SHREVEPORT, La. – And you thought The U Part 2 had some good footage about the infamous Bourbon Street Brawl.
South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, always a gem to interview, didn’t disappoint Friday at the press conference for the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.
Somehow, the topic of Billy Corben’s recently released The U Part 2 movie and the Bourbon Street Brawl between Spurrier’s former 2000 Gators and the Hurricanes came up – courtesy of the Head Ball Coach himself.
After he talked about what it means to return to Shreveport for the first time since 2005 – “Like I said earlier, with our record, I said, ‘Man, I hope we get to Shreveport again’’’ – Spurrier took a dramatic turn.
“And while I’ve got your attention here,’’ he began about five minutes into the press conference, “let me say something. We’ve all been watching this University of Miami 30 for 30 on ESPN. OK. They won the game. They beat us fair and square.
“But a Miami player on that team quoted me as saying, ‘We got our ass kicked off the field and we got our ass kicked in the game.’ And I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t be that stupid to ever say anything like that.
“Now, a scuffle happened sometime earlier in the week on Bourbon Street. Nobody got arrested. Nobody got hurt. Nobody got suspended for the game. To me it was history.
“But for some reason, some people, some teams, or whoever, they like to glamorize fighting. Our teams don’t fight. I don’t think I’ve ever had a team in a brawl – not that I can remember. But I certainly didn’t say that, and that 2000 Florida team was one of my favorite teams. Those guys won the SEC after getting clobbered by Mississippi early in the year and came back and won it.
“I just wanted to say that. I did not say what is attributed to me by a Miami player, to get the record straight. Now let’s talk about the Independence Bowl.’’
Did Spurrier say anything like that?
“No, they quoted a player,’’ Spurrier continued. “They never called me and said, ‘Did you say that?’ But that’s not the first time in life somebody put a quote on me that I didn’t say. I did say most of them, but not that one.’’
Did Spurrier actually watch The U Part 2?
“I watched part of it, yes. I saw that part. …Shockey said that, right? Jeremy Shockey, the tight end.’’
The U Part 2 producer Billy Corben told the Miami Herald on Friday after Spurrier’s comments that it was, indeed, Shockey who commented about Spurrier in the documentary.
Corben said former UM offensive lineman Brett Romberg said in the movie: “We were 2-0 that week, actually, against the Florida Gators.’’
Then, here’s Shockey: “I remember their head coach Spurrier coming up to me after the game, saying, ‘You guys definitely deserved it. We got our ass beat off the field and on.’’’
Now, here’s Corben’s reaction to what Spurrier said Friday morning:
“That’s the challenge of documenting history. You have to rely on people’s memories.
“It could be apocryphal or Coach Spurrier could just as easily be mistaken. Bottom line: the quote is definitely Spurrieresque and, whether he said it or not, it’s 100 percent factually accurate.’’
When Corben was asked by the Herald for his prediction on Saturday’s game between the Canes and Gamecocks, Corben said, “Whatever I tell you about my game prediction, I’ll just deny I said it in 14 years.’’
***South Carolina defensive tackle JT Surratt, a senior captain, “had some kind of stomach ailment,’’ Spurrier said, and was in the hospital as of Friday morning. “I don’t know if he’ll be able to play tomorrow,’’ Spurrier said. Surrat, 6-2 and 310 pounds, was the lone returning starter this season for the Gamecocks’ defensive line. He has 30 tackles and a blocked field goal this season.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN