The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 23, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN - Huggins defends Big East’s honor after NCAA exits

MORGANTOWN — Moments after defending the Big East’s honor in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championships by beating Missouri of the Big 12, Bob Huggins took matters a step too far and, to be honest, offended me terribly.

“Whoever doesn’t think the Big East is a great league really shouldn’t write sports,” he said. “They ought to do something else. Do cooking or something.”

As a one-time short-order at the Wigwam Café on old Highway 40 in Columbia, Mo., while attending the University of Missouri, I expect an apology from Coach Huggins for thinking sportswriters can become cooks.

Just because you can author a cookbook doesn’t mean you can make a soufflé, let alone something really tough to make, like a double cheeseburger “through the garden, hold the mayo, double pickles, onion rings, not fries.”

Sportswriters have their talent, as limited as it may be compared to that of being a big-time basketball coach, but to think that just because you’re a cook you know nothing about the sport, well … 

You young kids out there probably aren’t aware that Huggins isn’t being original by thinking this cooking stuff is small potatoes, be they au gratin or curly fries.

 In 1974 the Houston Astros had a third baseman named Doug Rader, who was something of a flakey character who would, on occasion, sit atop a teammate’s birthday cake if he was delivered on in the clubhouse. Rader became somewhat incensed when Padres owner Ray Kroc got on the public address system on opening day and apologized to the fans for his team’s poor play in losing that opener.

Kroc, you may or may not recall, is the founder and former owner of McDonald’s, which led Rader to reply quite publically that Kroc shouldn’t treat his ballplayers “like a bunch of short-order cooks”.

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