Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tony Franklin and the bureau-shaped wad of paint
Dave Barry tells a story--I'm fairly certain it's from Homes and Other Black Holes--about going to a furniture auction and purchasing a beautiful antique bureau for an amazing price. There's just one problem with this bureau--it's been painted a hideous shade of lime green.
No problem, Barry and his wife think. We'll just scrape the paint off, and we'll have an awesome bureau that would have cost us twice as much if it hadn't had the paint on it in the first place. As they leave the auction, Barry hears the old owner cackling evilly. Initially, he thinks nothing of it.
Upon getting the bureau home, they scrape away the green paint and make a discovery--there's a layer of hideous orange paint underneath the green. No sweat--they start scraping away the orange, only to find a layer of purple underneath that. They go through the purple to find red, red to find green again, and so on until Barry comes to a realization I can still quote almost verbatim even though I haven't read to book in probably 15 years: that what they've purchased isn't a bureau at all but "an enormous, bureau-shaped wad of paint."
That wad of paint is what I thought about reading all those beat-writer articles that popped up yesterday afternoon and this morning about how the old/new Tony Franklin showed up at practice and ran routes and screamed at everybody and made yesterday's practice feel like "two-a-days all over again" in the words of Rod Smith.
If this is the Tony Franklin we were supposed to get all along, well, better late than never, I suppose. But forgive me for believing that the arrival of the new/old Tony Franklin will make a difference when I see it. If the offense isn't already there, if the building blocks of for this offense's success weren't already laid down during the offseason--and to date, there's no evidence they were, evidence that includes Franklin yesterday having to show his receivers the right routes to run himself instead of, you know, the freaking wide receivers coach--all the intensity and screaming and route-running and new attitude aren't going to change a thing. It's too late. If there's nothing genuine underneath the new/old Tony Franklin, something solid to support him, it's just another layer of green paint to make us think there's something there that isn't.
Until Saturday at the earliest, that's how I'm going to see it. But, hey, that doesn't mean there's not any hope it's the other way 'round: that maybe Franklin really did build that bureau in the offseason, and all the quarterback haggling and Tubby interference and spiraling pressure have just covered it all up in ugliness. Maybe the new/old Tony Franklin isn't adding a layer of paint, but is instead finally scraping it away to show us what we were supposed to see the whole time.
After the Vandy game, let's be honest, it sure as hell ain't likely. But I guess that's all the hope we've been given.