Thursday Mailbag - Using Billiard and Golf Balls to Teach Teeball Players Not to be Afraid of the Ball

IMG_0437.JPG

Coach, I know that baseball isn’t your primary sport, but what can I do to teach players on the 7-year old team I’m coaching not to be afraid of the ball?

Teaching kids not to be afraid of the ball is a multi-step process. I’ve been brought in as a consultant (a night of free apps and Fireball at Beef O’Brady’s is my fee) by a couple of local teeball coaches to teach this one skill to their players.

I like to start out with fairly standard infield practice. I have the six and seven years olds line up around the infield grass, and I then proceed to hit ground rockets at them, but with teeballs. The kids who get in front of the ball and knock it down like men get the okay and stay on the field. The crying losers who remain then are forcibly ushered out to the parking lot to ramp things up a bit.

I start off with basically the same drill on the parking lot, except I use baseballs instead of teeballs. I require the players to stand about 10 yards away from me, and I again hit the ball as hard as I possibly can on the ground at them. I usually take some rocks and scatter them in front of the fielder to add an element of randomness to how the ball bounces. Again, you will have a few sobbing players who actually do get in front of the ball because they are afraid of what awaits them if they don’t.

Their fears are well-founded. My next step is to pull out a sack of old billiard balls that I bought a few years back during a liquidation sale for a bar that had gone out of business. I then proceed to hit those balls at light speed toward the remaining players. At a certain point during that drill, I require the players to toss their gloves to the side and do the drill bare-handed. Usually by that point, we’ve had 3 or 4 kids quit baseball for good, which is just as well. But you’ve always got a handful of kids who don’t quit, yet still won’t get in front of the ball.

That’s when we ratchet things up to DEFCON 1, and it requires the participation of a couple of other coaches. We line the remaining players up against a brick wall in the parking lot. Three or four of us – the “Firing Squad” — then stand about 10 yards away with bats and a bucketful of golf balls. We all simultaneously start hitting the golf balls at remaining players as hard as we possibly can. As you can imagine, by that point you’ve only got useless players left, so we just stick with that drill until the remaining kids run away and quit.

Then you return to the field and see what you’ve got left. Inevitably, it will be a tough, championship-minded group of six and seven year old kids who aren’t afraid of the ball. If that isn’t what teeball is all about, I don’t know what is.

Thursday Mailbag: Why Weren’t You A Four-Year Letterman In High School?

 Not my letter jacket, but an impressive one nonetheless. 

Not my letter jacket, but an impressive one nonetheless. 

Coach, first off, thank you for being a legend and a source of incredible inspiration. Second, I see that you often mention that you were a three-year letterman at wide receiver in high school. May I ask why you were not a four-year letterman?

That is a great question, and the story behind it is one that still makes me shake with rage.

My freshman year of high school, it was evident to pretty much everyone with a functioning brain that I should be the starting wide receiver. The guy who I was competing with for the spot was some loser senior named Todd who’d never taken a meaningful snap. Todd was slow, gangly (LOL at that guy trying to run through agility ropes), couldn’t run block, and had the appearance of wearing invisible iron mittens whenever he tried to catch the ball. Making matters worse, he was one of those dumbasses who “went all out” on every play and drill in practice and treated basic warm-ups like they were the goddamn Olympics. You’d often see him out on the field after practice by himself running routes and throwing the tether ball by himself, as if that was going to do any good. We all played football with at least one person like Todd, and I hated him. No doubt he had a shelf at home full of “Hustle” and “Most Improved Player” awards.

Unfortunately, my coach had a loser’s mindset. He acknowledged that I was a vastly superior athlete, but expressed concern about my “attitude,” “excessive use of profanity,” “constant attempts to change the play in the huddle,” and “frequent questioning of the coaching staff’s coaching abilities.” Todd, on the other hand, had “put in his time” and “done everything we’ve asked him to do.” So I had to spend that season standing on the sideline, not lettering, and watching Todd fuck up multiple times on every offensive series. It was infuriating, and after the season was over, I got the coach fired by claiming he was having inappropriate relationships with other school faculty members (not true).

