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  1. #1

    How bad is Digger Phelps???

    He's so bad that in ESPN's tournament special tonight, he picked his East regional Final game to be, (!)Pittsburgh to play (4)Xavier to go to the Final 4. For those of you with no brackets in front of you, Pitt and Xavier can only play to see who advances to the Elite 8. Now how in the world can Digger or ESPN allow that to slip through the cracks? A word of advice for anyone trying to win an office pool. DON'T LISTEN TO DIGGER!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6th Man View Post
    He's so bad that in ESPN's tournament special tonight, he picked his East regional Final game to be, (!)Pittsburgh to play (4)Xavier to go to the Final 4. For those of you with no brackets in front of you, Pitt and Xavier can only play to see who advances to the Elite 8. Now how in the world can Digger or ESPN allow that to slip through the cracks? A word of advice for anyone trying to win an office pool. DON'T LISTEN TO DIGGER!
    Actually, that was a repeat broadcast of their Bracketology show from last night. Digger is normally not available on Mondays due to his Mensa group meetings.

  3. #3
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    When I was in college, a long, long time ago, there was a fellow named Digger O'Dell, who would have himself buried in a coffin-like affair with an air tube and speaking tube. He was used in California to attract people to housing developments (in those day they were building 5,000 houses at a crack!). So when I hear of Digger Phelps, you can see what I think of, and why I just start laughing. He is up there with Dick Vitale and Mike Patrick in terms of the laughability factor. I sure hope those guys make a bunch of money, because they have no respect at all.

  4. #4
    Digger's just old, he forgot that Duke murdered Xavier earlier this year.

    Oh by the way, don't you just love Jay being the only one to pick Nova to beat us.

    That's a loyal player and assistant coach for ya.

  5. #5
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    Phelps is far and away the worst analyst on any college basketball program. He doesn't converse with his fellow analysts, leaning on two or three prepackaged stats, and he then rushes through his sentence while waving his highlighter. HIs stats often don't even relate to the point he is trying to make.

    Phelps wasn't much of a coach either. He is famous solely for ending UCLA's win streak. He had a number of pro players in his time at Notre Dame but made one Final Four. He also, rather classlessly, brings up UCLA's booster issue (Sam Gilbert) constantly and never gives Wooden credit for his excellent coaching of the extremely talented players he had. If Phelps could have gotten as much out of his guys as Wooden did, he might have more than one Final Four appearance. The Gilbert issue is a valid point, but Phelps has often brought it up appropos of nothing.

    I don't understand how this guy holds his position at ESPN. He contributes nothing.

    dukemsu
    Last edited by dukemsu; 03-16-2009 at 10:37 PM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukemsu View Post

    I don't understand how this guy holds his position at ESPN. He contributes nothing.

    dukemsu
    I agree. The only logical explanation is that he has "special" pictures of the ESPN brass. If anyone here has dupes of those, we would all like to see them. Particularly if Ole Roy is also involved.
    Now, this is all hypothetical. If the pictures do not exist, then there is no rational explanation for how he holds his job.

  7. #7
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    Allawah, NSW Australia (near Sydney)

    A wise man once said...

    ...scratch that. It was Jim Rome, whom I think most of us will agree is a buffoon. Still, he said something wise once. Once! And I think it applies here: It does you no good whatsoever to try to makes sense of why someone else has the gig they have in show business.

    It's true. There really is no rhyme or reason to any of it, especially if you are not privy to inside info. So don't make yourself crazy trying to figure it out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgtr View Post
    I agree. The only logical explanation is that he has "special" pictures of the ESPN brass. If anyone here has dupes of those, we would all like to see them. Particularly if Ole Roy is also involved.
    Now, this is all hypothetical. If the pictures do not exist, then there is no rational explanation for how he holds his job.
    Perhaps it could be explained as Nebraska Sen. Roman Hruska defended Nixon's nomination of the undistinguished Harold Carswell to the Supreme Court:

    "So what if he is mediocre? There are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they? We can't have all Brandeises, Cordozos,and Frankfurters and stuff like that there.."

