“We’re going to have to figure out a way to get the ball to our playmakers, whether” throwing it or speed sweeps.”—Chip Lindsey.
The world is changing, and with it we must change. Time was, you could leave your car door unlocked with your infant inside while you rushed into the Dairy Queen for a Heath Bar Blizzard and a Hungr-Buster to go. Now you might get arrested for that—they call it ‘child endangerment’ or some other liberal thing. The world is getting wussed. Can’t hit the quarterback, can’t tell a six year old he sucks at little league and shouldn’t get a trophy, and now our autocratic football coaches are even holding out on us the one true thing left in this world—snippets.
College football coaches are different than pro coaches. In College, these men run tiny fiefdoms wherein even the reporters covering the team are subject to the whims of the emperors of Amateurism. Most press conferences are therefore boring dog-and-pony shows in which a man told he must say something says as little as humanly possible. Anything out of alignment with “That was a good team we played, give them all the credit in the world, we did a few good things and need to work on being less predictable,” is taken and run with by reporters desperate for the coach to say an interesting thing that will allow them to produce the sweet sweet content their readers can find behind the paywall. It’s a room full of Woodwards and Bernsteins minus, you know, stakes. The coach knows everything can be a story, so he says nothing. Rinse and repeat next week. But what if the coach just tells the reporters there will be no press conference?
Where will we get our quotes?
Where will we hear about how great this week of practice has been?
What do I tell my kid?
Maybe the idea that someone would be upset that Gus Malzahn has removed Sunday media availability from his coordinators seems like an idiotic waste of frustration, but you would be wrong. First Gus takes away Sunday snippets, then what? No Tiger Talk? No halftime sideline interviews? What’s my kid supposed to do with this info? How do I explain to my child that there won’t be a useless hour of coach-speak nonsense broadcast on the radio from a wings restaurant? How is my baby going to understand that Gus isn’t going to answer Holly Rowe when she asks “What changes do you plan on making to get Stidham going in the second half?”
“The missed tackles were uncharacteristic of us.” —Kevin Steele
Great quotes like that are the stuff good stories are written about. How is a great member of the media supposed to craft the year long telenovela narrative of Auburn football without Kevin Steele giving us bland, one sentence responses to questions? How will we know when he is mad if there is no base line of bland to which to compare his angry answers?
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am going to sit my child down—she’s almost eight months old so she deserves to know—and tell her Gus doesn’t care about her or her need for notable quotables. He doesn’t care if she knows how practice has been going. He doesn’t care if she knows which freshmen are really standing out on scout team. I might go so far as to say he doesn’t care if she knows what Chip Lindsey thinks about all the good plays he called at the end of the Texas A&M game.
I don’t know about you, but I’m one dad who is going to use this as a teaching opportunity.