Flash forward about two decades, and Todd is a bank teller and has a son who – surprise, surprise – completely sucks at youth football. Although my employer offers direct deposit, I still receive a paper check so I can march into the bank every other Friday in my letter jacket, storm up to Todd’s station, and toss the signed check down. I then stare at him with a determined look on my face while he absorbs the fact that I rake in $29.35/hr plus bennies and a cell phone (which I make sure to display prominently in a leather belt holster when I go in the bank).

Teachers Appreciation Week Mailbag: Recognizing the Vice Principal with an Affinity for Hooters

IMG_0292.JPEG

Coach, it’s National Teachers Appreciation Week. Any teachers you’d like to recognize?

One of my biggest complaints about the youth football league in which I coach is that they’ve grossly overstepped their bounds. Although run by the Parks and Recreation Department, the league requires that kids maintain a “C average” in school to be eligible to play and present their report card each semester for inspection. It’s a disgusting abuse of power, but one I have to live with for the time being.

As a result, it is important for any burgeoning youth football coaching legend to have ties to the local school system (as well as the local sheriff’s department, but that’s an issue for another day). As you can probably imagine, I am not without enemies at the local elementary school. I ask my players to stop doing homework during the fall so that they can focus on football, and I encourage their parents to hold them out of school on game days. This offends a lot of teachers.

But as with any organization, there are diamonds in the rough. And in this instance, I’d be remiss not to recognize the vice principal at the elementary school my players attend. He’s in his late 30’s, has a pretty impressive mustache, usually wears a short sleeve button up shirt with a tie, keeps a stack of Hustler magazines in his desk at school, and is fidgety and has a not-so-well-hidden cocaine problem, but you didn’t hear that from me. Recently, we had a couple of players who had major disciplinary problems or were on the verge of academic ineligibility, so we were looking for some help.

Thankfully, my DC knows the Vice Principal because they both hang out at the bowling alley a lot. After learning the Vice Principal is a self-professed “big fan of Hooters,” I set up a dinner meeting with him there to see if he could help us out. We also had my offensive assistant who is on probation for selling counterfeit Oakleys work his connections to the local gentleman’s club to get the Vice Principal free access to the VIP room after dinner. We capped off the night with shots of Fireball in the parking lot at Kmart and entered into an agreement under which the Vice Principal agreed to turn a blind eye to disciplinary problems and to “adjust” grades when necessary. In return, twice a month, we will buy him all the wings and beer he can consume at Hooters, and he gets four free VIP passes to the gentleman’s club every quarter.

This man may not fit within society’s pre-conceived notion of a “passionate” educator, but he’s done more to positively influence the lives of students than 99% of teachers out there. And it’s all because he understands that these players learn far more on a football field than they ever will listening to some teacher yap about the War of 1812.

Special NCAA Tournament Mailbag - Why It’s Ok to Superglue a Player’s Hands Together to Prevent Post-Game Handshakes

IMG_0268.JPG

Question: Coach, I see that a bunch of people are upset because Kentucky supposedly did not shake hands with Kansas State after last night’s NCAA Tournament game. They are calling it “unsportsmanlike.” What is your take? 

Post-game handshakes went out of style with powdered wigs and Victorian corsets. It is a silly formality from a bygone era that belongs in the dust bin of history. When my youth football team has just gotten done embarrassing another team and running up the score, I am not going to lie and pretend it was a “good game.” Thus, I have implemented an absolute ban on post-game handshakes (the lone exception is when the handshake is a suberterfuge for taunting our defeated opponent).

I once had a kid on my team who violated this rule and went to shake the hands of some friends and a relative on a team we’d just defeated. I was absolutely livid when I saw him consorting with the enemy. The next game, as soon as the final horn sounded, my offensive assistant who is on probation for selling counterfeit Oakleys pulled the kid to the side, applied superglue to his hands, and pressed them together so that it would literally be impossible for the kid to shake hands with the opposing team. The kid eventually had to go to a doctor’s office to have his hands separated, but he never again tried to shake hands with the opposing team, so everything worked as planned.  

