The photo above of Tom Crean was taken today, by WDRB's Rick Bozich at Indiana's open practice in Philadelphia. Known forever for bad pictures, this is a Good Picture of Tom Crean. The charcoal-colored workout shirt is a nice tone. Sleeves fit well. A good look. But, wait, has Tom Crean been working out? His biceps look larger. Has he been channeling your bad and angry tweets through long November and December nights into late swole sessions with Lyonel Anderson? Maybe. Maybe he has. Hmm. This is New Tom Crean. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Of course, this led to a natural progression of conversation within our CQ Slack channel. As Tom Crean turns 50 tomorrow -- could Tom Crean whip your ass? There is no reason to fight Tom Crean, and fighting is not, in the majority of cases, a good way of solving things, ever. Crimson Quarry dot com does not endorse fighting, and this discussion is merely for fun. You should only fight people over things such as slandering Arby's, or talking smack about the song I Know What You Did Last Summer by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. In this theoretical, say Tom Crean has a bad opinion about the frequency of radio airplay of I Know What You Did Last Summer by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello and you need to throw some hands with him. Would you win?
Our panel discusses.
Kyle Robbins: If I needed to throw hands with Tom, I think I'd be fine. I am not a jacked dude by any stretch, Crean might have me there and I'm fine with that. I'd probably make a few jokes at Tom's expense, he would retort, and then I'd offer to pay him to not beat me up. This is what I did in middle school and early high school, and it worked just fine. Fighting's how you end up with a stretched shirt collar on that nice new fashionable tee you just bought. Can't have that.
That said, in fairly good shape, I'm taller than him, longer arms. Reflexes start to go around 50, I'm half his age. I've got quickness on my side. If I'm able to wear proper clothes I'm not worried about damaging and the proper setting, I've got an advantage here. If we're in an open space with some room to work, this is cash in the bag. Use my agility and speed to roll right into a nice ankle tackle, land one jab, hop up and run. Real quick, like a cat. If we're in an enclosed space? He's probably got me beat.
In sum, Tom Crean could probably whip my ass in an enclosed space, but I would probably whip his ass in any sort of spacious area if given the proper time to change into workout gear.
Kyle Swick: Are you kidding? Of course he would. I can’t say for certain that Tom Crean has actually been in a fight, but surely at least half of all Harbaugh family gatherings end in some form of grappling and I can’t imagine Tom made it into the family without showing some mettle down in the Bone Pit. (The Bone Pit is obviously what Jim Harbaugh named the unfinished basement at his uncle’s house.)
I, on the other hand, have never been in a fight! I shoved my brother down at an apple orchard and broke his arm when I was eleven but that’s the extent of my battle experience. I’m woefully unprepared to take on someone in combat. What are the rules for this engagement? Are there rules? There are, assuredly, no rules down in the Bone Pit, meaning Tom is likely to come at me with anything and everything at his disposal.
Meanwhile, I haven’t lifted a weight in roughly two years. I’m not this helpless baby but I’m also not going to be impressing anyone. I have, like, just enough strength to not be the weak link on moving day, you feel me?
So Tom has the edge on me in experience and, in all likelihood, fundamental strength; both of which can be outdone with just pure, old country HUSTLE. The only problem is: you’re not going to out-hustle Tom Crean. Not in a billion years. I swear to God I’ve seen Tom Crean with my own two eyes walk off the court of Assembly Hall after a game only to see a picture of him on Twitter thirty minutes later scouting some 4-star in Indianapolis. Tom Crean will not fail at anything because of lack of trying. If you tell Tom he needs to kick my ass then there is nothing on this earth he’ll want to do more than kick my ass. I’m not going to want it that badly. I don’t want anything that badly.
Maybe, MAYBE if you wake me up at 7 AM on a Saturday and tell me that if I vanquish Tom Crean I can go back to bed, maybe then I’ll muster up the WANT to get it done but no promises because I’ll be very sleepy.
Ben Raphel: I'm a not quite in shape former high school tennis player. I don't lift, bro. If I did Crossfit, you'd already know about it by now, probably. In short, I'm no Rocky. Tom Crean coaches 15 D-I scholarship athletes and has to keep up with them every day. And his practices are known for being draining and tough. Plus as Kyle said, #dadstrength is key here. As is that Diet Coke consumption. So, my answer is yes.
Thomas Wachtel: Looking at Tom Crean in a suit, with those weird pants and all, I have to admit my first instinct is to tell him to do my math homework for me. And I was a Wells Scholar and have read a non-zero number of Star Wars novels, so I’m a dork too. The instinct has to be pretty strong. But here’s why Tom Crean could kick my ass:
1. Lots of workout time. I’ve coached before, and there are plenty of opportunities to jump on a bench and do a few reps. Seeing his arms now, I’m certain he has more PSI in his fists than I do.
2. Strategy. The dude’s built an amazing offensive scheme, I’m pretty certain he’d be able to pick apart my defense pretty quickly.
3. Pride. Crean’s already taken it from the internet over his weird facial expressions and inability to shoot a free throw, he has to know what’s coming if he loses a fight.
4. I only have one arm. This ought to be self-explanatory, but anything coming from his right is probably getting through. I’ve got length, but working with only an elbow on the left side? I’m toast.
Please don’t make me fight Tom Crean.