SEC coaches and their Christmas movie twins
Here at Saturday Down South, we’re all about one-stop shopping. Why have columns about two great things when you can combine them into one? So we’re bringing you analysis of SEC coaches … by comparing them to characters from popular Christmas movies. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Nick Saban—John McClane (Die Hard)
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? Is Nick Saban just a football coach? Sure, there are many things that aren’t parallel. Saban would never be so careless as to let Ms. Terry get held hostage. But the part where he pretty much tracks down and executes vengeance on everyone in sight is entirely believable. Come on, you don’t think that every night before he goes to bed, Saban looks in the mirror and says “Yipee ki yay, ….”?
Greatest Christmas heroes—ranked:
⛏ Yukon Cornelius
💣 John McClane pic.twitter.com/O8AeomxKWw
— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) December 19, 2016
Bret Bielema (above left)—Yukon Cornelius (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
He’s a big burly dude who comes from the North prospecting for incredible treasure. But he’s more or less ultimately ineffective. If Bret Bielema ran into an abominable snow monster, I’d make him a 6-point favorite. But he ain’t getting Rudolph back to the North Pole, or the SEC West crown to Fayetteville.
Gus Malzahn— Vic Frohmeyer (Christmas With the Kranks)
The movie is so awful that it’s okay if you missed it. Frohmeyer is played by Dan Akroyd and is just the sort of uptight, sweater-wearing Christmas-insisting guy who Malzahn would be if he was a) north of the Mason-Dixon line and b) obsessed with Christmas decorations instead of the spread offense. I can see these two hanging out at Waffle House.
Ed Orgeron— Grover Dill (A Chrstimas Story)
If only The Waterboy was a Christmas movie. OK, we’ll quit picking on the unintelligible Cajun thing. Dill is basically the defensive coordinator to Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story, and like Dill, Oregeron is about to see what happens when the head guy implodes. In Les Miles’s case, it was a mid-season firing, in Farkus’s case, it was a hammering and cussing from Ralphie. You get the idea that Dill toned it back a little, and Orgeron might do the same.
Hugh Freeze—Frosty the Snowman (same title)
First, his name is Freeze. Second, he’s a happy-go-lucky dude who gets along just fine … until the heat is turned up. Granted, Frosty wasn’t battling the NCAA, but there’s no refrigerated box car that can help Freeze now. Ole Miss fans are hoping that things cool down before Freeze melts away.
— Beverly g Warren (@BeverlygWarren1) December 14, 2016
Dan Mullen—Cousin Eddie (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)
I’m not calling Mullen a crazy redneck, although if living in Starkville hasn’t pushed him in that direction, then nothing might. He looks like Randy Quaid, and he’s got the wild-eyed thing about him. He seems like a fairly sane, normal guy, but also like the kind of guy who could kidnap Clark’s rich boss and also nab Clark a membership in the Jelly of the Month club.
Kevin Sumlin—Kevin McAllister (Home Alone)
No, Sumlin doesn’t make his family disappear. But he does come up with elaborate, ornate game plans to battle the SEC’s most intimidating foes. And he stands back and watches them struggle like the Wet Bandits for the first couple months of the season. But like McAllister, his planning and good luck don’t hold out forever. McAllister gets the creepy old guy next door with a shovel to save his bacon, but Sumlin is just stuck watching the big bad guys of the SEC take over. Also, if the defense doesn’t improve soon, John Chavis may be sent packing, leaving Sumlin home alone.
Jim McElwain—Uncle Billy (It’s a Wonderful Life)
Like poor Uncle Billy, McElwain is handed something of great value. In Billy’s case, a bunch of money. In McElwain’s, the Florida offense. In both cases, that thing gets completely and utterly misplaced. Uncle Billy’s bacon is saved by an angel and by the friends of George Bailey who prove that it is a wonderful life. McElwain might be saved by a rival coach who wants to claim a championship of life.
Kirby Smart—Scott Calvin (The Santa Clause)
Kirby Smart is a somewhat regular guy who, to the surprise of many, gets tapped to take on an impossibly big role. Of course, in Kirby’s case, it’s SEC head coach, and in Scott Calvin’s, it’s becoming Santa Claus. Both guys spend the first part of this job blundering through things and looking vaguely incompetent. But like old Scott, by the end of his show, Kirby might just be a right jolly old red-wearing fella who ended up exactly where he belonged.
Mark Stoops—Scrooge (A Christmas Carol)
Not saying Stoops is a bah-humbug guy, but saying that two games into this season, he could have gone to sleep and been visited by three spirits, who told him that if he didn’t fix the defense, develop an offensive identity, and win some games, he’d end up in the coaches’ graveyard looking at his tombstone. And the next morning he woke up, starting calling the defenses, hitched his wagon to the ground game, and won seven games.
Barry Odom— Clark Griswold (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)
Like Clark, Odom just wanted to enjoy the traditions that made his family, err, Missouri football, special. Namely, a great defense that he could combine with an explosive offense. Instead, he ended up with a defense that was more like Cousin Eddie’s dog Snots and Aunt Bethany, who wrapped up her cat. Hallelujah, Holy ____! Hope somebody helped Barry find the Tylenol.
Will Muschamp—Mr. Parker (aka “The Old Man”) (A Christmas Story)
Anybody who caught Muschamp cursing up the sideline knows he’s got more than a little in common with Ralphie’s dad from A Christmas Story. There are unconfirmed rumors that he puts the 2011 Gator Bowl trophy in his family’s front room and tells his neighbors it’s “A Major Award.” Muschamp is as insistent on fundamental football as Mr. Parker is that poor Ralphie doesn’t have to wear the pink bunny suit.
Butch Jones—Tiny Tim (A Christmas Carol)
No, Jones isn’t a tiny, handicapped little boy. But he is a guy who the Ghost of Christmas Present might tell us won’t be back next Christmas if things don’t change. The difference is that Vols fans won’t spent time reminiscing about Butch if he goes.
Derek Mason—Rudolph (same title)
His nose isn’t red, but he coaches at Vanderbilt, which automatically made the rest of the reindeer exclude him from their bowl games, I mean, reindeer games. Like Rudolph, he refuses to give up, and after going up against a big toothless monster (Bumble, or Tennessee football), he ultimately prevails.
Who else was terrified of the Rankin-Bass abominable snowman when they were little? pic.twitter.com/769vc2KGjs
— Debbie Ridpath Ohi (@inkyelbows) December 15, 2016