Item: As we wrote just over a month ago, Scott Shafer continues to keep it real in describing his latest episode of wearing his emotions not only on his sleeve, but on his entire body, mouth included.
Nothing escapes those ever-prying cameras both in the everyday world in which we live and certainly when it comes to sports TV broadcast coverage. With every major game on TV and/or online there’s an overload of cameras seemingly covering each and every angle, nook and cranny, and there’s even second and third screen options to watch “exclusive” angles not seen on the main broadcast on Smart TVs, tablets and the like.
So it was no surprise, and good TV directing, that the ESPN cameras had the clear footage of Coach Shafer’s profane-laced reaction to Clemson’s Dabo Swinney electing to eschew a chip-shot FG and instead go for it, and subsequently fail, on fourth and goal from the SU 5-yard line with 0:14 left in the first half of last Saturday’s 49-14 romp in the program’s inaugural ACC game in the Dome, with the Tigers already dominating 35-7.
In just his fifth game running the show, his squad getting beaten down by a team with a legitimate shot to play in the BCS title game that had just tried to score its sixth first-half TD, Shafe let it rip in a five second tirade of expletives with a field level camera capturing every word.
“F*** you, Dabo, you motherf***er. F*** you,” Shafer angrily yelled across the field in Swinney’s direction his neck veins practically bursting at the seams.
Within minutes the Twitter universe was abuzz and a short while later a GIF that was clearly lip-readable, had gone viral.
By the time he got to the postgame media room, and it was longer than normal, the SU coach following his usual perfunctory opening remarks to the media, athletic department staff, and his family members of all ages looking on, was ready to come clean.
“The other thing is football is an emotional sport. Anybody who knows me, I’m extremely emotional, sometimes over the top,” Shafer humbly confessed. “You know, I said a few things out there today that I feel bad about. I really do.”
“In the heat of the moment it’s the same things I said on the basketball court or football field when I was a kid playing. But I’m an adult now and I need to constrain myself a little bit better. It won’t change the way I feel, we’ll fight the good fight just like we want our kids to.”
The not-so-funny aspect about Shafer’s initial reaction to Clemson’s strategy is that Swinney was well within his rights to try and take a 42-7 lead into the locker room even with 30 minutes left to play. Stranger occurrences have happened in college football comebacks and if nothing else, the sooner an insurmountable lead was intact with less game clock, the sooner Swinney could start liberally substituting in his second-stringers as he eyes bigger games down the road.
Afterwards, following a sincere midfield handshake between the two coaches, Swinney was surprised to hear of Shafer’s rant about his second quarter strategy (“Were we supposed to take a knee?”), and indeed the brief show of life by the ‘Cuse in the third quarter only backed up Swinney’s thinking to keep scoring touchdowns before halftime.
Rightfully or not, when you play a top-three ranked team and you compete in one of the five AQ conferences there’s no time to whine about getting piled on in the first half of a game, it comes with the territory.
We chalk up this outburst as simply part of who Scott Shafer is, an emotional football coach going to bat for the kids in the program he’s building, caught up in his emotions by one of those ubiquitous TV cameras for all to see.
- Orange Watch: After NCAA black eye, Syracuse to shine hosting NCAA regional - March 24, 2015
- Monumental Day for Syracuse basketball – Jim Boeheim to retire in three years - March 18, 2015
- Daryl Gross out, Pete Sala in, as new interim Syracuse athletic director - March 18, 2015
- Orange Watch: Near season’s midpoint, Syracuse lacrosse looking like team on mission - March 16, 2015
- Orange Watch: How long until Syracuse athletics wakes up from its NCAA nightmare? - March 10, 2015
- Instant Juice: NCAA suspends Boeheim, vacates 108 wins, docks Syracuse’s scholarships - March 6, 2015
- Orange Watch: If Jim Boeheim seeks 1000 victories, he’ll be coaching at Syracuse in 2017 - March 4, 2015
- Orange Watch: How have things been for Syracuse since Christmas? - February 24, 2015
- Orange Watch: Syracuse basketball must win once to avoid ignominious distinction - February 24, 2015
- Orange Watch: 200 victories and counting for Syracuse lacrosse coach John Desko - February 17, 2015