    Interesting, but Carswell didn't make it to the Court.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukemsu View Post
    Phelps is far and away the worst analyst on any college basketball program. He doesn't converse with his fellow analysts, leaning on two or three prepackaged stats, and he then rushes through his sentence while waving his highlighter. HIs stats often don't even relate to the point he is trying to make.

    Phelps wasn't much of a coach either. He is famous solely for ending UCLA's win streak. He had a number of pro players in his time at Notre Dame but made one Final Four. He also, rather classlessly, brings up UCLA's booster issue (Sam Gilbert) constantly and never gives Wooden credit for his excellent coaching of the extremely talented players he had. If Phelps could have gotten as much out of his guys as Wooden did, he might have more than one Final Four appearance. The Gilbert issue is a valid point, but Phelps has often brought it up appropos of nothing.

    I don't understand how this guy holds his position at ESPN. He contributes nothing.

    dukemsu
    I was always under the impression that UCLA was so dominant because they got all the talented players BECAUSE of the boosters.

  10. #10
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    Digger wasn't that bad of a coach, if I understand correctly. He coached the only team to beat a UCLA squad that contained Bill Walton.
    But from what some of you guys are saying, that was one of the only highlights of his career. I'll trust your analysis.
    Last edited by gwwilburn; 03-16-2009 at 11:06 PM. Reason: forgot to add relevant material

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    I was always under the impression that UCLA was so dominant because they got all the talented players BECAUSE of the boosters.
    That is certainly a debatable point.

    My point was that Phelps sounds like a bitter has-been whenever he talks about it. Ole Roy may call the NCAA cops on people, (he's long been said to have called them on Donovan), but at least he's never called anyone a cheater in public.

    dukemsu

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwwilburn View Post
    Digger wasn't that bad of a coach, if I understand correctly. He coached the only team to beat a UCLA squad that contained Bill Walton.
    Except for that other team with a guy named David Thompson that won the national championship. They were pretty decent.

    I liked Digger as an opposing coach. His bloviating always exceeded his performance against Duke which was something on the order of 2-10 lifetime.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukemsu View Post
    That is certainly a debatable point.

    My point was that Phelps sounds like a bitter has-been whenever he talks about it. Ole Roy may call the NCAA cops on people, (he's long been said to have called them on Donovan), but at least he's never called anyone a cheater in public.

    dukemsu
    Fair enough. If I had to coach in an environment where all I heard about was how dominant a team was that I knew was cheating, and then beat that team, and in my retirement hear constantly how great the coach of that team was... well, yea, I'd be bitter, too.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwwilburn View Post
    Digger wasn't that bad of a coach, if I understand correctly. He coached the only team to beat a UCLA squad that contained Bill Walton.
    But from what some of you guys are saying, that was one of the only highlights of his career. I'll trust your analysis.
    I should have added to my earlier post that Digger always has been anti Duke and critical of the ACC. He constantly complained as a coach that the media and the NCAA tournament committee were biased toward the ACC. He unethically continued to heavily recruit Gene Banks after he signed his LOI. He refused to accept the consensus pick by all of the other analysts of Duke over Illinois during the 2004 ESPN tournament selection show, and made a big issue of it, even though the format of the show was to present a consensus bracket.

    Digger became ever more bitter as a coach during the long stretch of mediocrity and worse that his program experienced due in no small part to Coach K's successful recruiting of the kind of players Notre Dame had attracted earlier in Digger's tenure.

  15. #15

    a delicate situation

    Quote Originally Posted by dukemsu View Post
    Phelps is far and away the worst analyst on any college basketball program. He doesn't converse with his fellow analysts, leaning on two or three prepackaged stats, and he then rushes through his sentence while waving his highlighter. HIs stats often don't even relate to the point he is trying to make.

    I don't understand how this guy holds his position at ESPN. He contributes nothing.

    dukemsu
    I'm gonna try to give a serious answer to this issue, though I realize that anything involving Digger cannot be too serious.

