Hearne: The Myth that Roy Williams Has Been Forgiven

As Jayhawk fan extraordinaire Brett Mosiman eloquently stated last week that many, if not most, KU basketball fans have moved beyond their bitter hatred since being cruely jilted by North Carolina coach Roy Williams nine years ago…

I’ve got a slightly different outlook on the subject.

When someone lies to, pledges eternal devotion and then summarily dumps their significant other it can get ugly. Starting with the five stages of grief, which I unfortunately experienced first hand the hard way three years ago courtesy of my ex.

You know, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

I messed up in 2008 – my mom died in July, my dog in August, my job in November  and my marriage in December. Not exactly the kind of roll many people would relish going thru, especially in such short order. And that doesn’t EVEN count the ridiculously dumb dating and romantic misadventures that ensued.

But life goes on right?

Three years later, my ex’s polished off four out of five but she’s hanging on to anger for good measure.

Make no mistake it was a difficult time.

But let’s get back to Roy Boy and the tens of thousands of KU fans who hated his guys.

The all-knowing sports media types love to pretend that they and they’re all knowing and KU fans are over hating Roy Williams. But I’m going to offer up an other point of view, then you guys can rip me for not having a clue.

So hang with me here…

Your wife, girlfriend, husband or boyfriend drop you for somebody else like a bag of boiling hot peanuts.

That after vowing eternal, undying love. You hate their guts, right?

No way parting is anything approaching sweet effing, dad gum sorrow.

So it was in the case of Roy Willimas – for years KU fan hatred towards him was palpable.

As it generally is with the spouse on the losing end of the romantic stick.

Until maybe the dude or woman who stole your significant other loses their life savings and/or job or gets crotch cancer or whatever. That kinda closure can ease the pain and suffering.

Making it far easier to move on and not look back.

But if the low down, no good departing scumbag lives happily ever while you go to heck in a handbasket, screw ’em. Chances are you’ll carry that grude for a while.

In the case of Roy Williams and his replacement Bill Self, KU’s beating Roy and winning a National Championship in 2008 went a long way towards taking out the sting of Roy bailing. As did beating Williams and North Carolina yesterday and heading to the Final Four.

But why pretend, no way KU fans didn’t relish laying the pipe to Roy and North Carolina.

And we don’t need media suck ups to tell us differently.

Clearly Roy wants to be remembered as a totally cool guy – not half hero and half you-know what hole.

I can tell you this because I’ve experienced and talked to others who’ve seen the flip side of Williams personality that most fans will probably never see. Because with rare exception sports fans only see what they wanna see – the winsa versus the losses and the carefully meted out aw shucks comments.

There’s a reason why they seldom see that other side..

Two, actually. First because beat writers NEVER want to piss off their sources – especially popular ones like Roy Williams.  Because it handicaps their ability to get much needed quotes and behind-the-scenes scoops from the pissed off party. And that affects their job ratings and thus their paychecks.

Secondly, most sportswriters and broadcasters are groupies at heart.

Don’t think for one minute they don’t relish having cozy relationships with rock star like players and coaches. And to cement those relationships they try their darndest not to hound or piss those people off.

There are exceptions but…

I can tell you that behind the scenes Roy Williams has an explosive temper and he won’t hesitate to unleash it if one goes so far as to ask him a tough question he doesn’t want to answer. And since reporters seldom do – Williams has become spoiled over the years and has little tolerance of those who do.

Want an example?

In the early years after KU athletic director Al Bohl had come to KU I was up in the newly redone football press box and high dollar donor suites area at Memorial Stadium during a football game.

Williams had a nice schmooze suite to recruit basketball players and when I politely ducked in to say hello, he was very cordial. After a bit of small talk, I asked the question I really wanted the anwer to; was the talk about KU wanting to tear down Allen Field House and replace it with a state of the art venue that could hold thousands more fans and bring in beacoup bucks something he was in agreement to.

At that point it appeared like to be on a fast track to becoming a reality.

In the blink of an eye Williams face grew red and he snapped out a very angry answer to the effect that it would be over his dead body before that happened. That ended our cheery talk.

William knew I was a reporter with The Kansas City Star and that he’d lost his temper and there was a good chance he’s his angry answer dissing KU management. So he trioed to nip it in the bud.

Uncomfotable as it had suddenly become, I thanked Williams and exited his suite.

That was on a Saturday,

In Monday’s mail a letter to my editor at the Star arrived saying I had no business being in the press box and KU greatly resented that I’d come there and invaded Williams space.

Bear in mind I’d shown my Star credentials and been invited in. I’d also touched base immediately with KU’s sports media main man and had been given a warm welcome.

However Williams had reported me to his PR protector and made sure my editor knew I’d tresspassed. She was in the early morning news meeting of editors and I was instructed she wanted to see mean immediately aftre the meeting adjourned.

Naturally I gulped, knowing as most Star reporters do that you’re was pretty much guilty until proven innocent when a local big shot complains you did something wrong.

However the mail arrived when I waited on Death Row for my dressing down and lo and behold in it was a personal note from KU AD Al Bohl thanking me for coming up the the press box and basically saying I was welcome any time.

Uh, saved by the Bohl!

In other words, Williams tried to get me in trouble at the Star but had narrowly missed.

When the editorial meeting at the Star was done, I handed my editor my get out of jail free card, she smiled a smile of relief and the matter was resolved without Williams having laid a glove on me.

As for what Williams told me that fateful Saturday about tearing Allen Field House was, it would be over his cold, dead body.

