That firing also reminded me of a series of articles I have written throughout the years comparing Crean to another obnoxious, self-promoting failure that spent several years heading things in Milwaukee- Scott Walker. Here's the 2011 original, with these points as part of it.
3. Both got their big-time jobs in Milwaukee at a relatively young age, and then lucked into prominence in the early 2000s. Crean rode Dwyane Wade to a Final 4 in 2003, while Walker rode Tom Ament's corruption and Charles Sykes' schlong to County Exec. in 2002.I then updated that in 2013, and included these observations.
4. Both make a big show out of how in control [they] are, acting enthusiastic for their cause and knowing how to kiss the right backsides and strike the right poses to impress those of lesser intelligence. But their records in Milwaukee weren't worthy of the adulation their supporters would give them - Walker never got Milwaukee County's finances in order and destroyed the level of services, and Crean won a grand total of ONE NCAA tournament game at MU without D. Wade, and couldn't even make the Big Dance 4 times in 9 years.
Sure, weak-minded partisans might be impressed by the way these guys seem so enthusiastic and unflappable, and in the way they can recruit large amounts of talent (or money) their way. But among those of us that actually care about the game (or state) at large, and those of us who are clear-eyed enough to see these charlatans for who they are, we know that there's little to no ability in either of these guys, and if the other folks come strong at them, they'll come up short, no matter how tough they might look on the outside. Us Badgers in Madison know it as well as anyone, and both Crean and Walker rightfully fear that what we know will soon become reality for the rest of their constituencies (much like it did when it came to Iraq or demanding marriage equality or any other number of 21st Century developments that us Madison hippies have been proven right about).Ok, the Thad Matta part of that take hasn't aged well, and I was a year early from calling Crean's demise in Bloomington, but the rest of it sure seems to fit, doesn't it?
Sure, both Crean and Walker got lucky reprieves in 2012 as a number of things fell their way (Walker convinced enough weaklings that he hadn't deserved to be booted out of office, while players like Oladipo and Zeller saved Crean's job with a Sweet 16 appearance). But even though these guys may be riding high in the eyes of the media, those of us that have a clue know that status is going to be fleeting (Walker's education budget is already blowing up among his GOP backers in the Legislature, and his budget will clearly implode into massive deficits with huge debts costs. Crean will probably lose Oladipo, Hulls and Zeller next year, with nowhere near as much talent ready to replace it). By 2014, both will be on the downslide in the national picture. And while both have delusional dreams of grandeur in 2016, (Crean thinks he's building at empire at IU despite not being half the coach Bo Ryan, Tom Izzo, or Thad Matta could be able, and Gov Dropout thinks he can be president, despite barely being able to crack the top 10 among the bubble-world losers at CPAC.) it's probably more likely that they'll be considered a joke at that point, with their careers effectively over.
And then in 2014, I went a step further.
1. Both seemed to be riding high in 2013, but with outbreaks of hubris and foolishness that foreshadowed the bad things to come.Now Tan Tommy is gone from Bloomington after never getting past the Sweet 16 in 9 years, and missing the tournament entirely in 5 of those years. Walker's Wisconsin has been in the bottom half of US job growth for each of the last 21 quarters, and has consistently been at or near the bottom for growth in the Midwest.
2. Both are seeing things come crashing down in 2014, leaving only hacks, clueless pundits and red Pom-Pom wavers as their only support.
3. Neither are talented enough to be in the position they're at, and the people in the know recognize them as clueless, classless charlatans.
4. Both are getting big money based on their poses, and a whole lot of contributors of that cash can't be liking what they're seeing around now.
Things have gone so badly for Walker in this category that he said this week he had "shifted" away from discussing his 2010 election goal of 250,000 jobs in 4 ....now that he is still far away from that goal after 6 years in office. And just like how some IU partisans didn't want to admit that Crean was a failure that wasn't up to the standards that should be expected at an elite job like IU, there is still a group of dimwits in this state who don't want to admit that this whole Koch/Bradley-addled experiment in rightwing rule in Wisconsin has set the state back decades, and that we are unacceptably stagnant in a 2010s decade that has featured a relatively strong national economy.
But the number of strong supporters are dwindling over time, and just like how many IU fans came to the conclusion that Crean's tenure was not going to return Indiana basketball to glory, an increasing amount of Wisconsinites have realized that things will never be good for most people in the state as long as Scott Walker is in the Governor's Office. The only question is if enough people in Wisconsin decide to take the final step, and remove the failure at the top, much like how the IU Administration finally pulled the plug on Crean yesterday.