Daily Archives: September 29, 2009

Coaches Gone Wild, Part I: The Hawai’ian Rainbow

Isaiah: poster boy for coaches with issues...

Isaiah: poster boy for coaches with issues...

If you are a new coach at any level, whether it’s high school, college, or professional athletics, boy do I have a treat for you this week!  With the rash of poor decisions being made by high profile coaches across the country,  I have compiled four excellent examples of how not to behave as a person in such a position.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are several others out there, but these seemed to be the highest profile cases.

Each of these individuals is well versed in dealing with the media and speaking in front of large crowds.  It pretty much comes with the position, because even at the high school level coaches are asked to make speeches for groups like Booster Clubs, local Rotary chapters, or Pop Warner/Little League/etc. to encourage young athletes.  By the time coaches reach college and the pros, they are used to speaking in front of thousands and at times millions via broadcast.  Whether they are in front of 10 media members, 100 club members, several thousand students, or on TV, coaches are asked to be a leader of their community and a positive influence in all facets of life.

This week I will present the case of each “Coach Gone Wild” starting in chronological order of events from the summer and early fall.   We’ll examine exactly what they did and where they went wrong, and believe me it won’t be very difficult to find.

Brah, bathroom is that way!

Brah, bathroom is that way!

07/30/09 – Hawai’i football coach Greg McMackin makes a huge blunder at the WAC media football preview for the 2009 season.  Coach McMackin described how Notre Dame, their opponent and guest at the 2009 Hawai’i Bowl, had done “this little (gay slur beginning with f-) dance” at a celebration the night before.  He used the term not once but three times while explaining why Notre Dame might have been so fired up to play Hawai’i in the 2008 Hawai’i Bowl.  At the banquet the night before, as the Fighting Irish finished their version of a “ha’a”, an intense Polynesian war dance and chant performed by the Warrior’s before each game, Coach McMackin had his boys show up the Irish with a dramatic performance of their own.  Needless to say this made quite the impression on the entire banquet, and the next day’s game was won handily by Notre Dame 49-21, giving them their first post-season victory in the past 15 years.

Not so cool Coach, not so cool

Not so cool Coach, not so cool

Here is Coach McMackin’s explanation of what happened and why: “What I was trying to do was be funny and it wasn’t funny,” he said, according to a recording of the conversation posted on the Idaho Statesman’s Web site (provided below, with full graphic language of original statements). “It’s not funny. Even more, it isn’t funny to me. I was trying to make a joke and it was a bad choice of words. And I really, really feel bad about it. … It was really stupid.”

Bravo Coach, hindsight is 20/20, but the damage has been done because you’ve made it apparent the word rests on the tip of your tongue as an insult.  We the general public understands a word like that is used a hundred times a day on the field and in the weight room all across the country.  It’s not right there as it’s not right anywhere, but those are your places and you do as you please.  The WAC 2009 Preview event is definitely the last place you want to use a word like that.  Thank you for bringing your locker-room mentality and verbiage out to for show and tell so the public can fear and pity the sad state of affairs in athletics today.

http://voices.idahostatesman.com/node/20709 article –Idahostatesman.com

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/1412/story/666185.html article – tri-cityherald.com

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Monta Doesn’t Want to Play with Curry and SJax Still Wants Out…

Most media days for the beginning of the NBA season are pretty boring, but when it comes to the Warriors they always seem to have something interesting going on. It’s not a good thing, but I feel it was mildly better than last year. Last season they had a lot to talk about with, the direction of the team, the big contracts that they should have given to Baron over Maggette, and Monta’s scooter accident. Once again, Monta made a splash at the media day, and SJax had his fair share to say about his ongoing trade demands. All of the hoopla this season doesn’t really discourage me as much as last seasons distractions did.

Don Nelson Steven JacksonWell, since I’ve been following SJax on his rampage of trade demands, I’ll start with him. It sounds like not much has changed since his Dime Interview when he said he wanted to go to a contender. He basically reiterated that he did want out of Golden State during media day, but also verbally vomited on a few other subjects that I found interesting. He answered my question as to why he signed that extension just before asking to be traded, which was “Who’s going to turn down that money? I’m not stupid. I didn’t go to college but I’ve got a lot of common sense,”. I see his point of view as nobody would have given him that much, but if you really want to be on a winner why would you handcuff your team like that? Shouldn’t he have taken the Artest route and signed for less than what he was worth on a contender when his contract was up?! Honestly though, I don’t find SJax as being a distraction, because one thing is for sure, when he’s out on that court you know he will play his hardest. Whether he’d rather be somewhere else or not he’s just the kind of player that tanks games, he’s competitive and wants to win games period. If he doesn’t play hard for himself he’ll do it for his teammates, which is why I still agree with making him a captain. He played a lot of meaningless minutes last year and seemed to give it his all, so if we don’t move him I don’t see it being a big problem. For some reason he also spouted off about not regretting anything he’s done including going into the crowd with Artest in the Detroit melee.Monta Ellis Dunking Warriors He felt that may have been one of the reasons the NBA picked to fine him $25K for his comments, and didn’t fine a guy like Kobe for making the same statement. Here’s the whole interview, but don’t take TK’s words too strongly he’s a douchebag.

Monta came out to talk with the media a little while after Jackson did. He usually is pretty boring in interviews, and rarely says anything of relevance. He started off good saying the right things just about winning, and how his ankle was 100%. He want’s to show everybody that his hard work over the off-season would made him better than he was before his injury. When asked about playing PG this year he kept re-iterating that he didn’t care where he played just as long as he was on the floor. He didn’t seem fazed by SJax’s situation either as he knows that when the ball is tipped off Jackson will be there ready to play. He also said that it’s Jackson’s deal to work out, so he can’t be concerned with it.

Monta Ellis Anthony Randolph Warriors

Randolph and Ellis ARE the future of the Warriors

The interesting /controversial part of the interview came next when he was asked about playing with Stephen Curry, their newly acquired first round draft pick. He stated that they couldn’t play together, because it’s not a way to win having two small guards on the floor. He was very adamant that it wouldn’t work unless there was a rare case that the other team went really small. I’ve had a man crush on Curry since before he took Davidson to the Elite 8, and for some reason drafting him was bittersweet as I knew in the back of my mind that we were going to be upsetting Monta, since before the draft he pleaded for the W’s not to pick a PG. Well, it looks as though it didn’t really upset him, but didn’t address any area that he felt they needed. He felt they’ll lose if Nellie goes small and plays them both. Here’s the rest of the interview with Monta, keep in mind that TK’s analysis is off the wall at times. Nellie already said that Jackson, Randolph, Biendris, and Ellis would be starters, but who is the fourth? Azubuike, Morrow, Wright, or Curry? Only time will tell, but I hope it’s Buike or Morrow. I’m not sure why I’m even worried about Nellie playing a rookie too much anyways! At least the Warriors problems this season are more on the court instead of off the court distractions!


Don LaFontaine Tribute

It’s been over a year since he passed away, yet I never had the pleasure of coming across this….. UNTIL NOW!

ONE man……. ONE voice……. and a LEGACY that will carry on…… FOREVER.  Academy Award Winner DON LaFONTAINE IS……… The Movie Preview GUY……