Warning: This is not a love song.Caustic language ahead. But you knew that already.
Mark Schlabach turns in a piece on [NAME REDACTED], the coach who spent three years in the offices of the Florida athletic department and now does the same at the University of Illinois. During that time, [NAME REDACTED] spent his time performing what he defined as the seven core competencies of a head coach:
Headbutting Coke machines. You can't just get angry--you have to emote to show your passion to 18 year olds and other young adults watching you. (The one thing 18 year olds are short on is passion. We know, we know, but this is written in the high ironic from [NAME REDACTED]'s point of view. Roll with it.)
Therefore, you demonstrate your commitment and passion by headbutting machinery. Mind the ones with glass fronts, though the bleeding may add to the image. Watching film does not show passion, by the way. Avoid.
Talking on the phone in the shower. [NAME REDACTED] actually did have a phone in the shower so he could call recruits while washing all that blood off from headbutting innocent Coke machines. It also allowed him to hold conversations without bursting into flame from all the passion and excitement he emits. (Florida fans, in unison: pity, really.)
Writing stuff down on a notepad. What was he writing down? This, actually:
Saying the same five things over and over again. [NAME REDACTED] forever claimed how "excited" he was, and how the mental lapses and inability of his team to close games was "correctable." In year one, this was pablum. In year two, it crept into delusion. In year three, it crossed the line into what philosopher Harry Frankfurt would correctly identify as bullshit. The difference between that and standard clipboard-holding lies?
Both in lying and in telling the truth people are guided by their beliefs concerning the way things are. These guide them as they endeavor either to describe the world correctly or to describe it deceitfully. For this reason, telling lies does not tend to unfit a person for telling the truth in the same way that bullshitting tends to. ...The bullshitter ignores these demands altogether. He does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.
Paying no attention became a theme for [NAME REDACTED], whether it involved the truth, the ineffectiveness of the soft zone late in the game, or the rogue waves of incompetence paralyzing Florida late in the game. And yet...it was all correctable. Which was technically correct, but only in the most lawyerly way possible, since the correction required involved his removal, a prescription eventually administered by those who held the purse strings.
Anyway, Mark Schlabach's got this piece on [NAME REDACTED] that backs up Orson's Sad But Reliable Rules for Humanity yet again.
1. Something will go wrong.
2. People never change, and never will.
3. People continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.
4. When your favorite uncle is eaten by a tiger, don’t ask "Why?", ask "Why not?"
5. Attempt to ignore rules 1-4 at all times.
The best, saddest, and most laughable quotes follow with requisite snark:
As far as Zook is concerned, he has never been given an opportunity to prove himself as a coach.
"The rap is, 'Well, you can recruit but you can't coach,'" Zook said. "Well, give me a chance to coach guys for four years."
Ike won't hit you again. Not on Thursday, baby. Ike's been reading Stephen Covey books, sugar. Ike's been going to yoga. Ike's gone off sugar. Ike hit you on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. But on Thursday he's gonna be sweet like you never believed, honey. Now just eat some of Ike's cake here...
"A coach once told me it's better to be a bad coach with good players than a good coach with bad players."
Mission accomplished, sir.
"He says eating and sleeping are a waste of time," Mitchell said. "He says if you sleep fast, you can sleep less. I still don't understand that one."
[NAME REDACTED], sleep bulimic. Sleep researcher David Dinges of the University of Pennsylvania identified some overarching behaviors typical of those who went without adequate sleep, displaying signs of what some people call "sleep bulimia":
Lack of sleep impairs performance on a wide variety of tasks. A single all-nighter can triple reaction time and vastly increase lapses of attention. Sleep researcher David Dinges at the University of Pennsylvania studied such lapses using a "psychomotor vigilance task" on pools of subjects who had slept four, six, or eight hours nightly for two weeks. The researchers measured subjects’ speed of reaction to a computer screen where, at random intervals within a defined 10-minute period, the display would begin counting up in milliseconds from 000 to one second. The task was first, to notice that the count had started, and second, to stop it as quickly as possible by hitting a key. It wasn’t so much that the sleep-deprived subjects were slower, but that they had far more total lapses, letting the entire second go by without responding.
Or you could just sleep faster! Surely that wouldn't cause...lapses throughout an organization you were in charge of as the chief executive, right?
"I thought he was a pretty cool dude," Cumberland said. "He was humble for a football coach."
He has many, many reasons for humility. Most notably 4-19 over the past two years, a lackluster stint as the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints, and a miserable spell as Florida's defensive coordinator ending in his demotion to special teams. In all fairness, he excelled as a special teams coach, which may be his competence ceiling, something men trained to hire professional coaches still haven't realized despite investing millions of dollars in guys like [NAME REDACTED.] But don't listen to us. We just look at things like evidence and numbers.
--Okay, final stab:
Mitchell, who twice turned down Zook before taking a job on the Illini staff, said Zook has been unfairly cast as a poor coach, given his record as an assistant in the NFL and coach in college.
"I don't know how you can say that," Mitchell said. "How can you coach in the NFL and not be a great coach and teacher?
Answer: Rich motherfuckin' Kotite. There's been plenty of deplorable coaches in the NFL, much like there's been plenty of deplorable college coaches. They're let in whenever anyone lets their eye off the empirical ball for even a second and begins to let the prospect of their own managerial genius affect their hiring. Maybe I see something here no one else does. Maybe he's a diamond in the rough. Someone else will handle the offense. People begin liking before they evaluate, trusting before they let their suspicion kick in, and letting the personality trump the resume while hoping "it all works out."
Take Louisville's recently concluded tryst with the faithless Bobby Petrino. Here's a coach who for exactly three seconds of his tenure radiated loyalty. Flirtations with LSU, Auburn, the Falcons, and perhaps even the Barcelona Dragons ran rife during his time in the headset for the Cardinals. His likeability rating hovered somewhere between HPV and sandspurs. And yet, winning cured all, despite Petrino's Spam-ish personality, complete lack of charisma, and tendency to flash a little asscheek at the next guy giving him the eye.
Sure, he's gone now, but despite his merely good recruiting and lack of "excitement," Louisville's in another galaxy thanks to the hiring acumen of Louisville's administration. In truth, Illinois will likely come out on the high side thanks to the one other thing [NAME REDACTED] can do: recruit. But any talk of on-the-field competence deserves to be headbutted like a naughty vending machine.