PAUL JOHNSON RANTS PROPERLY

Dan Hawkins: A true Spartan of coachrant.

In the pantheon of glorious rants, Mike Gundy's must be given short shrift due to its lack of the following things:

1. Thrown objects
2. Profanities
3. Actual, filmed assaults
4. An uncontrolled, free-form rantflow to it.
5. Instantly quotable lines.

Gundy was prepackaged, plastic, and can't possibly measure up to the foothills of the coach implosion Himalaya due to the lack of the five elements of a real, ass-ripping lunatic rant. Only the line "I'M A GROWN MAN! I'M FORTY!" comes close, and even then it's borrowing laugh-memory from Molly Shannon's Salley O'Malley and her enchanting Desert Rose. (He's Mike Gundy! He can kick! Stretch! And....KICK! FOUR-OH!)

He even brought props, a bush league crutches of the junior-circuit ranter. Props mean you planned it; ideally, a rant comes not from the heart, or the head, but instead from the lizard brain, unfiltered, uncontrollable, and irresistable. Mike Gundy, were he a cinematic murderer, would be William H. Macy in Fargo; a real ranter like Lou Piniella or Dan Hawkins is Mr. Brooks or Dexter, unwillingly turning the wheel over to the Dark Passenger without knowing it. If props are involved, they're hijacked on the scene, usually thrown without caring where they go or who they hit. (Hal McCray, phone; Lou Piniella, bases, Rob Dibble, an infant in a barfight with Billy Martin in 1977.)

Sadly, the best verbal coaching fit ever eluded recording devices. Marv Levy swore in an interview on the NFL Network that George Allen once went on a 45 minute tirade about the evils of snow tires. But failing that, for proper, grumpy bastard rant, call a pro like Paul Johnson, who'll run the triple option of rant-ropology by accusing you of working at McDonald's, getting angry, and wagering a public ass-kissing on the challenge. (HT: Peter.)

Reporter: Can I ask you something without making you mad?

Johnson: Maybe. I don't know.

Reporter: I was talking to a Navy fan and he said he follows the coverage and that he noticed something and I'm just going to put it to you. He says that it seems like when Navy loses you blame the players, i.e., we can't execute fundamental plays, but that the success of the team the last four years has been attributed to brilliant coaching. How do you respond to that?

Johnson: Whatever he thinks. I don't go down to McDonald's and start second-guessing his job so he ought to leave me alone.

Reporter: But do you feel like it can't be both ways?

Johnson: You know what? I could care less. I'm old enough where I could give a crap what the fans think or what you think to put it in a nutshell.

Reporter: Wins and losses are evenly distributed as far as credit and blame, right?

Johnson: If you could ever find one time that I said we won the game because of brilliant strategy I will kiss your butt at city dock and give you two days to draw a crowd. Find it and bring it to me. Tell that guy that if he wants to talk to me I live at [address given but deleted for the transcript] I will be right there. Come ring my doorbell and I will be glad to talk to him.

This, by the way, is Paul Johnson. We bet his buttcheeks smell of tanned leather and taste of Steak-Umms.

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