116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
We’re running out of time here, and certain things need to change before it’s too late.
For one, coaches must stop saying things they do say, and start saying things they don’t. In a better world, they wouldn’t hide in the shelter of sports gibberish.
For instance, they’ll say the availability of a player is “a game-time decision.” Which is never the case.
What coach waits until the very start of a game to decide if a player is going to be used? Have you ever seen four basketball players introduced in pregame introductions and then the arena announcer says “The fifth player will be determined as the teams head to midcourt for the opening tap?”
There are a lot of things I’d like to hear coaches say just once. Like:
“Our fans didn’t support us today nearly as well as other fans back their teams.”
“I’ve never done a better job of coaching in my life than I have this season, and you’re all blind if you can’t see that.”
“Those big donors to our program — they had to have inherited their money, right?”
“So what if I get a bonus for going to a bowl game with a 6-6 record? At least I pay taxes, and you can’t say that for every multimillionaire.”
The next time a coach says “We beat a very good team today,” he or she should pause for dramatic effect before adding “Which means we are dy-no-mite.”
Whenever a coach says “We need to play 60 minutes of good football,” stop him right there and suggest 59 good minutes is always enough to prevail, and you usually can win quite handily with 50 or even 45.
Any coach who harps on the need for more consistency should also be interrupted, and asked if it might be better to have periods of ordinary play alternating with stretches of true magnificence.
“We have to play the way we’re capable of playing,” shouldn’t go unchecked. First, how do you ever know your full potential? Has your team put everything together in the past and achieved a state of higher mind?
Second, what if the opponent plays the way it’s capable of playing? Wouldn’t that negate your own maximum performance? Or would the two teams playing to their full capabilities form the single-most spellbinding athletic contest of the millennium?
If a coach tells you his or her team has to “keep chopping wood,” go straight to the university president and insist the coach be dismissed. Unless it’s the coach of the school’s wood-chopping team.
“We have to control the tempo,” is something coaches often say. It makes sense to a degree. But why not elaborate?
“Andante and moderato just won’t cut it for us in this game. We need allegro, with occasional increases to presto.”
Aren’t fans of tempo entitled to as much of an explanation as fans of sports?
When coaches say they knew a game wouldn’t be a cakewalk, it’s only reasonable to demand they give details about the last time they witnessed an actual cakewalk. And, has any game ever been a cakewalk unless cake was actually somehow involved.
Cake should be involved, of course. Who doesn’t enjoy a moist, flavorful slice of cake?
When a coach says “Iron sharpens iron,” ask to see the coach’s union card.
If a coach proclaims his or her team showed a lot of character, poise, pride, heart and resiliency, it should be mandatory that the precise amount of each is shared with the public. Otherwise, Freedom of Information Act requests must be filed.
Coaches who say a win “wasn’t pretty” owe the win and the win’s family a heartfelt apology.
When coaches say “We can only control what we can control,” it would be a nice touch if they contributed with their tribute to Lennon and McCartney by adding this:
There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung
Nothing you can say
But you can learn how to play the game
All you need is love
Until the day that happens, teams must continue to execute, play one game and one play at a time, and stay focused. It is, after all, what it is.
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