I must beg pardon for my long absence. The depths of despair have claimed my basketball soul, and I have been loathe to post. Even my anger had departed me. But now, as the snow swirls 'round in St. Louis, (and, presumably, in other Missouri locales), rumors about the next Missouri basketball coach swirl round the fishwrap circuit. One in particular plays Mephistopholes to my Dr. Faust: Bob Huggins. (Henceforth known as Bob Mephistophohuggins).
He offers great power (i.e. a winning program) at the cost of my soul (graduating players, bringing in players of good character, redeeming our tattered repuatation).
That alone would not be enough to tempt me, to sway me from my desire for a coach who can recruit and coach and not make the program look bad (Beilein, anyone?). But then I begin to hear reports that Mephistophohuggins isn't as bad as he seems. That he was forced to take on players of higher risk at Cincinnati than he would at Mizzou because at Mizzou he wouldn't have to contend with a bigger, better program in the state. That everyone who played for him loved him. That he honestly cared about his players becoming better people. I also hear the jolly Rick Majerus is less jolly—and less clean—than Mephistophohuggins.
The Bad Angel whispering in my ear almost has me convinced, but then the Good Angel speaks up: How is Mephistophohuggins going to turn this program around quickly enough to keep his job—he'll have to bring in jucos, and that's where he has run into trouble before? What about the drunken driving? Is he going to bring in Larry Eustachy as an assistant so he can learn where all the bangin' parties are? What about the health issues? What about the black eye on the university? Don't you want a coach who can begin to heal the wounds of failure and disgrace.
I weigh the good and the bad... and decide that I can live with taking a chance on Huggins. I only hope that, unlike Faust (in Marlowe) I won't be too blind to seek redemption and forgiveness should hiring Mephistophohuggins prove a mistake, should my basketball soul be placed in jeopardy.
Crazy, I know, but I'm thirsty enough for wins to believe that MAYBE Mephistophohuggins isn't as bad as he is portrayed.In this, the true blame lies with the Prince of Lies (you know him as Lucifer, we know him as Mike Alden) for creating this situation and his mouthpiece, Beelzebub (you know him as Chad Moeller).
God save us all.