Monday, March 07, 2011

ODU's Blame Taylor

Blaine Taylor, pictured right in 2010, is in his 10th season coaching the ODU men's basketball team. His team faces VCU tonight (7 p.m. tip-off, televised by ESPN) at the Richmond Coliseum in the championship game of the CAA tournament.

Pictured left, here's Blaine Taylor in 2009. Anybody notice any difference in his hair?

Over the years Taylor has done much to stoke what was already a heated rivalry between the two universities. When his team loses it's never its fault. More importantly, it's not HIS fault -- Taylor always blames others.

In victory, naturally, he gloats. Any sportswriter who has covered the CAA over the last ten years knows full well what I'm saying here. From my coverage of games in recent years here are just a few examples of Blame Taylor moments:

Fan District Hub (Feb. 9, 2010):
... As Taylor had been mocked relentlessly in the first half of the contest by Chris Crowley, the founder of the Rowdy Rams, it was no wonder the always-loquacious-in-victory coach was anxious to hit the road to Norfolk.

Crowley — known as Pavarotti to his fellow Rowdy Rams — was once again doing his Taylor imitation on the floor in front of the pep band, which is only ten paces from ODU’s bench. Pavarotti, who usually wears a Ram headdress and yellow T-shirt, was in a coat-and-tie get-up, mimicking the mustachioed coach of the Monarchs every move. Yes, it was funny and Taylor had to have been disappointed that Pavarotti wasn’t snowbound, somewhere miles from the VCU campus.

SLANTblog (Mar. 9, 2009):

...Losing coach, Old Dominion's Blaine Taylor with his best player, forward/center Gerald Lee at his side, followed. Lee had limped to the platform like his ankle was killing him.

Then, business as usual went on -- Taylor's opening statement was an ungracious whine-fest. This time, instead of pointing an accusing finger at the VCU pep band, or the seating arrangement in the hall, or the state of the economy, he complained about officiating. Taylor wished the refs would try to stop favoring guards over big men.
SLANTblog (Jan. 20, 2007):
...Coach Grant also spoke proudly of his team’s gritty play in the second half of what was truly a tough game. The Monarchs came to play and they did just that. They handled the Rams’ full-court pressure better than any team I’ve seen this season. This was a first class college basketball game between longtime rivals. Both school’s players gave it their all.

Which leads to having to report that I heard only one person say anything to take away from the high-level tone of the action. In the media room, after Grant, Maynor and Walker answered questions and left, ODU head coach Blaine Taylor made his appearance. He should have skipped it.

Taylor promptly went into a solid five-minute whine about the way the referees called the game. He spoke of how his team had “earned” its 12-point second-half lead. Then he asserted: “...the lead was taken away from them, for whatever reasons.”
For a look at my more serious coverage of the 2011 CAA tournament click here.

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