In what might be some of the least surprising news ever, Mark Few revealed he wasn't the biggest fan of the HBO series "Gonzaga: The March to Madness."
A reporter asked Few a question about the series during a press conference today in Chicago, specifically, what he gained from it individually. Few, as to be expected, was as enthusiastic about the show as one of the fish reeled in on his fly rod.
"Let's see. I gained nothing from it individually except irritation. I mean that somehow in a good way. I don't know how that comes out in a good way. But I'm a pretty private guy and I'm not really into all that stuff."
No real surprise there. I can't really think of too many head coaches who would be enthused about having a camera crew constantly around them, regardless of what sport they play. Few also touched on the fact that, perhaps just maybe, the cameras might have gotten into the players' heads.
"I was very worried about it because we were very immature I thought at the start of the year, and I think it was processing everything we were going through as well as having to deal with cameras around us was probably a little bit too much..."
There is just the first portion of the quote. The second portion might as well be a summation of the entire season.
"...but in a weird kind of way, it might have helped the maturation process that we went through. They just kind of ended up dealing with it and it ended up turning out great. So it's funny how that goes sometimes."
This was one of the big takeaways of his answer for me. There was a lot of speculation on how the players were dealing with the cameras and whether or not that was a weighing factor on the team's psyche. Few starts to get at that, but then he also acknowledges who the hell even knows.
Which still sort of leaves the question open: if Few didn't think it would be a good idea, most likely from the first place, why even agree to the series?
"My assistants, who I really trust, thought it would be good for us and some marketing people thought it would be good for the university.
My underlying thought with this HBO series has always been that it was more for the school's purpose rather than the athletic department's purpose. Granted, the team can use it as a recruiting tool, in the sense that some high school players across the nation are getting a look at how Gonzaga operates and what it means to be a Zag before taking an official visit, but they also get that experience taking an official visit.
In the end, the one entity that really stood to benefit wasn't the Gonzaga Bulldogs, it was Gonzaga University. The university got a 2.5 hour long commercial on why you should come to the school, produced in a beautiful and professional way. "Gonzaga: The March to Madness" showcased the team and what it meant to the school, but it also showcased the school, with shots of St. Aloysius and the admin building to showcasing student housing and the surrounding neighborhood.
Obviously, there is plenty of room to interpret Mark Few's comments, but they slide pretty nicely into the framework I've had on the show for the past few weeks. That said, I'm not disappointed whatsoever, especially because of this answer by Few about if the players enjoyed it.
I think they liked -- I picked up on, boy, Eric and Josh, why are your shirts always off when the HBO cameras are in here, and now we're in here at a film session and you have your shirts on; I'm baffled by this.