That’s the Williams I and others got a glimpse of. A short tempered control freak who liked to play the, "Well, I’ll be dad gummed" card with the public as long as the media played along – which they largely did.

So hey, don’t mind me – go ahead and forgive the due – even you "wine and cheese’ ticketholders.

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10 Responses to Hearne: The Myth that Roy Williams Has Been Forgiven

  1. Super Dave says:

    Still stand by what I said about Roy in your last post.

  2. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    No other coach…
    that I hate more than that lying, hypocritical, two-faced, scumbag Roy Williams. He is in DIRE need of an ass kicking.

  3. the dude says:

    mouthbreathing, fairweather, hoople-headed Jayhawker fans need to let it go, let Roy toy be forgiven. You act as though he publicly dropped trow and took a dump on the floor at the Allen Field house. I loathe Jayhawkers and thier ilk but respect Self and the things he has done, he did more than Roy Toy did in his time there. Be lucky and happy your team has overachieved this year because Self got outcoached at the Purdue game and got super lucky NC player broke his wrist. Otherwise you would be all up in arms again how roy toy screwed you again if his guy didn’t break his wrist and they hammered you to loserville.

    LET IT GO chalk chokers, the tiggers forgave old coke head Quinn for being a goofy coke head, let it go.

  4. 6is9 says:

    Enough with the Roy hate!
    I never believed Roy wouldn’t eventually go to North Carolina if they kept wanting him. Roy wears his heart on his sleeve. That he came in with love for Carolina was clear. That he never lost that love was clear. That he valued his roots and he felt indebted to his mentor Dean Smith, to whom he also partly owed the Kansas job, was clear. That he loved Kansas and it’s tradition as much as any coach KU has ever had

  5. devils advocate says:

    were you drunk (i hope) when you wrote this?

    lotsh off drunken mish shtro**hic** mishtrokeshh in thish**hic**shtory

  6. paulwilsonkc says:

    this is a game… nothing more, nothing less
    I’ve never understood the deep emotion attached to it.
    Roy left for a better offer. Happens in the work world every day. I left Sprint for Mitel, left Mitel and came back to Sprint. Both times were for a better opportunity, financially, emotionally and to advance my career. At no point did I expect to be boo’d by anyone OR have signs held in protest of my departure or return.
    No one here is leaving in the midst of a near solution to cancer. The only viable reasoning for Roy-Hate that I’ve heard is that he recruited people who thought he’d be there when they came. I’m sure thats true. But you know what? TIll my last day with a company I’ve always performed as if it was my first day…. until the hour I walked out. I’d say he was showing good intent in doing his job….until it was no longer his job.
    This whole sports thing is hard for me to understand. Its a game. Its what we are to be entertained with in our pass time, not becomre this huge emotional investment, but thats maybe why I’m not a sports guy.

  7. chuck says:

    jesus Hearne-u don’t think this is interesting?
    Highwoods Realty Limited Partnership recently sued two Plaza restaurants for rent and one for possession.

    SportsBarPlaza, LLC, principal for 810 Zone, was sued earlier this year for $451,862 for unpaid rent, with interest, attorney fees, and additional costs. Highwoods also sought possession of the property in which 810 Zone currently operates.

    Highwoods won a judgment for both possession and back rent.

    That company will leave the Plaza, closing its door on April 5th. 810 Zone will reopen in Summit Woods in Lee

  8. Hearne says:

    Good suggestion but.
    There are a million stories in the Naked Cowtown, and I can’t begin to cover much more than a fraction of them. So there needs to be a little smoke to make it worthwhile. And as far as I can tell this story seems kind of obvious.

    The 810 dudes picked a dicey location where another very nice restaurant failed. Difficult parking. Off the beaten path. Up against a far more established, better located sports bar, the Granfalloon.

    Not the best interior layout for several reasons.

    Attracting a large portion of its base that only comes to big games rather than night after night. And leaves after rather than partying on until closing. Food that was okay but nothing to write home about.

    A destination location with few true nearby bar options to hop back and forth between.

    The net result being they were obviously losing money and having trouble keeping current on their rent.

    What’s so sexy about connecting those dots?

  9. chuck says:

    I didn’t write that.

  10. Hearne says:

    Look Fake Chuck…
    Not the one directly above.

    Look, there are plenty of interesting stories to be found. The 810 Zone Plaza story had already been reported earlier this year. And the net result held little to no surprise.

    So here’s the deal, the interesting part of this story isn’t wahat was reported earlier or even now.

    Joyce Smith – like many reporters – has favorites among sources. And KC Hopps, the owner of 810 Zone is in that category. So got read her story yesterday in the Star.

    It’s a total whitewash.

    She purposely didn’t have a single quote in there from the KC Hopps boys. Because if she had, she would have had to address the obvious question of why didn’t they pay their rent to the tune of more than $125,000?

    It’s total bullshit to let them off the hook about wanted to renegotiate their rent or move. Who wants to negotiate with a deadbeat tenant that owes you more than $100,000 in unpaid rent to begin with?

    The fact that the Plaza kicked them out on their deadbeat butts says it all.

    So that’s the unexplained story. And the odds of Smith fleshing that out short of being embarrassed into doing it by KCC are slim to none.

    It’s one thing for “Highwoods to have no comment” They won; end of story as far as they’re concerned.

    But by not including that 810 Zone had not comment, indicates that she spoke with them but failed to do the basic jornalism by asked them to explain the obvious question – how did they get $100,000 plus behind and what makes them think the Plaza would cut them a new cheaper deal when it had already been screwed over to the tune of six-figures?

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