TV Show Recap: “Jim Boeheim In Front Of A Microphone Saying Things”Posted by mlemaire on February 14th, 2013
Last night was the latest episode of one of my favorite reality TV shows, right up there with “Rick Pitino Making Jokes,” the always popular and unpredictable show, “Jim Boeheim In Front Of A Microphone Saying Things.” You thought 24 seasons of The Simpsons was a lot, well “Jim Boeheim In Front Of A Microphone Saying Things” is now in its 37th season and amazingly it still does not lack for high-quality original content. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t truly understand the appeal of the show until around 2008 when the show aired the now-infamous episode in which Boeheim casually beat the ever-loving crap out of a malfunctioning microphone following a win against Long Beach State. After that I was hooked.
The show can make you laugh like the episode with the microphone, or it can make you cringe, like last season’s episode in which some felt Boeheim should have lost his job for insinuating that two men who had accused one of his assistant coaches of molesting them were only looking for money. Plenty have kept wondering whether the show will ever go off the air, but if this season, one which I have been watching devotedly, is any indication, “Jim Boeheim In Front Of A Microphone Saying Things” still has plenty of gas left in the tank. This season got off to a slow start as the Orange won a lot and didn’t encounter much adversity, but it started to pick up in December when the 900th career coaching victory episode took a surprise twist and ended with Boeheim publicly airing his unsolicited stance on gun control, and who could forget last week’s laugher when our ever-so-candid protagonist explained that he doesn’t read things on the Internet because he doesn’t “want to throw up everyday.”
As always, last night’s episode was as unpredictable as the next with Boeheim stirring up some controversy while trying to keep it real by calling well-known ESPN college basketball writer Andy Katz “disloyal” and “an idiot” in front of a bunch of television cameras and media people. Well you can imagine how that went, suddenly a mild regular season conference upset that meant little in the long run was being overshadowed and the show was forced to air its reunion episode, in which Boeheim blamed his outburst on a confrontational non-interview that happened over a year ago. It is episodes like this one where we can finally begin to understand how Boeheim is able to be such a polarizing character.
There are more than likely hundreds if not thousands of Syracuse fans who felt Boeheim rightly put Katz in his place last night and were glad to see the reporter receive some comeuppance. There are more still, including fans, media members, and opposing coaches who Boeheim has endeared himself to with his candor and bluntness. But there are also plenty of folks who have tired of Boeheim’s bullying and insults and would probably prefer he stick to some more banal press conferences that would make my favorite TV show far less interesting.
Regardless of whether you believe Boeheim was right or wrong in this instance (and let’s face it, he was definitely wrong) it makes no sense for Boeheim to have taken the podium last night and quickly create a distraction his team doesn’t need. Sure, this story will blow over soon enough and people will forget about it, but the Orange are in the middle of a conference title race, and they have plenty of wrinkles that still need to be ironed out. But instead, Boeheim and the media are focused on his tiff with Katz. Boeheim can try to dismiss it as a non-story but then again, he is the one who doesn’t read the Internet, so he should hardly be considered an arbiter of what counts as news and what doesn’t. Still, he is the only one to blame for this being an issue in the first place. He could have spoken to Katz privately on the side if he still held a grudge; he could have continued to ignore Katz without adding ad hominem attacks since both Katz and Boeheim seemed perfectly capable of doing their jobs over the last year without having each other to talk to; or he could have just answered the question and moved on.
Of course if Boeheim had just answered the question, plenty of fans of his show would have been disappointed, so instead he catered to his audience. He chose a public platform with a national audience to try and humiliate and assert dominance over a reporter merely trying to do his job. It was petty and Boeheim came off looking like a bully. Then he made it worse by trying to explain himself today and only proving that he is the type of guy who holds a year-long grudge against a journalist trying to practice journalism and refusing to cow in the fact of his demands. As much fun as the show is for everyone who tunes in on what seems like a nightly basis, at this juncture in the season it doesn’t seem wise to create another off-court story in a season already filled with plenty of them. It may make for great television, but it won’t help Syracuse win basketball games.