Gene Chizik might have this figured out. Football is hard. It’s hard to play, destroying most of its players’ bodies before thirty. It’s hard to coach, even at the lowest imaginable levels. Our favorite example of this are the dudes in this Warren St. John NYT piece from 2006 who thinks he can coach a Pop Warner team with his bros in Atlanta on just a few hours of work a week.
Guess what happens!
The four friends spent a weekend in a conference room at Mr. Pope’s office, watching nine hours of tryout videos, and assigning each player his own “Cane ranking,” which the four then recorded on spreadsheets. Football skills weren’t the only concern. Some players had notes from their previous youth league coaches that hinted at off-the-field perils, like “ ‘Mother is psycho,’ ” Mr. Craig said.
Even watching all the football you can as an obsessive can slowly destroy you, since it requires watching up to 24 hours of football a week IF that’s your thing. NOT THAT WE’RE SPEAKING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OR THE 15 POUND WEIGHT GAIN THAT HAPPENS EVERY FALL WHETHER WE WANT IT TO OR NOT JUST FROM SITTING AND WATCHING EVERY COLLEGE GAME WE CAN. NOPE, NOT AT ALL.
Fortunately, Gene Chizik has this figured out: Just live the football coach life without the pesky football.
Instead of — well, let’s see, he’d have been watching video of third-and-long, reviewing the 2016 season in order to prepare for spring practice — Chizik awakened each day without an agenda. He went for long walks. He worked out. He went to breakfast with his daughters, and then had lunch with them, too. He played with their 2½-year-old foster child.
This is not a facetious or insincere comment: Gene Chizik is smarter than all of us, because he figured out how to enjoy everything football has to offer without the actual football. He can go into games whenever he likes at Auburn without having to worry about Auburn football. He can work color pretty much whenever he likes on TV, and chime in for personal speaking engagements for decent money.
Or he can just fuck off and pick out patio furniture? And hang out with kids? Man we hung out with a baby this weekend, just the chillest baby. It was phenomenal. If you’re in a social situation and get peopled out, just find a chill baby and volunteer to hold it for as long as the kid will handle it. It’s great, because everyone assumes you have something to do besides talk to them—which would be fine, but: I got the baby, man. Gotta hold this baby, and it takes all the concentration in the world including that we would have to devote to conversation. Meanwhile you and the kid just chill and look at the trees in the backyard. The Baby Protocol: It’s brilliant social strategy for all occasions.*
*Note: Need chill baby. Rarer than you think.
See? Football will do that to you. It’ll make you pick up strange babies and just stare at trees if you go too hard with it. Enjoy your offseason, is what we’re saying. Better yet, if you can pull off the full Chizik, make your whole life the offseason. Be the Fisticuffs or DJ Khaled of your profession, always about to make a track, or just yelling your name over other people’s music for money in between Ciroc endorsements and club appearances. You have to get a few million dollar contracts first, probably, but if you can even skip that? GENIUS.
Did we just call Gene Chizik the DJ Khaled of coaches? Yes, yes we did, because the best way to be successful is figure out the A->B->C business plan without ever having to go through too much of part B, and retiring at 55 or even younger. HE THE BEST, Y’ALL. We look forward to him Snapchatting visits to Lowe’s and jetskiing sessions on Lake Martin.
P.S. Rick Neuheisel actually did this before Gene Chizik and is secretly double brilliant for it, and did it with less time doing the miserable work of coaching football.