    Seems to me ESPN has a couple of serious problems: Dick and Digger. Made more obvious by addition of Knight, gradual rise of Bilas and even Gottleib. So, do decision-makers at ESPN recognize the problem, and if yes, how do you dump your main guy for 25 years, who has become a joke - surely not to intelligent Duke posters alone - and a second banana whose schtick has always been semi-buffoonery? How do you tell 'em it's over? Or first, how do you tell yourselves it's over?

    It may take fan pressure, assuming that nationwide fans agree that this is an obvious problem. I sure haven't read many positive comments on these boards about either guy, other than understandable tributes to V's admirable service to the sport.

    I'd prefer to see V given, and V to accept, an honorable discharge, with celebrations, etc. And I don't wish to see Digger embarrassed any more than he embarrasses himself. But to pull this off with few hard feelings will take uncommon good sense and wise diplomacy.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77devil View Post
    I should have added to my earlier post that Digger always has been anti Duke and critical of the ACC. He constantly complained as a coach that the media and the NCAA tournament committee were biased toward the ACC. He unethically continued to heavily recruit Gene Banks after he signed his LOI. In the 2004 ESPN tournament selection show, he refused to accept the consensus pick by all of the other analysts of Duke over Illinois, and made a issue of it, even though the format of the show was to present a consensus bracket.

    Digger became ever more bitter as a coach during the long stretch of mediocrity and worse for his program due in no small part to Coach K's successful recruiting of the kind of players Notre Dame had had success with earlier in Digger's tenure.
    Digger also had some bitterness toward his geographic rivals in the Big 10, though he did manage to stay on good terms with Knight. He developed a particular disdain for Michigan State after the '79 Spartans kept his best team (which was a #1 seed) from the Final Four.

    dukemsu

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukemsu View Post
    I don't understand how this guy holds his position at ESPN. He contributes nothing.
    dukemsu
    But man, can he dance...

  18. #18
    His highlighter also didn't quite match his tie, it was a darker shade of blue. I was very thrown off by that. Maybe that's why he made the mistake?

  19. #19

    Incomprehensible

    Based on your comments, it seems that most of you actually understand what Digger says. I can't figure it out half the time.

    BTW, I lived in California during UCLA's salad days, and I wouldn't say that UCLA got all the great guys because of Sam Gilbert, UCLA's dishonest booster. In the first place, Papa G surfaced towards the end of the 1960s, so he was drawn to the basketball team because of the success John Wooden had created. The Alcindor teams were full of absolute rock stars, and it seems that Gilbert wanted to be a part of that environment. Second, his role was not to recruit players, but to keep the players that Wooden recruited happy. That surely included giving guys who really needed it a little spending money on the side, but reportedly also involved cars and even abortions for their girlfriends. So in the end he represented the dark side of college basketball, and while Wooden never had any direct dealings with Gilbert, you have to ask whether the coach tried hard enough to end Papa G's relationship with his players.

    The guy certainly wasn't honest. After his UCLA days, Gilbert supposedly got involved in a money laundering scheme that earned him $36 million, but when the feds showed up they found out that he had died a couple of days before. Even after the fact, that would have been really embarrassing for UCLA, although by 1987 they weren't what they used to be. Here's a little info on Papa G:

    http://www.english.ucla.edu/ucla1960s/7071/austin12.htm

    Finally, to give you an idea of how much basketball has changed, UCLA used to play most Friday and Saturday nights, but the games would not be broadcast in LA until 11:00 PM. Dick Enberg was the announcer, so people used to say that UCLA had the best coach, the best players, the best announcer, the best uniforms, and the best song girls.

  20. #20
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    Lightbulb UCLA recruiting

    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    I was always under the impression that UCLA was so dominant because they got all the talented players BECAUSE of the boosters.
    Actually,UCLA recruiting was clean.It was remarkably lacking in intensity.A good number of recruits arrived sight unseen and an inch or 2 shorter than advertised.Different game then.

    Best regards--Blueprof

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