Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Gator With the Heater

The real Geator with the Heater, a TU football fan?

After Al Gore invented the internet (tongue firmly implanted in cheek here), newspapers followed, maybe,  five minutes behind.
It took about two years, though, before the best of the journalism followed that _ comments below the stories.
The Gator With the Hooter ....
... and the Heater
Comments, for me, are often better than the stories themselves.
So there it was after the Steve Addazio hiring story, when a guy who purported to be Philadelphia radio and TV icon Jerry Blavat said simply this:
"Welcome to Philadelphia, coach Daz. I know you are going to do a great job." _ Jerry Blavat.
Now I'm not naive enough to think that was actually Jerry Blavat. I have no way of knowing that. I'm also not cynical enough to think that it wasn't the real Jerry Blavat, you know, "The Geator With the Heater" and the "Boss with the Hot Sauce."
(For all of you people living outside Philly, Jerry Blavat and Dick Clark, fast friends to this day, were equally big in this town with the "yon teens" at about the same time. Clark left Philly to amass his fortune elsewhere. Blavat remained and amassed his here.)
Boss with the hot sauce didn't stick, but Geator with the Heater certainly did.
In a roundabout way, Geator With the Heater's comment stuck with me today because it's Wednesday and our new Gator head coach, Steve Addazio, still hasn't brought his Heater to Philadelphia. That's Chuck Heater, the Florida co-defensive coordinator, who was reported to be following Addazio on the same flight to Philadelphia to take the Czar of Temple Defense job.
The Gator Without The Heater in this case.
"Welcome to Philadelphia, coach Daz. I know you are going to do a great job." _ Jerry Blavat.

That had me a little concerned on Monday and I emailed one of the Florida newspaper guys who reported that Heater was likely headed for Temple.
He got back to me today.
"Coach wants to hear about another job first," he said.
I can't say I blame Chuck Heater, the current Florida defensive coordinator who might be up for that same job in places like Michigan and UCLA.
Michigan and UCLA pay more than Temple.
I want Chuck Heater to be Addazio's next hire, but more than that I want Chuck Heater to want to be here.
Heater would bring an impressive resume to Temple and I'm confident he would have this current defense in the right position to do as well or better than Mark D'Onofrio's defense did last year.
There's a comfort level with Addazio than can't be underestimated that might not exist, say, with Rick Neuheisel.
Imagine the publicity Addazio and Heater would get if they beat Penn State and Maryland, win the MAC and get the automatic qualifying non-BCS spot in next year's BCS bowl picture?
Nothing Heater can do at Michigan or UCLA next year can match the level of satisfaction that Temple accomplishment would bring him.
Yet if there is no Gator With the Heater, there are capable guys, like Delaware DC Nick Rapone, who would take the Temple job in a heartbeat.
It just doesn't have the same ring as The Gator With the Heater.
I'm crossing my fingers for that pairing.