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Jim Murray

Coachtalk: You Have to Know Jargon

November 27, 1986|JIM MURRAY

One of my favorite ads in any medium is that TV hustle for a Japanese car that shows the huckster spieling extravagant claims for the vehicle and the deal while subtitles flash on the screen beneath him, contradicting him devastatingly even while he's talking.

Although the technique is hardly misapplied to auto salesmen, it occurs to me it could be used equally effectively with football coaches. For instance, first would be what the coach says. Then the disclaimer, the truth:

"We are not going to the bowl game for the money, we are going for the prestige of college football generically." (He's lying.)

"I don't even know what the money is." (He knows.)

"It's what the kids wanted." (How would he know?)

"To be No. 1, we'd play them in a parking lot for nothing." (No, he wouldn't.)

"Our top priority is never money." (Yes, it is.)

"We're not prostituting ourselves." (Yes, they are.)

"The money is incidental." ($2 . 4 million worth of incidental.)

"We try to instill in our players a respect for our democratic institutions." (He pays their bail bonds.)

"We foresee a close, hard-fought game. We respect them and we hope they respect us." (He expects to win , 48-0.)

"We've got some outstanding student-athletes. Our fullback is a star in biology lab, too." (They think he's the missing link.)

"I'm as proud of this team as any I've ever had, considering the injuries we've had this season and the way they've handled adversity.' ' (It has been a 4-5-1 season.)

"They just wanted this game more than we did." (He got out - coached. Again.)

"We made too many mistakes out there today." (He sent in the wrong plays.)

"I'm proud to be playing a great school with the football traditions they got. It's an honor to be on the field with a team like that." (He thinks he can win.)

"We're not awed by their reputation. They pull their pants on one leg at a time, same as everyone else." (He thinks he will lose.)

"We're just playing one game at a time, trying to cut down on our mistakes." (Losing streak.)

"One of these days, this team will come together and play the game it's capable of, and the league will sit up and take notice." (He's going to get fired and he wants to put heat on his successor.)

"Go to the pros? Why should I go to the pros? I like working with young people." (He can't take Oregon State or Cal State Fullerton games with him. Who wants to go where you have to play 11 Oklahomas a year, to say nothing of the Chicago Bears twice?)

"We're not as physical as they are, but we've got a lot of heart." (He got out-recruited, too.)

"I won't know what happened till I see the films." (He'll find someone to blame later.)

"We don't pay any attention to polls." (His team is never in them.)

"This is as good a group of athletes as we've had since I've been coaching here." (He finally found a way to fool the dean of admissions.)

"Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." (He doesn't know what it means, either, but it sounds good to the kids and helps him persuade the school to put Cal Poly on the schedule every year.)

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