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Bobby Gonzalez Mass Hysteria!

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Well, there's a reason I titled the blog, Gonzo Ball.

To your right, you'll see, "Gonzo Ball," described as:

Gonzo Ball: noun 1. a game played by 13 members of a basketball team, five at a time, sometimes crisp, often sloppy, but always furiously.

In the, "Introducing Gonzoball, What is Gonzo Ball?" post, I described the name's origin:

It's origin derives from our boisterous, sometimes theatrical, but absolutely methodical head coach, Bobby Gonzalez.

No, I didn't write the articles that surfaced in today's New York Times, but without further ado, let's check them out:

The original piece, from Kevin Armstrong and Pete Thamel:

Seton Hall's Bobby Gonzalez Is a Divisive Figure in the Big East:

The former Jasper Kenny Minor called Gonzalez "the craziest person I've ever met in my life, by far." Minor added: "If I were to ever become a coach, I learned a lot of things I wouldn't do. Even though we won, it was hard to enjoy basketball."

The pair of writers followed with:

At Manhattan College, the Memories of Gonzalez Are Not So Fond

Byrnes said that when he was informed that Gonzalez was leaving for Seton Hall, he said: "Good luck. I had him for seven years. I used to have a lot of hair. I'm almost bald now." He said he had seen Gonzalez only once since he left, at a dinner, but did receive a bobblehead of Gonzalez in the mail recently from him.

"I don't talk to you for four years, and you send me a bobblehead?" Byrnes said. "Save the postage."

Forgive me, but after reading that I can't help but think of Jack Woltz waking up with a horse's head in his bed.  Regardless of what you think of this mess, you can't tell me that Gonzo sending Byrnes the bobblehead wasn't outright hilarious. 

Lastly, Thamel conducted a formal Q&A with Bob Byrnes:

A good example: you got to someone's else's arena for shootaround. There's a man in the upper level sweeping the floor. He would dispatch someone immediately, like the person sweeping the floor is spying on our practice or something. It was like, over-the-top boogeyman stuff. It's wearing. The part that I was disappointed in was the handling of the players and the ‘us against the world' type of thing and the lack of focus and attention on school. I felt that we got lip service.

Of course, everyone weighed in with their reactions:

USA Today, Seton Hall's Bobby Gonzalez knows how to rub folks the wrong way:

But after Monday's piece in the Times, Gonzalez now may face questions about more than just basketball as his team travels to New York to play in the Big East tournament, where they are the 10th seed and will face Providence in the first round.

Eamon Brennan of ESPN:

Uh, yeah. I have a feeling Gonzalez isn't going to like this. Which means Seton Hall's Big East tournament games should be thoroughly awesome. Well, the postgame press conferences, anyway.

Brennan, which Gonzo presser ISN'T awesome? From taking shots at Adam Zagoria, to throwing John Garcia under the bus, to insinuating the snowstorm in D.C. might have been to blame for the Pirate's 25PT loss in Pittsburgh, you never know what you'll hear.  Don't get me started on his BIG EAST conference calls

Follow the jump for more reactions to the mass hysteria, Bobby Gonzalez style:

Chris Littman of Sporting News:

Bobby Gonzalez Not Creating a Big Fan Club:

It all begs the question: How the heck has Gonzalez gotten this high up the food chain without all of it coming back to bite him? (The fact that no one called the AD at Manhattan to do a background check probably helped.) Like most people, he's masked these problems with wins. At Manhattan, Gonzalez won 20 games four times while making two NIT appearances and two NCAA Tournaments. He's yet to crack the NCAA Tournament at Seton Hall, but the team has improved to 18 wins overall and nine Big East wins this season.

Sean Keeley writes:

Don't Drive Bobby Gonzalez Anywhere, Anytime:

And so, they've posted a sidebar piece with thoughts from Gonzalez' former boss, Manhattan College AD Bob Byrnes. Byrnes paints a picture of a man with serious road rage issues...even if he wasn't the one driving.

You've got to respect Adam Zagoria's take on the recent articles, as he took the high-road and simply linked to them with:

Without further ado, here is the link to the story by Kevin Armstrong and Pete Thamel. And here's the sidebar, You don't want to drive the bus.

Adam could have had at Gonzo, seeing as Bobby sarcastically referred to Zagoria as a, "blog guru guy" when interviewed by Evan Roberts on WFAN two weeks ago:

"Hazell will play today, contrary to some of these infamous blog guru guys, we have one in the state of new jersey, that has his unnamed sources that constantly writes articles with no credibility and came out with a story that said he'd be out a week, I don't know where they get this stuff, they almost throw it against the wall and hope it sticks."

Lastly, Brendan Prunty also weighed in:

Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez seen as polarizing figure in college hoops, report says:

However, in a story in Monday's New York Times, Gonzalez is depicted in an unflattering light by those who knew him during his time at Manhattan and currently at South Orange. The story, which has an accompanying smaller story as well as a Q & A with Gonzalez's former boss at Manhattan, athletic director Bob Byrnes, paints the current Pirates coach as a coach wanting to move up the ladder at any expense.

Interesting timing for all of this to come out a day before the biggest game in the Pirate's 2009-2010 season.  For that reason, I have presented you all with the articles and the reactions, however, I won't be commenting with my opinion at this time, as I'd rather focus on basketballThe Pirates have an opportunity to play their way into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005-2006 and to me, that is today's real news.  As always, LET'S GO HALL!