Special Youth Football Coaching Mailbag - How to Make the Shitty Kids Quit

IMG_0253.JPG

One of the more unfortunate recent developments in youth sports is the implementation of minimum, mandatory playing time for all players, no matter how useless. Equally disturbing, most leagues prohibit you from cutting players or kicking them off the team just because they suck. Thus, a critical weapon in any champion coach’s arsenal is the ability to make the shitty kids quit voluntarily. I’ve come to value this skill just as much as tactical prowess, scouting, recruiting, and talent development. If you want to build a youth football dynasty, it is absolutely vital that you know the forms of psychological and physical punishment that are most likely to work.

I personally prefer to try non-violent means at the outset. After identifying the players who have no prayer of helping us, my coaching staff will then focus on trying to make those players quit through humiliation. My DC and my offensive assistant who is in probation for selling counterfeit Oakleys will mock their ineptitude and berate them in front of their teammates, which usually results in tears. I then will play the “good cop” by pulling the kid to the side, tell him in the most professional way that he is embarrassing himself, his teammates, and his entire family, and that it would be best if he quits. That usually does the trick for 50-75% of players.

But when diplomatic means fail, I have to ratchet things up a bit. For the frail players, there are a variety of drills I like to use. Over the years I’ve become particularly fond of the “Punt Returns with No Fair Catches” and “Kickoff Wedge Busting’ drills. The Punt Returns with No Fair Catches drill is self-explanatory, and it begins with putting the player I want to quit as the punt returner. I then put the biggest, meanest, hardest-hitting players as the “gunners” on the punt team and instruct them to obliterate the return man, preferably before the ball even reaches him. The Kickoff Wedge Busting drill is a similar, if less extreme, concept. I force the kid I want to quit to serve as the “wedge buster” on the kickoff team and put the hardest hitters on the return team. Other drills I like to use include the “Never-ending Out Route,” up-downs, Bull in the Ring with no helmet for the ballcarrier, and Oklahoma drills in the parking lot.

When all else fails, my last resort is always to try to do everything I can to make the kid’s parents hate me. Insult their son, their child-rearing skills, their education, their profession, or their physical appearance – whatever it takes. I’ve made parents run gassers alongside their kids and arranged to have fictitious “unspoken” prayer requests made on their behalf at church with a vague reference to unnamed “demons” they are battling. But the one tactic I’ve most become fond of over the years is making incendiary posts on their Facebook wall. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a well-placed “Your son is useless” or “You really look like shit in your new profile picture” post.

Ask Me Anything on Twitter

I have set up a thread on Twitter for people to ask me any questions they might have. I’ll put the longer answers here. 

1. Which recruit would you say you’ve had the most impact in landing? 

I’m going to go way back and say DJ Shockley. That was the pre-social media era, but I was able to get personal and professional email addresses for several of his friends and family members. I sent them several long emails outlining why Shockley should go to UGA and diagramming plays that would utilize his unique talents. I even made an audio clip of me doing a hypothetical Larry Munson call where Shockley would throw a game-winning TD pass to Terrence Edwards to give us a win over Florida. Now, it should be noted that none of them responded (apart from one who just said “Who the hell are you?”), but I’ve got to think those emails played a major role when he eventually selected UGA after leaning heavily to FSU for so long. 

2. If you took over the UGA program as its head coach, and could pick any defensive coordinator in the world, who would you pick? Would you go with your current DC or an established assistant like Mel Tucker? Also, would you go ahead and offer a scholarship to the DT with the Rat Tail ?

This is easy. With all due respect to Tucker, who does a fantastic job as UGA’s DC, I would have to go with my youth football team’s DC. Although he reads and writes at a seventh-grade level, his attention to detail and strategic brilliance are unmatched. He is also the emotional leader of our team and gets the players fired up by headbutting a telephone pole before every game, even though it once resulted in a trip to the hospital and 16 stitches. I would also need UGA to play ball and make an exception to the outdated rule that a college football coach must have a college degree.

