"I got Mr. Ed, the talking TV horse, mixed up with Francis the Talking Mule from the movies. I meant to say, 'mule,' because a mule is not a thoroughbred. A jackass is a thoroughbred, but a mule is a cross, I think, between a jackass and a horse. I think a mule is worse than a jackass."
Told he was likely to be fired during the season, little-known Southwest Minnesota State coach Pierre duCharme once had his team carry him to the bench in a casket.
And Pete Carril, lit cigar in hand, once waddled over to James Taylor and impolitely asked the singer to "shut the [heck] up," since his sound check was interrupting Princeton's practice.
Those, my friends, were the days, the days when characters -- uninhibited, unafraid and unapologetic -- ruled the sidelines. They were a little kooky, a touch controversial and a lot entertaining, adored for their showmanship, yet still revered for their principles, interesting even if they could be, at times, alienating.
They made the game of college basketball just that: a game.
We never realized their days were numbered.
When, in 2006, Chaney quietly rasped Frank Sinatra's "excuse me while I disappear," it wasn't just the Temple coach who was headed off to retirement; he was taking his era into the sunset with him.
It was an era of fearless and unfiltered coaches, men who could be a little controversial without fear of recrimination or termination; men who could be a lot off color without worry of a social media firestorm.
"I couldn't wait to hear what was going to come out of Lefty [Driesell]'s mouth or see what was going to happen with the family feud between Wimp Sanderson and Sonny Smith," said former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, who once memorably painted his chest orange in support of the Lady Vols basketball team. "You'd go to a banquet with Johnny Orr and you'd be bent over laughing, but every other word out of his mouth wasn't a household word. Can you do that today?"
And that's really the essence of it all.
It's not that there aren't characters in the game anymore. There are plenty. It's just that their personalities and their convictions have been muted.
The combination of high stakes and social media has robbed the game -- and maybe the world in general -- of some of its fun. There is too much to lose to risk offending anyone and too many Internet highways to burn the politically incorrect trespasser.
"If those guys then had social media monitoring their every move and every word, just think about that," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.
Just think about that. That's blaming the messenger media, the means used to deliver the message. Literally.
Social media merely serves our purposes; a rorsach test, if you will, of our community's mores, values, prejudices, wondrous moments and inspiring leaders.
Blaming social media for taking the fun out of the game is like blaming phones for taking the fun out of dinner, delivering robocalls from political parties.
Blaming social media for 'taking the fun out of the game' is like blaming the post office for taking the fun out of mail, delivering spam to our mailbox spam.
Same thing for blaming email for spam.
Social media's a tool. Our tool. We use it, for our purposes, in our language.
Those salaries? Yeah, they went up because more people watch. More people watching means more advertising and sponsorship revenue. Why do more people watch, well, because more people engage more, with more, all compliments to social media tools like ...Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc.
The real issue comes to this:
"I just think," Pearl said, "there are less people who can take a joke anymore."
Behind every joke is the truth.
Here's the Big Truth:
"I think sometimes people are just afraid," said Coppin State's Fang Mitchell, who proudly considers himself a Chaney disciple. "Jobs are so scarce. We are in a field that has  Division I jobs. To keep your job, it's easier to just be politically correct."
Ironic. As more people find more outlets for their opinion, we see more people being afraid to voice them.
"What's our game lost? It's the same as what our society has lost," Huggins said. "Think about it. It used to be that the leaders of the country said what was on their mind regardless of whether it was popular. Now we're all so guarded in everything we say. Nobody takes a stand. We've become a very vanilla society. Why would sports be any different?"
And there you have it.
And social media merely reflects that. Fairly transparently, too.