“You guys have chose to make a story of it all year. It’s impacted our football team. It’s hurt our football team.” – Bo Pelini, Head Football Coach, Nebraska
Coach Bo Pelini has ascended to coaching heights that I can only dream of. He’s a Division 1 football coach at a storied and successful university and program. He obviously knows what he’s doing, and carries more football knowledge than most of us will ever have. That said, after a tough loss, he went off on a rant about his job security that lead to him uttering the quote above.
So, what’s the example here, coach? What’s the message to your team? Is this a rationalization for defeat? Is this saying that outside influences have played a role in the successes or failures of your team? Isn’t it your job to lead your players in a fashion that doesn’t allow for outside interruption of the ultimate goal? To me, this is a cop out.
Given a second chance, Coach Pelini probably doesn’t say this. We sometimes do and say things in the heat of the moment that we’d like to take back later. That may be the case here. I know that when I was a young and inexperienced coach, I often read things that were being written about me and my program on certain websites that discussed KY high school sports. It made me crazy. I even used some comments as bulletin board material to “motivate” my guys. Looking back, I realize how silly that is. I realize that what people have to say about me or my guys has absolutely zero bearing on the job I’m trying to do, the goals we’re trying to reach, or the time and effort we’ve put in to get there. I used to let that kind of stuff in and it did more harm than good. I can admit that now. Hindsight is 20/20. (Also, full disclosure, Amber banned me from looking at these particular sites. Can’t say I blame her.) At this point in my coaching career, though, I can’t imagine admitting that I let something as silly as what others think or say get in the way of what we are trying to accomplish.
I think Coach Pelini, now afforded the luxury of hindsight, would agree.
Have an awesome Saturday,
P.S. Enjoy the competition this weekend, folks. And, remember, it really is just a game. Lives aren’t hanging in the balance. This is entertainment, not life and death. Feel free to let out a “goosfraba” or a “woosah”.