No bleeping coaches


By: Paul L Davis

Let me say, up front, I ain’t from around these here parts.

Didn’t know anyone in the state ‘cept UHS principal Coach Parrish (who hired me) and Assistant Principal Tommy Sinclair.

I quickly learned that South Carolina had two "big time" football teams – Clemson and Carolina - even if recent performance by both teams suggests otherwise.

Let the record show that I am a fan of neither cause I "ain’t from around these here parts" and, unlike many in the state, have no emotional, financial or other stake in their performance.

Not that I don’t want to them to win. I do for the sake of the state’s football reputation.

A few years ago, when someone asked me who I wanted to win in the Clemson-Carolina game, I said, "I hope they both loose."

And they did. Remember the post-game brawl?

Well, it seems that both teams have fallen on hard times recently.

It’d hard to say whether Clemson’s loss to Alabama was more traumatic to the team and fans than was Carolina’s loss, again, to Vanderbilt.

I’ll leave that to them to decide.

But, Clemson’s loss clearly had Spartanburg Herald-Journal sports writer Eric Boynton upset last week.

"I want to see Tommy Bowden pound the post-game podium with an iron fist and utter a string of bleeped-out verbiage.

"Just once let me witness Clemson’s head coach publicly reprimand his squad after a mediocre performance, calling them out while naming names and forcefully demanding a better effort…

"Bowden acknowledged that a team’s personality does usually trickle down from the coaches and unfortunately his staff is filled with well-meaning bible-thumping types who do a great job of bringing in talent with promises of a nurturing environment."

So, as I understand coach Boynton’s expert advice, based on his many years of football coaching experience, the secret to success is that a coach’s record is directly related to the breadth and width of his bleeping vocabulary.

The more sentences with bleeps, the greater success on the field, or so it goes.

According to Boynton, it’s bad enough that Bowden has no bleeping vocabulary, he compounds his ineptness by surrounding himself – and the team – with coaches who do more bible-thumping than player bleeping.

Gee, here I thought success came from coaching. Apparently it comes from simply bleeping - the dirtier the mouth, the better the won-loss record.

A few years ago I watched while ESPN followed two rival northern high school teams as they headed into The Big Game with each other.

The ESPN crew was filming the pre-game, non-devotional pep talk by the head coach and team captain.

They couldn’t get a bleeping sentence out past their bleeping lips without being bleeped.

"Hmmmm, that wouldn’t work around here," I thought to myself. "Our football coaches are better educated, have a healthier vocabulary, and most are Christian."

Belying Boynton’s flawed premise – that the more bleeps equals more wins – is our hometown Yellow Jackets, and not just football.

But, because Boynton’s column was about football, I’ll stay with that sport.

The Jackets have had coaches of faith for a long time who know how to win without bleeping their way up and down the bleeping sidelines.

At the half of the Spartanburg game, coach Dave Lipsey ripped into the Jackets for their mediocre first half play but with nary a bleep.

And the Jackets got the bleep-free message, playing much better the second half.

Remember the Jackets under Mike Anthony?

No bleeping coach he, or his assistant coaches, the Jackets made it to the State Championships four consecutive years winning three and just missing a fifth trip in the last seconds of the Greer game.

On a day-to-day, game-to-game basis, Union parents have been able to rest assured that their boys are in the hands of spiritually mature, caring coaches who work with them off and on the field.

Bible-thumpers who understand that bleeps don’t motivate.

Coaches do.

© Paul L Davis, Sept 9th, 2008





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