The DT with the Rat Tail would immediately become my #1 recruiting target, as I’ve never come across anyone who combines size, speed, intensity, and ruthlessness quite like him. We’re talking about a kid who body-slammed a librarian and (allegedly) superglued another kid’s hands to his head. And he literally would drink gasoline straight from the pump if my DC instructed him to do so. In other words, he pretty much embodies every value I hold dear as a youth football coach. But I would need the admissions office to look the other way. He can read a little, but cannot write anything other than his name, and he struggles with basic math (sometimes he plays offense, and you can’t just say we’re going “on two,” you have to say we’re going on “down, set, hut, hut” so he understands). It’s hard to imagine him qualifying unless we can work some magic with his transcript and get the Piccolo Player to take the SAT/ACT for him. 

Friday Mailbag-December 15, 2017: Angry Georgia Tech Fans Attacking Me On Twitter

IMG_0199.JPG

Question: Coach, I noticed that, over the past couple of days, there have been a large number of GTurd fans lobbing personal attacks at you on Twitter. I’m having a hard time understanding how someone could have a problem with all that you’ve accomplished. What gives?

You are correct, the Twitter attacks have been quite vicious - to see those attacks and my responses, you can follow me on twitter @3YearLetterman. GTurd fans tend to hate me for one simple reason. Put yourself in their shoes for a second. Imagine you went to some random suburban Atlanta high school, where you didn’t letter in anything, got your head shoved into lockers, and never got invited to field parties. You were president of the Math Club, however, and eventually got into GTurd because your SAT math score was adequate. You then went there and spent four years surrounded by other guys, playing World of Warquest and Everquest deep into the night, and watching your football team get embarrassed by UGA every Saturday after Thanksgiving (unless the refs were cheating). You graduated with an engineering degree, but despite visions of making it big in Silicon Valley, you ended up working at an Office Depot in Sandy Springs.

You have dubious personal hygiene. The closest you’ve ever come to enjoying the company of a female was when your aunt set you up on a date with one of her co-workers’ daughters. You then asked said daughter if she wanted to meet up through Second Life avatars. You never heard back from her, and your aunt got fired. When you go to UGA-GTurd games, you get barked at and a swirlie from a man with a determined look and wraparound Oakleys and a somewhat rotund man with a combover and a beet red face. You have posted on Stingtalk while in tears multiple times. 

On the other hand you have me. I lived the dream in high school, lettering - and starting - in football for three years. I am a man of immaculate style, as I always have a fresh high and tight haircut, and my attire usually consists of black jeans, wraparound Oakleys, and 7-8 pumps of Tim McGraw southern blend cologne. I have won multiple youth football titles and am approaching Saban-like status. When I return to my high school and stand in student section, I am hailed as a legend when I show them the three stripes on my letter jacket and explain who I am. I get invited to field parties. I live in an apartment complex with a pool. I have access to a time share in Westminster, SC. I had a hairstylist named Jessika ask me to go see “A Christmas Carol” just this week.

So having lost badly on the athletic and style side, GT fans try to one-up me by boasting about their academic accomplishments and supposed professional success.  But there, they lose again. Unlike them, I didn’t waste a bunch of money on college, as I dropped out of Atlanta Perimeter after 3 semesters when I realized it was a Ponzi scheme. And here I am, nearly 20 years later, raking in $27/hour plus bennies, a cell phone, and unlimited company polo shirts. 

So that’s a long way of saying, they hate me because I am everything they are not. 

Rose Bowl Mailbag - December 5, 2017: Hitchhiking to the Rose Bowl

Question: Congratulations on the big win in the SEC Championship Game this weekend and making the playoff. How did you celebrate? Also, what are your plans for the Rose Bowl? 

IMG_0194.JPG

Saturday night was, without question, the high point of my life. I went to the game with my youth football team’s DC and my offensive assistant who is on probation for selling counterfeit Oakleys. We drove up on Friday night and just illegally parked in front of Mercedes Benz Stadium. Saturday, we spent much of the day walking around Atlanta in the wishbone formation and blocking any Auburn fans we encountered to the ground. During the game, I had to physically restrain my DC on several occasions to prevent him from going down to the field during the game to confront the refs for the egregious calls. But by the middle of the fourth quarter, he was crying tears of joy as we put the game away, and I was giving swirlies to fleeing Auburn fans in the upper deck restrooms. All’s well that ends well.

