Visor-tossing curmudgeon Steve Spurrier has long terrified grown men -- first at the University of Florida, then in Washington with the Redskins, and now at the University of South Carolina.
He even terrifies fellow ex-NFL SEC coach Lane Kiffin -- which really speaks to his powers, because Kiffin has had to look Raiders owner Al Davis in the meltyface at least once in his career. After that, one would assume Kiffin could stand up to anyone or anything.
It's this warm demeanor that makes Spurrier pretty much the last coach on earth we'd expect to appeal to children through the Internet -- or even want to. (We once had Randy Shannon ranked no. 1 in this category, but then watched him enthrall child reporters with a tale of a prison yard brawl. Seriously.)
But try Spurrier will, through his new online football camp for kids, CampSpurrier.com.
There, a child can create a cartoon version of him or herself and toddle freely through a virtual world of camp counselor Spurrier's pep talks and games, skill drills and trivia, and even participate in chats (which CampSpurrier.com promises to filter and monitor for curse words and other things harmful to your child, thereby ruling out everything Spurrier has ever said in a huddle, locker room, or conversation.)
For parents who wish their children to learn about a "healthy, active lifestyle" by sitting indoors in front of a computer with an old man who can't make it to the potty, either, Camp Spurrier finally fills that need.
For everyone else, one of his Camp pep talks can be experienced here with just one click. Never mind that the ruddy Ol' Ball Coach appears to have been huffing mauve paint; that's just the anger and frustration seeping through his pores because he's trying not to unleash it on your children.
Janie Campbell thinks a CampTonySparano isn't too much to ask for. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.