977 . . .

Since this season has not been all seashells and balloons for Marquette so far, there has been a fair amount of criticism of Tom Crean and his players' efforts on everything from recruiting, to underachievement to shooting ability. The common theme: this years team and coach is embarrassment to the school and its alumni.

On the MUScoop message board, Chico's pointed out that on February 27th, 1977, MU was sitting with a record of 18-6 on the way to an final season record (pre tournament) of 20-7. Which got me thinking about how some of today's sentiments would translate to the waning days of the 1977 season.

By late February, MU had lost it's final three home games--to unranked DePaul, #15 Detroit, and unranked Wichita State.

Based on a theme I initially posted on the MUScoop Message Board, and continued here by popular demand, I present to you If We Had The Internet in 1977.

Yes, if we had the Internet in 1977, one has to wonder just what the tenor of the message boards would be if we had everyone of significance back from a 28-2 team, but were on the way to a 7 loss season--the most losses in one season in a decade.

Lets have some fun with today's message boards magically transported to February 1977:

"SEVEN losses with this much experience returning is UNACCEPTABLE!"

"We've underachieved every year McGuire has been here, and we're screwing the pooch BIG TIME this year. Thank God he's gone after this season."

"If only AM could recruit a decent big man. We need another aircraft carrier--we haven't had once since Chones left, and Ellis and Whitehead simply aren't getting the job done."

"20 wins isn't what it used to be, now that the tournament has expanded to 32 teams"

"We don't even have 20 wins. We're really only 19-7. I don't count the win against St. Leo. They're not Division 1."

"We're 2-5 against ranked opponents. That hardly deserves an NCAA bid."

"We can't really give AM credit for the Final Four, because he had Tatum and Lucas. What has Al done when he hasn't had players like that?"

"We should have at least FOUR championships already. Our talent since '74 is at least as good as Wooden's."

"Clearly our weak schedule is hurting us down the stretch. We're simply not prepared to play in February and March."

"We had the greatest MU player ever in George Thompson--and all he have to show for his efforts is an NIT runner-up. "

"Rutgers doesn't have a single player who would start for us, and they made the final four last year."

"Vitale over at Detroit is building a dynasty."

"At least we don't have to go through the heartbreak of ANOTHER early exit from the NCAA--we won't even MAKE the field this year."

"The administration doesn't care about the alumni. Our nickname will always be the HILLTOPPERS."

Any more ideas? Add your contributions in the comments.


Anonymous said...

f!#@%^!@#g hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise. There are some internet dwellers who are on the fringe, or who are trying to get a rise out of everyone.

Don't make the mistake that the forums are full of them. The dolt in the first example ("Crean's gotta go") was chastised by a 15 fans within an hour.

Gene Frenkle said...

Gotta love the web sometimes...at least feedback forums.

I learned a long time ago to stay away from the "comments" section of mass-media-type articles. Ever read the "comments" on a Yahoo story or JS Online story? It's all name calling and "liberal agenda" this vs. "conservative whackjob" that.

The good thing about blogs like this is you get at least people that are more of a niche. A more-informed niche.

Yeah, there are crazies out there, but good, open, conversation is one thing. Laugh out loud blanket statements (Crean must go!!!) are just wastes of time.

As for MU's season, there are a lot of games left to officially put a label on this year. Let's get a big W vs. Pitt and get the wagon jumpers back on board.

donald said...

Well done. I love the Vitale line...

rogeralb said...

Very good comparison. There were a lot of people who didn't like Al and wanted him gone (don't know what you got till it's gone).

I think it is good that people engage in arguments about the program. Of course, there is always going to be extremists and ridiculous posts, but that's the same with everything.

If everyone justs "sits on their hands" and does nothing, maybe Mike Deane is still the coach, there is 9000 people in the stands
watching mostly D3 talent players playing D1 games in Conference USA against Southern Miss.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was at MU in 1977...and there is a lot of truth in what you say. I well remember the team being booed at their (and Al's) final home game.

Talk in the bars was similar in many ways to what we see on the message boards today. However, I don't believe it was ever as mean-spirited and crass as some of what is out there now. Part of it is the anonymity and false courage afforded by the internet, part of it is that NCAA hoops is much bigger business now, and part is probably a more general coursening of discourse these days.

I never once heard anyone bitch about returning to the Hilltoppers, though ;-)

Great post. Keep up the good work, guys!