Following the game, we went to Tattletales to do shots of Fireball, celebrate the victory, form tackle any Auburn fans we saw, and try and sell some counterfeit Oakleys (“Oatleys”) out of a garbage bag in Buckhead to raise funds for tickets to the playoff. We ended up offloading about 200 pairs at $20 a pop, so you do the math. The one moment of panic came at around 4 a.m., when my DC wandered off and could not be found. Thankfully, we discovered him the next morning passed out in front of the Varsity, surrounded by empty chili dawg containers and covered in a spilled Frosted Orange.  Then, as if the weekend couldn’t possibly get any better, a GTurd (Georgia Tech, for the uninitiated) journalist blocked me on Twitter for saying mean things about GTurd. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

And, of course, we plan to head to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, but there could be some transportation issues getting out there. So right now, the plan is to do some combination of hitchhiking and perhaps Greyhound buses or the MegaBus. My cousin is a delivery driver for Lance’s snacks and will take us to Phenix City, Alabama during one of his deliveries, and then we’ll have to figure out our own way from there. We’ll probably stick to hitchhiking, as it is a great way to see the country. Keep an eye out, because I will be tweeting live updates from the road (@3YearLetterman).   

Georgia Tech Week Mailbag - Why Sy the Photo Guy was the Quintessential Georgia Tech Graduate

Question: Coach, I know we are playing GTurd this week. In honor of that, can you tell us whether the band camp kids in American Pie or the SciFi geeks in Can’t Hardly Wait are better representatives of future GTurd graduates?

I’m actually going to have to say neither and go in a third direction. While there are certainly overlaps between Georgia Tech graduates and the guys sitting on the roof of the party during Can’t Hardly Wait bragging about non-existent girlfriends and playing with Star Trek figurines, the real truth is something much darker.

And that brings us to the protagonist of One Hour Photo - Sy the Photo Guy, portrayed by Robin Williams. For those who aren’t familiar with the movie, One Hour Photo is about a bizarre employee in the one hour photo section of a store who becomes obsessed with a family that drops off their photos there. 

IMG_0191.JPG

Though it isn’t in the script, there’s simply no way Sy the Photo Guy doesn’t hold a management degree from Georgia Tech. He’s angry, strange, single, lonely, poorly dressed, socially inept, and believes he has a much more prestigious job than he actually does. He’s the kind of guy who sits in the lunchroom by himself, posts on Stingtalk, and scoffs at passing co-workers who are UGA fans while boasting about his SAT math score. In high school, he used to tell classmates who were giving him a swirlie or shoving his head into a locker that one day he would employ them all when he made millions of dollars in Silicon Valley. In reality, he never made it further west than his aunt’s house in Marietta. He’s the guy who whines to the staff at Beef O’Brady’s and tries to have me ejected when I bark at him.

You know on Saturday morning he’ll be sitting by himself in his apartment and angrily hoping for a win, but preparing a list of insults that reference the value of his degree and the average starting salary of a Georgia Tech graduate when the inevitable loss happens.  

IMG_0192.JPG

Friday Mailbag - November 10, 2017: My DC’s Top 5 Movies; Dealing with Meddlesome Youth Football League Officials

IMG_0188.JPG

Question: Coach, what are your youth football team’s defensive coordinator’s favorite movies?

Here are his top 5. 

1. Varsity Blues

2. Showgirls  

3. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

4. Three Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain

5. Iron Eagle (all of them)  

Question : Coach, not sure if you’ve been following this situation in Michigan (https://www.clickondetroit.com/sports/decision-upheld-ending-woodhaven-warriors-football-season-postseason-activities). What advice can you give if your team’s season is ended prematurely by league officials?

I am certainly no stranger to having to battle league efforts to end my youth football team’s reign of terror. As many of you know, the assistant to the league director for the youth football league in which I coach hates me for giving him an atomic wedgie in high school. He tried to suspend my DC for his ill-fated “trust fall” off the back of his Chrysler Lebaron in 2015, which prompted me to retain my cousin the workers’ comp attorney as our team’s legal counsel. It proved to be the wisest decision I’ve ever made, as he’s gotten our team out of innumerable quandaries with the league, the local school system, and the court system. And all of that for the low price of getting access to my parents’ timeshare in Westminster, South Carolina. 

