It was already a weird and alarming Friday night for Syracuse Orange fans after they watched their team get dismantled by the Louisville Cardinals, 28-6. But then Scott Shafer took to the podium for the post-game presser and, well...
Shafer: "I'm the luckiest guy alive. I see ISIS cutting people's heads off."— Sean Farrell (@seanfarrell92) October 4, 2014
Here's the full quote:
No despair, I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I see ISIS is out there cutting people's heads off. The real world's got some major problems. Some major problems. And we're just so doggone lucky to be coaching and playing a sport. And being criticized for not getting a call with a couple seconds left in the game or being criticized for not catching a dead pig with air in it. So, to me, you know, life's pretty damn good. I'm so lucky to be able to field these types of questions and I feel so blessed to be a football coach and, you know, living the dream. Every once in a while it's uncomfortable but that's what makes the highs that much better.
I went into this on Twitter but this is what we like to call The Perspective Defense. "What's wrong with YOU, the fan, that you get all worked up about the loss, when there's real problems in the world." Doug Marrone tried something similar early on in his career and it went down about as well.
First of all, yes, that's absolutely correct. What's happening in the Middle East or in North Korea or with the Ebola virus is all SOOOO much more important than college football.
Let's stay in context. You're the head coach of the Syracuse football team. A football team that markets and advertises and promotes itself to us, Syracuse fans, with the understanding that it is important that we, the fans, invest ourselves emotionally in the outcomes of your football games. You tell us we need to buy tickets to attend the games. We have to support the team by buying orange t-shirts and merchandise. We have to buy airplane tickets and hotel rooms to follow the team. We have to be The 12th Man. You can't win without The 12th Man. And we should do all of this because this is OUR team. OUR school. OUR community.
So...after all that, don't tell us that we're not allowed to be disappointed or upset when the team plays poorly. You can't make us feel bad for caring when you're the one who made us care.
Shafer basically came into the presser knowing exactly what kind of questions were coming and decided to try and head them off at the pass. He comes off as defiant, angry, pissy and even a little rude, and I wouldn't have a problem with any of that. But to play the perspective card insults the entire premise of why everyone is here, himself included, in the first place.