#BillSnyder :The Greatest where it counted most #SnyderStrong #EMAW

snyder-statueWhen we define greatness we often refer to records, banners, and rings.Based solely on these standards of greatness Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder would not warrant mentioning. Unlike past greats Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, Tom Osborne and Paul Bryant or recent greats Pete Carroll, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer there are no national championship banners hanging in the rafters or no crystal balls collecting dusts in the trophy case.

hell-freeze-overBut this does not make Snyder any less greater than his contemporaries. His contributions to college football is immense and nearly covers four decades. Although Snyder’s story of  turning  K-State from a laughingstock to contender is well documented but what is more remarkable were his methods of achieving greatness. Unlike his ‘championship’ peers Snyder amassed his success without a single scandal or NCAA infraction.

Over Snyder’s 20+ tenure in the Little Apple his rosters may not have included many 4* bill-snyder-letterand 5* but unlike his peers it also did not include murders, rapists, thieves, and sex offenders. While mining the infertile recruiting pool of the too small, too slow, or too troubled Snyder unearthed a few NFL champions, an eventual congressman, as well a mentored his fare share of prominent coaches at some of the top programs in the country (Bob Stoops, James Franklin, Brent Venables, Bret Bielema, Jim Leavitt,

Although winning a national championship will always be a factor in evaluating greatness, be sure to consider the thousands of fathers and husband whose life was forever changed due to the impact Snyder had on their life. From the handwritten notes of encouragement to the opposing team to him molding young men into college graduate and instilling in them an unrelenting will to not quit regardless of the odds. Snyder may have come up short a  time or two on the gridiron, but he is the epitome of perfection in the game of life. What will he do for an encore? Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

Retire a hero, or coach long enough to see yourself become the villian

“Retire hero, or coach long enough to see yourself become the villain”

After watching Jeremy Lin go 1-11 with 6 turnovers I had no interest in watching any more basketball. In my quest to find cinematic enjoyment I found myself watching ‘The Dark Knight” with Health Ledger, may he rest in peace. While watching the film the villain 2-face said the following quote  which made me think:

“Either you die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”

Illinois basketball Coach Bruce Weber has witnessed the applause and praise become something far less desirable. The pundits have forgotten how he resurrected the basketball program and nearly led them to the National Championship with Dee Brown, Deron Williams and Luther Head. As the days to Coach Weber’s imminent firing approaches at season’s end, I am reminded that this has been the fate of several coaches and great players; it is the consequence of over staying your welcome and not knowing the right time to leave…

In Bloomington, Indiana was home to sport royalty and a coaching innovator that was praised for his intellect and high basketball IQ. Each year Coach Bobby Knight had his Hoosiers in contention for the National Championship due to his ability to bring great players like Isiah Thomas and Calbert Cheaney to leave their urban jungles and call the Hoosier state home. Coach Knight continued to collect wins and build championship caliber teams each year, and despite his well-known temper everyone turned a blind eye as long as the rafters continued to read “FINAL FOUR” or “ELITE EIGHT”. However, the once glorified coach was unable to keep up with the  new landscape of college basketball and those cheers of praise become glares of resentment toward an old-timer who refused to recruit and was no longer able to mount the banners he once did in years past. A coach that was once glorified and given the key to city of Bloomington was fired after nearly a decade of his young men graduating and getting their degrees but Coach Knight no longer posted the winning records he once did. Coach Knight’s antics at that time were no longer tolerable and were now considered grounds for termination due too fewer McDonald’s All-Americans signing Letters of Intent with the Hoosiers of Indiana and no new banners hanging from the rafters.

This year, another icon suffered the same fate and he resided in Happy Valley, the winningest coach in college football history the Great Joe Paterno. For nearly five decades he was the face of Penn State, the infamous coke bottle glasses accompanied with the rolled up slacks and white socks. The endless miles he walked up and down a sideline will forever be unmatched by anyone who aspires to coach this game we call football. However, only two weeks after being praised and cheered in a packed press room for reaching the 400 wins milestone those cheers quickly became words of condemnation that led to his termination as coach of the Penn State football team. For years, fans and spectators wondered when this icon was going to hang it up, several thought after the Orange Bowl when he beat his good friend Bobby Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles in 2006. Such an exit would have made him retire a hero, however Joe Pa chose otherwise and is now must face the consequence of his actions. And will be remembered not for the thousands of lives he changed but how he negatively impacted the lives of little boys he never even knew by saying nothing.

Life is filled with several more examples such the aforementioned Bobby Bowden being ‘fired’ from the university he helped erect or Jerry Rice & Joe Montana being released by the 49ers organization that they sacrificed their bodies to win 2 Super Bowl rings for. It appears that becoming the villain is a mask that we are all capable of adorning no matter the good deeds or sacrifices that we have made at some point in our life. The question is will you choose your exit? Or will you be escorted to that exit by security and  shown the door? Our fate is our own and in the end we may not choose how we are remembered.    – A.Denmark (@EatDrnkSlpSprtz)

Thrill is Gone, My Collegefootball Blues!!!

The Euphoria that follows the kick off of a new season of college football unfortunately inches closer and closer to its final curtain call. The All-american teams have been announced, the hardware has been handed out, and the well deserved assistant has finally earned the chance to run a program. This year was marked by many milestones accomplished by new faces like RGIII and the Honey Badger. Also forever remembered for the demise of an icon, Coach Joe Paterno
    The Preseason Magazine you bought in May is now wrinkled up in your bathroom or its being used for scrap paper for the little ones. And although your favorite team may have made it to a bowl game, your jubilation at their success is met with sadness because the next game will be the last game.
Each week you feverishly switched channels and scheduled your days around the big game that was coming on that Saturday.With each punt return or hail mary that was answered it was the topic of conversation with your friends and peers in the workplace.

   Only a Handful of days remain, when we must find something else to fill this void and although the NFL and basketball are options, they just do not hit the spot. What is the cure for this madness? How can we go on? preseason magazines do not come out til June and recruiting will be over in February. The agony the pain of college football fever, an addiction that spreads from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea.
   A Toast to a great season, may it hold us over until another arises that first fateful day in September. Too the true college football fans continue to EAT DRINK SLEEP SPORTZ and we shall enjoy each touchdown as if it was the last one. – A.Denmark (eatdrnkslpsprtz)