March 29, 2013

We Need More Florida Gulf Coast University

By - Keith Smith

Call them what you want; Bracket Busters, Cinderella, underdogs. But whatever you call them, let's hope you're calling them that for at least four more games.

This NCAA Tournament needs more of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. Heck, this country needs more of "Dunk City," the nickname for their brand of offense.

Photo by: Getty Images
Like most of America, I can get behind the underdog in most situations. I wasn't exactly singing that tune when the Eagles eliminated Georgetown, who I had losing in the title game to Louisville in my bracket, but whatever. They have my support now, and that's what matters.

I don't say that this team is needed just because they are the underdog, though. Anyone could fill that slot.

No, we need this team. This team brings something that is lacking in all sports, be it professional, collegiate, high school, or even in many of the kids sports played today. This team brings fun.

It starts with their coach, Andy Enfield. He seems to sincerely enjoy what he does for a living. He does it well, and he does it wisely. He doesn't over-coach during the game. He's trained his team during practice, trusts them to do what he's taught, and they do just that.

Then again, he could just be happy that he's married to a beautiful ex-model (Amanda Marcum) who has graced the covers of magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Maxim (Okay, I haven't seen that one, but all of us males know what kind of covers they produce, so I might need to rectify that lack of research). She's even done a Victoria's Secret ad as well. Maybe that's why you can't wipe that goofy grin off Enfield's face.

Or it could be because he was once the vice president and part owner of a health care business information firm, reportedly worth somewhere over nine figures. He sold off a chunk of his ownership, but still owns a small part. There are unconfirmed reports that Enfield doesn't even really need the $157,000 salary the school is paying him, but he denies that.

Whatever it is that makes him so happy, it's rubbing off on his team. These guys are playing loose, and running around like a bunch of 5-year-olds at a birthday party hyped up on cake, ice cream and sugary soft drinks. They are having fun before, during, and after games. It's absolutely infectious.

And it works. They are the first 15-seed to make it to the Sweet 16.

How much fun would sports be again if all teams played like that? How much would we all enjoy seeing guys, especially at the professional level, who played like they still enjoyed the game, rather than like it was a job? How exciting would it be for all fans to see players smile and laugh and joke with each other, rather than stand over someone after a thunderous dunk or an explosive sack, or stare down a pitcher after a 400-foot home run, trying to show them up?

So put me down as a fan of this team and this brand of basketball (or any other sport, for that matter). The brand of fun. I would love to see these kids play their way to the Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship Game. And just imagine if they win it all. It would be unlike anything we've ever seen.

Of course, that would also mean more camera time for the lovely Mrs. Enfield. Did I mention that she used to be a model?


  1. Too bad their run ends tonight against the Gators.

  2. I'm with you Keith. Love to watch these kids play. More teams should follow suit. And I think they've got a great shot at beating Florida.

  3. I'd love to see them beat big brother tonight! And lol @ the player giving another player the bunny ears. Great photo for this article.

  4. I agree that most people like to pull for the underdog, but FGCU is guilty of doing some of the very things you pointed out as being what's WRONG with sports. Every time Sherwood Brown hits a shot he stares down the guy that's guarding him or starts talking trash to him. And he's not the only Eagle that I've seen do that this tournament either. But I guess it's OK for the underdogs to do that type of stuff, right?

  5. Why would anyone NOT BE pulling for these kids??? I hope they win the whole damn thing!!!!!

  6. Told you they were going down. lol