Watching the Marquette/Nova game I was reminiscing about the stories I heard about Al McGuire as a child. I never had the priviledge of watching McGuire coach my beloved Marquette Warriors, but I did hear many stories. He was a very unique individual who had a unique style of coaching and recruiting. For instance, he wouldn't recruit anybody with grass in his front yard, he wanted a kid who was street tough and had a cracked sidewalk in front of the house. McGuire wasn't the best X's and O's guy and he knew that. He left that aspect of coaching to assistants such as Rick Majerus or Hank Raymonds. What McGuire was great at was putting on a show, making a basketball game like a theatre presentation. He wouldn't come out until all four of the upper corners of the arena were filled, because then he knew he did his job. He knew he was hated by opponents and revelled in it. In his words "You cannot have a bland feeling about me. Either I'm a showboating SOB or I'm the darling that everybody picks on." He also knew that it all came down to W's and L's "When I was losing they called me nuts. When I was winning they called me eccentric." When the lights came on he knew he was in charge and there was no room for anyone second guessing him. "I don't discuss basketball. I dictate basketball. I am not interested in philosophy classes."
I cannot help but think that coach McGuire left us far too early when he passed in 2001 and I think the sport of college basketball would be a lot better if someone like him were around. And for those interested in going out to eat, I will leave you with another of his famous quotes. "If the waitress has dirty ankles, the chili must be good."