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Ed Cooley, Jeff Goodman, Blue Demon Degen and The Divine Providence Drama

What a week of drama in College Basketball's premier conference--and yes, they are the premier conference. No conference has more championships in the past 10 years, past 20 years plus legacy, history, MSG, it goes on and on but I digress. For the first time in my 25 years of life, the leading Big East story was revolved around DePaul--kinda. Anonymous twitter user Blue Demon Degen released a 75 minute documentary about Ed Cooley's rise to success at Providence and the back-stabbing move to Georgetown that was the Big East's first intra-conference coaching move in its 45 years of existence. Maybe a stretch to call this story about DePaul, but let's throw them a bone for once.

The drama really boils down to out-of-touch old media heads upset with a college basketball fan doing his own journalistic research and production. Causing a scene, threatening lawsuits, and playing White Knight for many fully-abled people in a lousy excuse to 'save journalism'. Jeff Goodman, self-proclaimed basketball insider and overt asshole slid into the DM's of Blue Demon Degen asking if he "looks good in orange" along with other threatening messages insinuating future legal issues. Goodman, along with podcast co-host and convicted fraudster, Doug Gottlieb, accuse the documentary of misleading those who were interviewed. One of which being the well-respected, energetic John Fanta. The controversial move of Ed Cooley leaving Providence for Georgetown created chaos and rumors as Friar fans tried to put together the pieces of what happen.

To be cut and dry, the rumors were that Cooley was unfaithful in his marriage and that played a large part in a life reset move that would land the coach in Georgetown. While these rumors are only alleged with no real evidence, it was included in the documentary and I believe rightfully so. The doc was capturing the emotion of Providence and their fans and the rumors--true or false--were a large part of the public perception of Cooley during his departure. You may think that they have no place in this documentary but quoting an all-time villain, Colonel Hans Landa from Inglorious Basterds:

"I love rumors. Facts can be so misleading. While rumors, true or false, are often revealing"

Using a quote from a movie character who is a Nazi may seem extreme--but not if you ask one of the documentary's interviewees, Matthew Lebeau. Lebeau called Cooley "Basketball Hitler" and was dead set that the coach had cheated on his wife citing the college basketball message board site 'Scout'. A direct quote is "People are actually typing this out... it's not just word of mouth". If those two sentences don't make you erase all credibility this guy had then you are probably a lost cause anyway. Anyone with critical thinking skills can decipher this and come to the logical conclusion that Lebeau's perspective is that of a die hard Friar fan who had his coach ripped away from him and now had a chance to finally air his grievances. That's not a bad thing! Cooley's move was gutless and getting to see how the fans maneuver through the stages of grief is valuable to put into perspective what Ed Cooley meant to the program.

Thinking that Cooley's only motive for leaving was that it was some sort of ultimatum from his distressed wife is a preposterous conclusion to make after watching this documentary. I think most people who watched realized that too. Future Cooler Talk blogger, Chenpiece, succinctly put it

"If you can't make the connection between Georgetown and its significant history of African American coaches then you're just uneducated. And you [Cooley] have a chance to not only add to that legacy but save it entirely from ruin. I think you can make it make sense without spreading rumors of infidelity"

Well said Mr. Piece.

The documentary makes no claim that these rumors are true and makes it pretty clear they are unfounded. That made the entire Goodman freak-out even more perplexing. Goodman issued an apology saying the DMs were "a bad look" and rounded out his apology tweet by attempted to play the sympathy card linking a Go-Fund-Me page that supported John Fanta who recently lost his father. A cowardly attempt to try to deflect from his disingenuous apology. On the other hand Doug Gottlieb went on a derailed rant about how every fan from the Northeast is a douchebag. Gottlieb's word vomit was reminiscent of Billy Madison's take on Society and Literature leaving us all dumber for having listened to it.

Blue Demon Degen did a fantastic job of recapping Cooley's career with the Friars and showing us how much that program means to the area and how insane and diehard those fans are. The Goodman attack still is uncomfortable to me a week later with his accusations just as outrageous as Lebeau's testimonials. I'm not sure if Cooley reached out and had Goodman do his bidding for him but the entire process has given the documentary more eyeballs if anything. The twitter jury has declared this one in favor of Blue Demon Degen in unanimous fashion, many calling for more documentaries from him and some even willing to help support them financially.

They say there is no such thing as bad publicity and that rings true here. The documentary has eclipsed over 100k view between its multiple YouTube upload and more eyes are on college basketball and the Big East. All this and it's still only February first. Football season isn't over yet and NCAA basketball drama is in mid season form. Can't wait for March. If your interested in the documentary you can check it out here.

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