Thursday, April 1, 2010

DEFIANTLY DUTCH EXCLUSIVE: Tom Pecora is coming back to coach Hofstra!

A familiar face will step to the podium this morning when Hofstra holds a press conference introducing its new men’s basketball coach. Tom Pecora, who left the Flying Dutchmen to become the head coach at Fordham last week, told Defiantly Dutch in an exclusive interview last night that he has changed his mind and will become the new old coach of the Dutchmen.

“I realized I made a mistake,” Pecora said as he emptied out his office in the Bronx. “Hey, do you want a maroon tie?”

Pecora won’t be the only Hofstra icon returning to the sideline. He’ll be joined by Jay Wright, who resigned from Villanova last night to become his top assistant. Brett Gunning and Joe Jones, the other members of Wright’s first staff in 1994-95, also resigned their positions as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets and the head coach at Columbia University, respectively, to come back to Hempstead.

“We’re putting the band together,” Pecora said.

Wrote Wright in a text message: “We’re on a mission from God!”

Pecora said he began having second thoughts during his commute into the Bronx last Friday. “I could get from home to Hofstra so quickly, it would take me two weeks to go through both sides of my cassette copy of Air Supply’s Greatest Hits,’” Pecora said. “But I was done with that before I even got off the Island last week. Took me two hours to get from western Nassau to Rose Hill. Traffic was brutal. Gas break honk. Gas break honk. Honk honk punch, Gas gas gas. Horrible.

“And terrestrial radio sucks, man. I mean, you can only hear Lady Gaga so many times before you start to lose your mind. Ra Ra RA RA RA.”

Pecora said he asked Fordham to add a Sirius XM package to his contract but that he was told the ink was dry and there would be no addendums to his deal. He spent the weekend second guessing his decision and singing Lady Gaga under his breath but was determined to remain at Fordham until he woke up in a cold sweat Monday night and realized he couldn’t bear to leave the CAA.

“It’s like Can’t Buy Me Love’” Pecora said, referring to the classic 1987 movie that anybody of a certain age must stop and watch whenever it’s on, even if it airs on Lifetime. “The CAA was Ronald Miller—paying Hofstra, the hot and popular cheerleader, to hang out with it and make it cool. Then everyone came to actually believe the CAA WAS cool, and the CAA ignored us and sent George Mason to the Final Four while we sat at home with ice packs on our groins. So yeah, it pissed me off, and I said some things I probably didn’t mean about the league.

“But in the end, when I pondered the CAA in its goofy cowboy hats, mowing lawns in anonymity, I realized I missed it and loved it. So we’re back. I can’t wait to go to Richmond Coliseum next year, can’t wait for those long bus rides to schools most of our fans have never even heard of, can’t wait for those [bleeping] southern bias calls. Who wants to fly into St. Louis or Dayton? The hell with that.”

Pecora also said he couldn’t bear the idea of not eating at Cracker Barrel several times per season. “You just can’t get a good breakfast like that on Long Island,” Pecora said. “Those biscuits are worth the B.S. we put up with in the CAA. And that awesome peg game where you’ve got to try to only have one peg left in the hole you originally left empty—I love that game. Corso always leaves only one. Showoff.”

Asked if Defiantly Dutch’s plans to expand its empire of Pecora-themed websites—including one titled—contributed to his decision to return, Pecora nodded.

“Look, Beach, I miss you, you goofy bastard, but I’m tired of seeing you jump out from behind bushes at Fordham, crying about how your life will never be the same,” Pecora said. “If me coming back here gets you to stop following me and to stop chronicling my every meal—hey, you want some of this Three Musketeers bar?—then it’s worth taking the 50 percent pay cut.”

As for old new coach Tim Welsh, who agreed to terms on a five-year contract yesterday before Pecora’s change of heart, he immediately became a leading contender for Pecora’s new old job at Fordham. Another surprise contender: George Mason’s Jim Larranaga, who just signed a contract extension Wednesday.

“I got that $75,000 loyalty bonus Tuesday,” Larranaga told me via Twitter. “New year. Dog’s gotta eat.”

Pecora said he hoped Larranaga would remain in the CAA because he always enjoyed taking on his well-behaved Mason squads. “But if he’s gone, hey, we’ll find a new rival,” Pecora said. “I can’t worry about that right now. I need to work on my speech for tomorrow. Do you think they’ll like it if I say something about how Hofstra is a sleeping giant?”

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1 comment:

MLB1974 said...

You have WAY too much time on your hands!