By Richard Linde, a.k.a., the Spinmeister
You didnt go to a bowl, Coach? Not making seven digits? Cant afford to buy that new Lamborghini? Your wife and kids wont talk to you? Feel like that slob out of American Beauty? Having a midlife crisis? Women arent giving you the double take anymore? Never been soaked with Gatorade?
Okay, okay, you answer. So Ive never had ice running down my back or had to bang the side of my head to clear the Gatorade from my ears. I didnt get the ax this season; thats what counts.
Thats all well and good, but the chopping block just might be around the corner. Heres a bit of advice from the Spinmeister. You need to upgrade your sideline manner by copying the antics of the guys making the big bucks. Like a doctor with bedside manner, a coach must have sideline manner. If youre not winning, start spinning. When the TV camera is on you, be ready to break a leg next season, lest you lose the wife, the kids and er ah, that certain admirer.
Before act one begins, here are a few things to do. (Photo
left taken from this link).
How many of you duds lead your team onto the field? I canít hear you. I know
youíve put on a few pounds and are out of shape. Well, guys, itís cricket to
lead your troops onto the battlefield. Hello! A note of caution: Remember to get
a proper start on those young studs, lest you get trampled like a runner in
And for Petes sake dont sit around sulking before the game starts. The TV people are looking for anecdotes to fill in the gaps, so toss a few balls to the quarterback; hold a few for the kicker. Mingle with the fans. The politician you are, pick out a few photogenic kids and sign some autographs. Give a skinny kid a high five. Youre a Charles Atlas, a guy who eats Wheaties, a guy who can turn a 98-pound weakling into a real man.
Once the battle begins, never stand still. Pace the sidelines like a caged animal. I know Regis isnt covering your backside, but look like an angry Bob Davie
(former Notre Dame coach) as you ambulate. And spit a few times, your testosterone level at its peak. Always wear your headphones and microphone, continuing to jabber even when theyre on the fritz.
Okay, so youíre huffing and puffing after awhile. You can catch your breath by warming the bench during the
After a bad call, hurl your clipboard ala Woody and Bo, two Gatorade-soaked legends from the past. Remember to pick it up, right-side up, lest you discombobulate your QB as you talk from it. A play or two later, expect the bad guys to be caught holding.
Show the alums youre working the refs by shouting at them from the sideline, in your loudest voice so that it is hoarse for the upcoming interviews. Never mouth a four-letter word; theyre lip readable.
Have your quarterback air
out a few long passes; chasing young receivers down field will tire the fittest
of officials, and they'll be more apt to make a bad call when they're out of
gas. Caveat emptor. Now it's time to use your coaches challenge. Your fans will
love you for it.
And youre the field general whos always thinking, so remember to diagram a phony play or two. Call a few players to your side and rapidly draw up some Xs and Os. Never use a play hastily sketched from the sidelines.
Now signal some plays in to the quarterback. Never mind the correct semaphores, he can always call an audible.
Graciously accept halftime interviews as if youre auditioning for the reverse role. Conducting such interviews may be your future employ. And dont pull a Butch Davis by bad mouthing another conference, by calling them a lesser conference. Thats bulletin board material.
And speaking of the Canes, caution your players not to bark in the tunnel before taking the field against the Huskies. Never mock a dawg, lest he turn rabid.
After the roof has caved in, give a Rudy a taste of the action, with an encouraging slap on his anatomy as he takes to the field. The Keith Jacksons will love your for it.
Okay, so the battles lost. The bad guy has Gatorade dripping off his chin, and yours is dry. Wipe that smirk off his face by using a shocking device when you shake hands with him. Make him wince for the camera. Your grip is stronger than his; make sure the fans know it.
Heres more spin, a ploy for conning the grim-faced woman with the mike in hand.
Coach, your team didnt seem to be in the game today. What happened?
Its time to dust off those coaches clichés. Say, Some of those calls could have gone either way. Our kids played their hearts out. Call it a moral victory.
The rumors persist that youre going to lose your job. Is that true?
Smile, then say, Dont believe what you read in the papers. Now jog off the field and head for the athletic directors office. Try to schedule a couple of Division 1AA patsies next season.
Remember, after the final polls are ready to be done, it matters little whom youve played; it matters whether youve won.
Your mantra is they wont cut me loose, if Im soaked with juice. Think Gatorade.