Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Billy Donovan Guide To TV Characters

From 1978 to 1981, The White Shadow brought coach Ken Reeves into the homes of viewers. Over the past few days, another basketball coach has been the center of a widely viewed drama. While the parties involved are still working out the resolution, it appears certain that Billy Donovan will return to the University of Florida after signing a contract with the Orlando Magic. Donovan may have a link to Ken Howard, but he won’t be connected to Dwight Howard. Besides the Carver High School coach, here are some other TV characters with relevance to Donovan’s career.

George Costanza: George once quit his job, then reconsidered and went back to work like it never happened.

Hayden Fox: The title character in Coach won a national championship before bolting for a pro job in Orlando. His Orlando gig also was soon cancelled.

Eddie Munster: Opposing fans have pointed out the resemblance.

Homer Simpson: If he keeps UF among the elite, Donovan will wind up in Springfield.

Gilligan: Billy’s Orlando experience was the opposite of the Little Buddy’s expedition. After expecting many years, he wound up with a three-hour tour.

Mimi Bobeck: On the Cleveland-set Drew Carey Show, she was Drew’s arch-enemy. Donovan is also a nemesis in Ohio.

Ernie Pantusso: Like Sam Malone’s pal, Donovan decided to stay as Coach “where everybody knows your name.”

Lucy Ricardo: As a Pitino disciple, Billy also looks to Ricky for guidance.

MacGyver: Donovan is using any available resources (i.e. lawyers) to escape from his predicament.

The Fonz: Jerry Tarkanian won one national championship at UNLV. With his second title, Donovan jumped the Shark.

Stella Bonasera: That’s the CSI: New York character played by Melina Kanakaredes. Like Donovan, Kanakaredes was once the star of Providence.

George Jefferson: Billy was also movin’on up, until he decided to break the lease on the deluxe apartment in the sky.

Toonces: As Kentucky fans would attest, Cats are consistently in peril around Donovan.

Laverne De Fazio & Shirley Feeney: They made their dreams come true at the Shotz Brewery. Donovan made his dreams come true thanks to shots from Brewer.

Jim Halpert: Whether it’s Orlando/Gainesville or Pam/Karen, neither guy can make up his mind.

Doogie Howser: Donovan was much younger than his peers (28) when he became a college head coach.

Cliff Huxtable: He was played by another Bill who was #1 on multiple occasions.

Marcia Brady: Orlando was jilted after “something suddenly came up.”

John Carter: The ER doctor, played by Noah Wyle, was an associate of Mark Green. Donovan was also connected to Noah and Green.

Kevin Arnold: In Gainesville, 2006 and 2007 have been The Wonder Years.

Mary Richards: Billy’s saga brought stress to Anthony Grant, just as Mary did to Lou Grant.

Sonny Crockett: Donovan is at home with the Florida Gators, whereas Crockett kept a gator in his Florida home.

Frasier Crane: Like Billy, he was wealthy and tended to over-analyze his decisions.

Rerun: That’s what UCLA fans thought they were watching at the Final Four.

Bobby Ewing: Maybe the contract signing was all just a dream.