Florida hosts the University of Tennessee Saturday. Once upon a time, that meant Steve Spurrier would be in his element. The undisputed king of college football smack cut his teeth at UF on former UT coach Phillip Fulmer's backside: "You can't spell Citrus [Bowl] without U-T." He made mincemeat of Peyton Manning. "I know why Peyton came back for his senior year. He wanted to be a three-time star of the Citrus Bowl." Spurrier's swagger at Florida always seemed calculated to give the Vols an inferiority complex. It worked, you know: Prior to coming to South Carolina, he was 9-4 against Tennessee -- including five in a row in 1993-97. The Ole Ball Coach even turned the non-existent rivalry between South Carolina and the Vols into something. Since taking over the Gamecocks, Spurrier is 5-5 against UT; before he came to Columbia, South Carolina was 2-19-2 all-time against the Vols. But no one outside of Knoxville and Central South Carolina cares about Gamecocks-Volunteers. This is about the Gators and the Vols, and about Spurrier's delicious habit of smacking down his old rivals. Which brings us to this week. Florida-UT no longer carries the luster it once did. The national title is not on the line this weekend. The Gators will turn the Swamp blue tomorrow, but so what? It's just not the same as when Spurrier prowled the sideline, scowling and chucking his visor and generally wearing his arrogance like a comfortable old pair of boots. Let's revisit some of the all-time great moments in Spurrier history, shall we? It'll probably be more entertaining that tomorrow's UF-UT game -- unless you're really into blue. WATERMELON [caption id="attachment_1095" align="aligncenter" width="400"] That is a MIGHTY good watermelon.[/caption] NEARLY THREW IT [caption id="attachment_1096" align="aligncenter" width="443"] He wanted to throw it. See? He does have self-control.[/caption] DEAL WITH IT [wpvideo qGkhPqsX] SO ... YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE? [caption id="attachment_1100" align="aligncenter" width="360"] Yes. YES![/caption] CAPTION THIS [caption id="attachment_1101" align="aligncenter" width="267"] I betcha I could win a Super Bowl in Washington ...[/caption] STILL GOT IT [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkOIAD2eI0A]
Smack Apparel is, and always has been, about creativity. There's a reason we do it the way we do -- because we know passionate sports fans want to be as creative and funny as possible when it comes to talking smack about their sports rivals. But how do we actually do what we do? It starts with a passion for sports. We're fans, so we know what fans love. With that in mind, we are constantly surveying the sports and pop culture landscape for new t-shirt ideas. Founder Wayne Curtiss channeled his inner FSU Seminole when he and Smack Apparel vice president Rosemary Curtiss (a proud Nittany Lion) teamed to create our first Smack Apparel shirt 17 years ago. Will Rogers might have never met a man he didn't like, Wayne and Rosemary figured, but Rogers never met Steve Spurrier, either. Wearable smack was born. Since then, we have created hundreds of designs for fans who not only love to talk smack, but want to wear it, too. In this video, Wayne takes you behind the scenes for a glimpse at the Smack Apparel process, from that first creative spark to finished product. We hope you enjoy it! [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPrHhfLi3KQ] Enjoy the video? Ready for more? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a steady stream of sports news and sports smack dedicated to passionate sports fans all over the country. And be sure to check back daily at Smack Zone, the home of college and pro sports rivalries.
They are the legends of smack. Sports figures who talked as good a game as they played or coached. Greats who told you what they were going to do; did it; then told you all about it. If there were a Sports Smack Hall of Fame, these guys would be elected on the first ballot. Their mugs would adorn the Mount Rushmore of Smack: Muhammad Ali. Dizzy Dean. Michael Jordan. Steve Spurrier. Oh, we know. There are many others who have raised trash talk to an art form over the years. You might prefer four completely different smack talkers, and who are we to argue? Well … We are Smack Apparel, the nation’s leading sports parody apparel company. We’ve been around since 1998. We make t-shirts for fans who love their teams -- and love to hate their rivals. And this? This is Smack Zone, our new blog dedicated to all things smack talk and sports passion. Check in daily for stories, videos, fan contests and a few surprises along the way. We wanted to kick things off today with a tip of the cap to the smack masters. After all, what would modern-day smack talk be without the breakthrough moments of trash talk engineered by pioneers like Ali, who gave us this all-time epic piece of smack moments after he defeated Sonny Liston in 1964: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY6_3Y7OOo8] Come on, who’s better than Ali? No one. He was correct: He is the greatest. But he shares the stage with many. For instance, where would we be today if Hall of Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean hadn’t vowed that he and his brother, Paul, would combine for at least 45 pitching victories for the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals? That was a big promise, and sure enough: They won 49 together that year. Dizzy remains the most recent National League pitcher to win 30 games in a season. It was Dizzy Dean, during his later career as a broadcaster, who gave us one of the all-time truisms of smack talk: “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.” And who could dish it out better than His Airness? The greatest basketball player of all time also might have been the cockiest. Pity poor Craig Ehlo. The Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star drew the unenviable task of trying to guard Jordan late during a memorable game on March 28, 1990. All Jordan did that day was drop a career-best 69 points – including a sequence of plays when he informed Ehlo exactly what moves he would make and where he would shoot from, then did it. According to Ehlo, Jordan didn’t even sound a bit malicious when he said, matter-of-factly: “You know you can’t stop this.” Then there’s the Ole Ball Coach. Steve Spurrier loves what he calls “Talkin’ Season,” and few have used the slow summer months to better verbal advantage. Remember, you still can’t spell Citrus Bowl without UT. Spur Dog has a special place in our hearts here at Smack Apparel. You see, our founder and Smack Talker in Chief, Wayne Curtiss, went to Florida State. Our very first shirt was conceived when Wayne thought about that old saying by cowboy performer Will Rogers: “I never met a man I didn’t like.” [caption id="attachment_862" align="alignleft" width="300"] The very first Smack Apparel t-shirt: an homage to one of the masters of smack, the Old Ball Coach himself.[/caption] Well, thought Wayne. Will Rogers never met Steve Spurrier. And there we had it: our first article of Ready-to-Wear Smack Talk. It was, and remains, a Smack Apparel classic. Who else deserves a spot alongside our four greatest smack talkers of all time? A few potential candidates come to mind: Joe Namath, Deion Sanders, Richard Sherman, Deacon Jones, Warren Sapp, Sean Avery, John Randle, Shannon Sharpe, Chad Johnson, Gary Payton, Floyd Mayweather, Satchel Paige, Terrell Owens, Reggie Miller, Ray Lewis, Mike Tyson, Larry Bird, Steve Smith, A.J. Pierzynski. And so many other legends. We’ll get to them all soon enough. Meanwhile, welcome to Smack Zone. We’re glad you could make it. Hang on … it’s going to be a great ride.
_______________Coming tomorrow: As we continue to celebrate the launch of Smack Zone and the kickoff of football season, come with us behind the scenes as founder Wayne Curtiss shows you how we do what we do at Smack Apparel. And be sure to follow us Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for a constant stream of smack throughout the day! [caption id="attachment_864" align="aligncenter" width="266"] Rosemary and Wayne Curtiss welcome you to Smack Zone. We hope you enjoy wearing our t-shirts as much as we love making them for you![/caption]