So my best advice is to call in the lawyers and fight as hard as you need to in order to keep the season going. Lawsuits, TROs, permanent injunctions, administrative hearings, petitions to judicially dissolve the league — whatever it takes, you do it. Your players deserve nothing less.  

Special McElwain Firing Mailbag - October 30, 2017: Coaching Ethics and Faking Your Own Death

IMG_0349.PNG

Question:  Coach, can we get your take on Jim McElwain’s “death threat” fiasco and subsequent firing?

I am still not sure what he was trying to accomplish with the whole death threat sideshow, but if we assume it was part of an attempt to gain a strategic advantage, I have to say I respect that. In fact, it’d be hypocritical of me to say otherwise, given that I previously faked my own death for my youth football team’s benefit.

Let me explain. Last year, my youth football team was in a tough spot. We had a big game coming up, but 3 of my best players were suspended for a week for stealing prescription meds from one of their teachers. The problem is that, by league rules, you can’t play during a suspension, meaning they would miss that week’s game unless I could figure out a way to get the suspension lifted. After the principal called my bluff when I threatened to sue the school for failing to prevent students from getting their hands on opioids (not sure what qualifies as an opioid, but I wanted to sound serious), the only option was to get the game delayed to the next week.

Hence, I decided to fake my own death. I won’t go into details, but it involved sending in a fake obituary to the local paper and using my deep connections in the local mortuary industry to schedule a fake funeral to coincide with the game. The important thing is it worked, as my DC was able convince the league to delay the game to the next week so the players could attend the funeral.

I got suspended for two games, but the maneuver worked. With our full roster, we won both games. If McElwain had been as creative as me, maybe he’d stlll have a job. 

Friday Mailbag - October 20, 2017: Plans for the the UGA-Florida Game

Question: Are you and your DC planning on heading down to Jacksonville for the UGA-Florida game this year? If so, what vehicle will you be taking and where will you be saying?

The short answer is yes, pending results of our fundraising campaign. My DC has a negative checking account balance and all of his credit cards are maxed out (not to mention a delinquency with Rent-a-Center), so he’s in need of some cash. As a result, we are attempting to pawn his girlfriend’s son’s dirt bike and baseball card collection and looking for the best offer we can find. 

If we go down, we will go in my aunt’s Corolla (I’m currently in between cars). There’s virtually no chance my DC’s white Chrysler Lebaron could make it down there and back, nor will I get in a car with him behind the wheel. 

Right now, the plan is to stay somewhere in Brunswick, Georgia, which is one of my favorite summer vacation destinations. I’ve stayed many times at the La Quinta there, and if there’s a better Golden Corral than the one on Golden Isles Plaza, I’m unaware of it. And the night life in Brunswick has got to be among the best in Southeast Georgia.  

On game day, we will go down to Jacksonville, get absolutely obliterated, and try to buy scalped tickets after kickoff to get the best deal possible. If all else fails, we’ll head to the Hooters at the Landing to watch the game and bark at Gator fans. If you are a Florida fan and see a somewhat rotund man with a combover and a beet red face and another man with a high and tight haircut, wraparound Oakleys, and a determined look, I’d recommend keeping your distance. Not going to lie - the odds of us making it back without someone getting arrested or injured seem very small, but life’s about living in the moment and assuming there won’t be a tomorrow. 

I will be tweeting updates throughout the whole trip, so keep an eye out.  

Special Cocktail Party Mailbag-October 16, 2017: Barking at UFraud (Florida) Fans

Question: With Georgia on a bye week this week, what can we do as a fan base to best prepare for the game against Florida in two weeks?

This is like a belt-high, inner half of the plate fastball to Chipper Jones in 1999. To start, do not dignify them by referring to them as “Florida.” They are UFraud. And I mean that literally, given the recent credit card fraud charges.

Beyond that, the answer to your question is easy—for the next two weeks, if you see UFraud fans, you bark at them. No exceptions. You see an elderly lady walking into a funeral home for visitation with a UF pin on? You run up, block the entrance, and bark at her. You see a mom dropping off her three-year old at preschool in an SUV bearing a UF sticker? You peel into the parking lot, bring your car to a screeching halt, get out, run over, and bark at both of them on their way in the building. You see a WWII veteran coming out of the VFW with a UF hat on? You shake his hand and thank him for his service, but then you get in his face, bark at him, and consider throwing in a Gator Chomp-Throat Slash combo for good measure. 

