Thursday, December 13, 2012

the outgoing football coach was 58, like me. they said he was making two mil here but will make three mil in cincinnati. all he did here was snatch the headset off a student assistant in a semi-violent, angry way but people stood up for him here, they said it was the student's fault that he was on the wrong channel, and sent too many players onto the field at a crucial down. not to say this guy is violent, what do i know? he seemed to be reasonable every other time you'd see him on tv.

the next guy is only like thirty-something; he used to play on our team as quarterback, not more than a few years ago. they've been saying that he's glad to be "back in lubbock" since they wanted a kind of harmony with west texas and they felt that he had it. well, for sure, the press is all about adulation, major 8-inch-high headlines and all, like he's g-d or whatever come back to save us from this mediocrity which can best be characterized as moderate...this guy's going to win, they figure, since he beat texas on his way out of here with a big passing game.

it's hard to figure out what being in harmony with west texas is, but this is a subject that has been rolling around in my mind for a while anyway so i might as well let it fling. it might be unfair to say that folks care more about winning than they do what kind of damage a coach inflicts on his players, but it might be better to say they care a whole lot about winning and this guy better recognize that fast. it's also true that the media swarm is like that of hollywood; he's not likely to get much privacy for a while. this may be a texas thing, though, and the guy is from texas, so maybe he ought to know. but there were some other interesting things i read. one was that people were beginning to feel like this was a stepping-stone for coaches who were on their way to better things, like this last coach, who said, two mil and lubbock, that's nothing when i can have three mil and cincinnati (next thing will be, four mil and california). it's hard, they say, to build a good program when you keep looking over your shoulder. so their idea, i think, was to get some guy in there who would not only win but also want to stick around. did i mention anything about the violence? i honestly don't think that's part of the calculation.

i've learned to talk football because that's part of the landscape, like the weather, you have to talk football in offices as you wait in lines. a certain minimum familiarity with the gods is required of all citizenry. nevertheless as time goes by i begin to wonder if it's wrong to feed into it by even talking about it, let alone actually watching the game or worse yet, paying for tickets and going to the game. i always justified the former by saying, you have to talk about it just to get by and be sociable. but the fact is that football is killing people and young kids are getting sucked into it before they know any better, just like cigarettes. and also like cigarettes, the research clearly shows it's a killer but the culture is a step or two behind; we may know that subconsciously, if we watch the news, but we aren't quite ready to face it yet. sure there was that murder, and that car accident, but that could have been anybody, happens to young kids all the time, especially young kids who just got a lot of money and don't know how to handle a car, or, say, a marriage, where violence doesn't solve the problem. sometimes i wonder if i shouldn't just blurt that out when people start talking about the raiders, or if it's ok to go undercover and just say, yeah, i hope they win, of course i hope they win. hope the win the whatsiz-bowl in houston on new years, i'll probably be in the airport, and then i'll just about have to watch them.

this new coach comes up from a & m, we have an odd relationship with a & m, since they used to be our bitter rival but now have jumped over into another division where we don't play them as often. we can still steal their offensive coach though; it'll stick it to 'em. but it's interesting, what kind of world these guys step into when they arrive fresh at a situation like this. the football world is made up of oc's and dc's, these guys do the main coaching, since they are closer to the field, they only make a mil or two, they are in line for the next coaching job, maybe, if they can break the big league. going from oc to main coach is for this guy undoubtedly breaking into the big leagues. i'll be like everyone, i'll wait patiently to see how things unfold. he has to get right out there and recruit kids, first thing. also, whatever kids he's got on the team already, he's got to win them over, they were loyal to that last guy, but they couldn't follow him to cincinnati as easily as he could just go there.

does that make any sense? i have this lubbock site, where i say to this town, what are you doing, with this idol worship. but here, i'm just rambling, and i'll tell you why. i've come to love tech football, in spite of everything, invested in the area, the people and what they care about, and they care about winning. so it is, and when in rome, get in front of the chariot, like that dude in front of that big tank, in tienanmen square. with his white shirt. so here i ramble, and in fact, i think both ways, i totally agree with both sides. i have hope, i want to win, i like a young kid who is getting his first chance. on the other hand, i see him out in those living rooms, telling those families they should have their sons play football, he could make it, he could go all the way.

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