As you can probably imagine, someone who has achieved the level of coaching success that I have is not without enemies:
The Piccolo Player’s Parents
I guess this one technically qualifies as “former” enemies, since they are now some of my biggest fans. Nevertheless, once an enemy, you stay on the enemies list for life, even if I come to like you.
The Piccolo Player’s parents (for more on the Piccolo Player, visit “The Players” page) encouraged their son to play football because they thought he could benefit from a team sport. The mother is a literature professor at a local college, and the father is the high school choral director. They initially hated me, believing the coaching staff’s treatment of their son was appalling and that my entire approach to youth football was misguided. However, as their son began to succeed, they became big fans of mine. They eventually gave me Lannister Sigil cufflinks and invited me to accompany them to a screening of “An Inconvenient Sequel.”
The Piccolo Players’ parents are very different from most residents in this more conservative area. They are both academic types and products of Northeastern liberal arts colleges, with the mother having attended Sarah Lawrence and the father having attended Vassar. They are politically liberal, and the mother chaired the local Bernie Sanders primary campaign. She wept when he lost. They both are socially awkward, although not shy and extremely talkative. They know virtually nothing about sports and initially were traumatized by how seriously the coaches and some of the other parents take it.
The Piccolo Player’s parents are in their early 40’s. They both dress like typical unstylish professors. The mother has longer unkempt hair, glasses that appear to have gone out of style 30 years ago, and wears crocs. The father is out of shape, although not obese, and almost always wears an ill-fitting button up shirt, pleated khakis, and black socks with sandals.
The Associate Pastor
The Associate Pastor is the father of one of the kids that I drafted for my youth football team in 2018. He is an associate pastor at a local church.
We hated each other immediately, as we frequently clashed over my coaching staff’s profanity, religious irreverence, and implementation of principles that are abhorrent to the Associate Pastor’s world view. He says “Brother” a lot when addressing people, and I’ve had to shoo him away from players he was “witnessing” to. He’s also a first-rate hypocrite, in my view. The guy yaps all day long about trusting Jesus, but then he refused to let his son practice in a modest rainstorm when I scheduled a special Hurricane Irma practice. Despite having all genetic odds stacked against him, the Associate Pastor’s son turned out to be a good player.
The associate pastor is in his late ‘30s, on the shorter side, and dumpy. He honestly looks like someone you’d have seen on that “To Catch a Predator” series that aired in the 2000’s. He always wears a button-up short sleeve shirt tucked into cargo shorts, Jerusalem sandals, and a fanny pack.
My biggest coaching rival is someone I went to HS with. We called him “David Letterman,” because he’s one of those guys that only played senior year (exclusively on special teams, mind you) just to get a letter jacket. He despises me, my DC, and my offensive assistant because we were all legitimate three-year lettermen. Back in 2013, I had a brief stint as his secondary coach that ended after we got into a shouting match about defensive schemes at a funeral home visitation service for one of our player’s grandfathers. His team is our biggest competition for league domination. I require all of our players to refer to him as “Coach Letterman,” which makes him furious. He sells vacuum cleaners for a living.
The Assistant to the League Director
The assistant to the league director for the youth football league is a frail loser who also went to my high school. He hates me because I once gave him an atomic wedgie in the lunchroom in front of nearly the entire school and made fun of him for taking AP classes. And, of course, he never lettered in shit. Ever since I started coaching my youth football team, he has devoted much of his time to trying to thwart my strategic advantages as payback for past humiliations. He is the reason I ultimately hired my cousin the workers comp attorney to act as the team’s legal counsel. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a philosophy degree and now works in the photo department of a local drugstore. He is a huge Gamecocks fan so I always bark at him whenever I see him. The outlet for his personal frustrations is an online message board for photo developers, which he angrily moderates, wielding his authority like the dictator of some long-forgotten Soviet republic.
More to come . . .