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Monday
Jul 28th

Accentuate the positive for Brewster and Childress

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dogpilingI’m not a fan of calling for a coaches’ heads. The coaching thing can be quite the tough gig. In football, whether college or professional, the coaching job description reads: Must be able to deal with big, biff, hardheaded young men. Now unfortunately for the NFL coaches, their hardheaded players get paid millions of dollars – which I understand has a deteriorating affect on the players’ ability to hear, or give a durn, what the coach is saying. As for the college football coaches, they have to simply deal with viral young men fresh out of their high school age nest. Either way, it ain’t easy on football coaches. And above the testosterone and money issues, is the fact that they have the largest teams (regarding # of players) in team sports.

I say all of this because there is plenty of criticism going around for Gophers head football coach Tim Brewster, as well as Viking head coach Brad Childress. It’s probably best to start with Childress, because the Gophers need some padding to soften the blow thus far in the 2010 season.

To accentuate the positive, Brad Childress and his coaching regime have to be credited with the constant importation of some real ballers. From Childress’ first draft in 2006, to the most recent, the young men brought from college football to NFL football by the Vikings have stepped in and played like they were almost all supposed to be here – funny that while researching the Vikings draft history, you could clearly tell where the fault lines were between coaches; the first pick in the 2005 draft was wide receiver Troy Williamson, whom is currently not in the league anymore; the first pick in the 2006 draft, Childress’ first, was Chad Greenway whom is the Vikings current starting linebacker. Since Greenway the hits have just kept on rolling. In 2007 the Vikings drafted some dude named Adrian Peterson with the first pick…good Lord. In 2009 the Vikings drafted Percy Harvin first. The 2008 pick was shipped to Kansas City in exchange for All-World defensive end Jared Allen. Thus, the Childress regime’s proclivity to rake in talent from all directions is about as bankable as betting on a rapper wearing sunglasses.

My only problem during Childress’ time here in MN has been the play calling. It seems that the play calling, whether Childress or offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, carries the same engineering that their draft strategy does. Unfortunately, it seems to me that play calling requires a different sort of sudden, savvy nuance and seasoning. I’ll leave it at this example so I can get to Brewster: If you are in the first quarter of a football game in the NFL, and your team is 1centimeter from scoring a touchdown, but it is 4th down, …KICK THE FIELD GOAL! TAKE THE POINTS! I don’t give a flying fruitdaddy what the statistics say about going for it on 4th down, nor do I care what the “tough guy” in you says about proving who’s boss; sometimes the simple common sense that 3 is better than 0 needs to be applied. And sometimes simple Biblical wisdom needs to be applied as well: Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”. The Vikings could have used those 3 points a few weeks ago, but overall the team looks like they can tough through the season pretty well.

That is a good segue into the topic of Gopher head football coach Tim Brewster. Oh boy. I gotta tell you that I like the dude. He’s positive, and I enjoy positive people. I do my darndest to support (mostly so the local kids don’t get negative about playing ball in their hometown), but then he had to come out and say that the team “should and could be [undefeated]”. Now why did he have to go and do that? I understand accentuating the positive, but I also understand that there is a fine line between positive and delusional. Proverbs 23:7 reads “as a man thinketh, …so is he”, but that doesn’t mean (I’m pretty sure) that what one thinketh needs to constantly come shooting out of one’s mouth. For example, the L.A. in me wants to say “Nice try pahtna (pahtna = Los Angeles dialect for ‘partner’, or pal), but ya’ll weren’t about to beat anybody’s University of Southern California a couple weeks ago.” But instead I’ll say that Brewster really does a good job recruiting, and it just seems the young fellas need something to click. Hardheaded, testosterone laden young men sometimes – maybe often times – need to get barked at like Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi used to do. I suppose while I’m at it, Bible verse John 8:32 says “…the truth shall make you free” 1-4, but the team has enough talent, so all I can say is git’r’dun. And of course, if Brewster needs someone to come in and say “We’re 1-4 and got beat by a couple of scrubs,” I know just the dude for the job. But no dogpiling on the Gophers, the stadium is too nice…of course maybe so is the coach sometimes. The Gophers should bring in new Old Spice pitchman Ray Lewis for one of his classic pep talks to get the rodents lat
 

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