Reaction to the Fran McCaffery official stare down heard ’round the world vs. Michigan State
The greatest games in sports go down in history, usually with a highly recognizable nickname alongside them.
Who could ever forget classics such as “The Catch,” “The Sea of Hands,” or “The Ice Bowl?” Of course, one of the biggest sticking points is that name. As soon as I say “The Catch,” or even the “Immaculate Reception,” you know exactly what I am talking about.
Every year there are great games across the world of sports, and, unfortunately, they can be forgotten about. What takes those events from great games to legendary moments of sports lore is that signature moment. That’s what makes us remember.
Iowa basketball had one of their signature moments over the weekend and it came from head coach Fran McCaffery. There are few figures more polarizing in college basketball than the Hawkeyes’ skipper. Most non-Iowa fans seem to absolute hate the Philly-area native’s mannerisms on the court. Iowa fans will usually defend their passionate coach, though some do so more as fan service than true belief.
It happened again during the Iowa men’s hoops contest against Michigan State. Down late in a pivotal end-of-season matchup against a Big Ten rival, all the attention of the college hoops world shifted. It shifted away from the players on the court, away from the scoreboard, and onto the 63-year-old McCaffery silently staring down an official. This came after McCaffery earned another technical foul.
The move was much chagrined online, really by non-Iowa fans and Hawkeye supporters alike. This felt like the moment where Fran McCaffery really jumped the shark.
And then, history happened. Iowa executed a comeback for the ages, once down 10 with 43 seconds left. Payton Sandfort hit a dagger from outside the arc to send it to overtime where Iowa completed the great comeback with a final score of 112-106.
Now known as “The Stare” that influenced one of the best comebacks in school history, the narrative has really shifted on this moment. Now, an awkward eye-roll inducing encounter on the court from Iowa’s coach entered itself into Hawkeye lore.
Here is a great look at the social media uproar surrounding Fran McCaffery’s standoff.
91-81 MSU with 1:29 to go.
And now Fran is… staring down one of the officials?
— Go Iowa Awesome (@IowaAwesome) February 25, 2023
Wait What Happened?!
Did Fran McCaffery just stare down a ref…?
What in the world.. don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.
I mean what are we doing here. pic.twitter.com/cWbuxIIDdv
— Raul Vazquez (@RaulV45) February 25, 2023
The Full Context
After receiving a technical foul, Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffrey called timeout and stared down the referee 😳pic.twitter.com/cyRgthgcTQ
— 247Sports (@247Sports) February 25, 2023
Not the Most Popular Move
Fran McCaffery is the most unlikable coach in the NCAA.
This is immature behavior. pic.twitter.com/36uWy1tXX4
— Alex Golden (@AlexGoldenNBA) February 26, 2023
Staring Into Your Soul
Fran McCaffery, down 10 with 40 seconds to go pic.twitter.com/LMzzJ1z2vE
— hawkize (@stillnothawkize) February 25, 2023
Not Happy at All
I don't think Fran McCaffery is happy with the officials. pic.twitter.com/QCdhwmQIVv
— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) February 25, 2023
Like the Wild West
Fran McCaffery's ref staredown, now ft. "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" theme song. 🤠pic.twitter.com/puBYYtccK6
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) February 25, 2023
He Did Thank Them For Coming
When Fran McCaffery sees the fans that left early: pic.twitter.com/61WTyxkCoi
— Mitch Fick (@MCFick) February 25, 2023
It Really is
Fran McCaffery makes people extremely upset and I find it extremely entertaining.
— Trent (@BarstoolTrent) February 25, 2023
Finally Some Fitting Commentary!
No offense to ESPN yesterday but I feel like the Fran McCaffery staredown needed some commentary more befitting of the occasion. pic.twitter.com/Jt8jm6Zs8W
— John M. Bishop (@JohnBishop71) February 26, 2023
By a Nebraska Fan No Less!
Unpopular take in these parts, but we don’t mind Fran.
Sure he can be an insanely crazy lunatic at times. But he’s also taken Iowa dancing 7 times since 2010.
Reminds us of an old Big 8 HC (Tubbs/Norm/Orr, etc). Love or hate ‘em, they’re fun to watch.
— Go Big Redcast 🎙 (@GoBigRedCast) February 26, 2023
Correlation Does Equal Causation!
Iowa has outscored MSU 27-12 since Fran stared down Kelly Pfeifer. 👀👀👀
— Go Iowa Awesome (@IowaAwesome) February 25, 2023
After the staredown Iowa outscored Sparty 31-15. FRAN IS A GENIUS!
— Irrational Hawkeye (@IrrationalHawk2) February 25, 2023
I was not on board with this in the moment. But now I’m petitioning Fran starts every game with this. Iowa outscored MSU by 16 afterwards https://t.co/xMnRHAm2hV
— Rick Webster (@TheRickWebster) February 25, 2023
Freak OFF a Leash
Fran McCaffrey is a freak pic.twitter.com/qa2u0WWD2e
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) February 25, 2023
Ain't it Something...
Kris Murray said the Fran McCaffery technical and stare-down rallied the team: “We seem to go on runs when Coach gets a tech. Definitely, I would say, it gives us a little more dog to fight for coach and fight for each other."
— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) February 25, 2023
This is so stupid and there is no defense for this. I really like Fran. I think he is a very good coach and an elite evaluator of talent. But he makes his job, in games, so much harder, when he does things like this. https://t.co/xMnJDGVbO2
— Jon D. Miller (@jondmiller) February 25, 2023