2008 NCAA Tournament
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I know many of you are still resentful about Roy Williams' decision to leave Kansas University men's basketball for his beloved Carolina in the pines and his perceived destiny along Tobacco Road.
But that was nearly five years ago. Today Williams seems - to me, anyway - like an eccentric uncle who has moved to another part of the country, yet still surfaces from time to time in family conversations.
"Say, did you hear what Ol' Roy said the other day?" would certainly have been one of the topics during Easter dinner.
North Carolina played its first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games last weekend in the RBC Center in Raleigh, home of the Tar Heels' ancient geographic rival. No, not Duke. North Carolina State.
"Ol' Roy wasn't happy."
"Oh, what didn't he like? His team's performance?"
"Naw, he didn't like the logos."
"The logos?? What logos?"
"The ones on the court. He said they were too slippery, that somebody was going to slip on one and get hurt. Said he's been harping on this for years."
"Was anybody injured in a logo pratfall?"
"No. But when somebody actually does slip on one of those things, Ol' Roy will be able to say, 'I told you so.'"
Say this for Roy Williams: If he isn't the king of college basketball coach carpers, he's definitely in the top three. Ol' Roy is always jawboning about something.
To tell the truth, I wasn't aware of his slippery logo-mania, but I witnessed his other logo pet peeve many times. This one began many years ago - in Dayton, Ohio, I think - when he was gigged by the NCAA for having a soft-drink can on the dais during a post-game media session.
Only paper cups with the logo of an NCAA sponsor - I won't say which sponsor because you've seen those blue cups often enough - are permissible.
Williams tested that ban five years ago in Anaheim, Calif., when he ridiculed the Gestapo-like tactics of the NCAA by pouring the contents of an "unofficial" soft drink bottle into an "official" blue cup.
"Do I have to use NCAA ice, too?" Williams quipped as the assembled media laughed.
Then, as if on cue, an NCAA official walked up to Williams, handed him a cup of ice and, after he had poured the ice into his drink, the KU coach ceremoniously lifted the bottle in the air and placed it behind his chair out of sight.
More guffawing. Ah, those were the good old days with Uncle Roy.
Mostly, Williams' jawboning was diverting fun, something to break the tedium of the interminable inane questions about his team's motivation, confidence, frame of mind, approach, character, blah, blah, blah.
Yet Williams stepped over the line in that now famous interview with CBS' Bonnie Bernstein after Syracuse spilled the Jayhawks in the '03 NCAA championship game.
After Bernstein asked about the North Carolina rumors, Ol' Roy used the S-word on live TV, then accused CBS of being insensitive. In retrospect, Williams should have said he was too overcome with emotion to comment.
Then again, Uncle Roy comments on everything. That's what makes him such a popular topic at the dinner table.