Is the People's Republic of Portland ready for a 65-year-old yahoo in a 10-gallon hat who brags about his sartorial connection to President Bush and his football teams' penchant for injuring opponents?
And is that yahoo, new Portland State University coach Jerry Glanville, ready for a touchy-feely town where an arts and crafts fair has more appeal than the Vikings?
In hopes of minimizing any culture clash between our fair city and Glanville—a NASCAR-drivin' (and -crashin'), NFL-coachin' good ol' boy whose last job was as a defensive coordinator at the University of Hawaii—we humbly offer Glanville some advice on how he might get along in P-town. Here's how some recent quotes by Glanville might play in Portland:
"Look at these boots. I get 'em handmade by the same guy who does President Bush's boots."
Uh, not really a selling point when Bush captured only 27.1 percent of the Multnomah County vote in 2004 and Portland was coined "Little Beirut" by the first Bush White House after protests rocked Bush I's visits here. You might as well say: "I'm a good hunter. I was trained by the same guy who trained Cheney!"
ON PUBLIC PROTESTS
When told that a PSU student had marched around a Vikings basketball game before the school hired Glanville with a sign saying PSU defensive coordinator Greg Lupfer should get the head coaching job, Glanville said: "I love loyalty. But if I get there, take the job, and the kid still wants to carry that sign, I'll buy him a comic book, an apple, and get him a bus ticket out of here."
Portlanders are big fans of free speech, and even bigger fans of the freedom to march around carrying signs. But Glanville is on the right track with the apple (organic, please) and the use of mass transit.
When asked what he was most proud of in his last season at Hawaii, Glanville cited the 19 opponents who left games injured: "You come here, we will knock you out."
Not exactly in line with Portland's "Kumbaya" ethos of "visioning" and its embrace of talk-till-you-drop public meetings, but we do look forward to hearing the pre-game pep song: "We will, we will, send you to OHSU." On the tram, of course.