Either you’re “all in’ as a Georgia fan or you aren’t, and it is time to differentiate the true fans from the fake ones.

Friday Mailbag-October 13, 2017: Fashion for Attending a High School Football Game

Question: Being a man of such keen fashion sense, how do you typically dress for a high school football game? 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Excellent question, and very timely given that I’ll be attending a game at my old high school tonight. If you’re a multi-year letterman like me, you should always wear your letter jacket, regardless of the temperature. When you stand in the student section like I sometimes do or attend post-game field parties, it’s important to send a message to current students that you’re an alumni worthy of respect, not some special teams senior who only got a jacket because they give them to all seniors. If it’s so hot you’re worried about passing out, you can take the jacket off and tie the arms around your neck like people sometimes do with sweaters at country clubs. For cool, crisp evenings, I like to go with a black mock turtleneck underneath my old high school football jersey, freshly pressed black jeans, and white LA Gears. It is a refined, yet intimidating, look. For warmer evenings, I will usually wear a “No Fear” t-shirt tucked into said black jeans. And I always finish the look off with 7-8 pumps of Tim McGraw Southern Blend cologne, which, like a foghorn, announces my presence to all in attendance. 

October 8, 2017 (Sunday Edition): Tommy Tuberville's BAC and My DC's Upcoming Bench Trial

Question: What was Tommy Tuberville's BAC for yesterday's Georgia-Vanderbilt game? 

My best guess is somewhere between 1.8-2.5. Honestly, the prospect that he was stone cold sober during that broadcast is imminently more concerning than if he was just simply hammered the entire time.

Question: When is your DC's bench trial for crack blocking that guy during your 20-year HS reunion? Also, what is his strategy?

It's this week. My cousin the workers' comp attorney was going to represent him. Unfortunately, he's dealing with a minor ethics issue of his own. It arises from an affidavit he filed with the court that was signed by someone who may or may not have been dead at the time it was allegedly signed. As a result, he is temporarily barred from appearing in court. The presiding judge has also criticized my cousin's appearance as "unprofessional" on prior occasions, so it's probably for the best anyway.

Despite our pleas to use a public defender or check around to see if another lawyer will take it pro bono, my DC is adamant that he will defend himself. The centerpiece of his presentation will be when he calls himself to the stand and, in his words, "aggressively cross-examines" himself. The state has several witnesses on its list from the reunion, including our class president, the assistant to the league director, the guy my DC crack blocked on the squash court, and the guy who won Defensive Player of the Year our senior year over my DC, so god only knows what he'll do when they take the stand.

He is also re-watching Season 3 of Suits to help develop his list of evidentiary objections. 

September 29, 2017: Flag protests

IMG_0374.JPG

Question(s): I received several questions this week to the effect of, "How is your team handling the flag protests?" and "Will you, your DC, and your team stand or kneel for the national anthem?"

With the exception of the Piccolo Player (probably the only player on my team who has ever read a news article of any kind), I really doubt any of my players are aware of the national anthem displays. I had the team doing an hour-long Oklahoma drill last Sunday as punishment for a lackluster performance on Thursday (although if the league asks, it was a "voluntary" game of touch football and not a practice), so they wouldn't have seen the protests.  And most of them couldn't tell you what the word protest means if you had a gun to their head. 

But more to the point, the 5 minutes before a football game starts should be devoted to refining your game plan and intimidating the opponent, not to distractions like patriotism or social causes. I always continue my pre-game preparations with the team during the national anthem. Furthermore, the only anthem my youth football team is concerned with is the Rains of Castamere, which the Piccolo Player plays at mid-field before every game. I require my players to flank him on either side and stare across the field at the opposing team with determined looks. My DC initially would hold up an iPad playing the Red Wedding scene, but the league put a stop to that because they deemed it "inappropriate" for 9-10 year olds. So while our opponent is busy standing or kneeling or whatever they choose to do for the national anthem, we are focused on getting ready for the game, scaring the hell out of them, and then winning.