OUR NEW COACH—THE PRESS CONFERENCE
(in hindsight, maybe we should have seen this coming)
“What everyone needs to know is—we’re gonna work, and then we’re gonna work some more, and then work even more after that. We—“Pauses, as an assistant walks to the podium and whispers in his ear.
“Okay. I’m being told that we’re not allowed to work that much. Gotta give it to these guys up at the N.C.-double-A, boy, do they ever. Twenty-hour work weeks? What, are we in the U.A.W.?” Chuckles. Assistant walks up to the podium and whispers in his ear.
“So, let me just say that I did not intend to insult the fine autoworkers of this great state. But let’s not get sidetracked. What I want to talk about is tradition. Tradition is a funny word. It can mean a set of beliefs or practices passed down from one generation to another, or commonly repeated through social interaction. It’s also a word that gets thrown around by people who think they’re better than everybody else, but can’t think of an actual reason why. The Indians used to have a tradition called ‘sati,’ where a woman would jump on her husband’s funeral pyre and burn herself up like a piece of bacon in a grease fire. Indians like the funny ones on NBC, not—“ creates a wa-wa-wa sound by patting his mouth with his hand. “Another example of a tradition might be losing to USC by three touchdowns in the Rose Bowl. Do we have traditions where I come from? I don’t know, do you consider lightning-fast ninja quarterbacks and unstoppable offensive schemes which exploit any weakness in the opposition’s defense a tradition? I guess what I’m saying is: there’s a whole heck of a lot of traditions out there. And you might be proud of driving a Cadillac, but maybe you should be worried that the muffler’s about to fall off.’
“Many of you may not like me. Many of you may think I am a hick from the back country, unfit for the “refined atmosphere” of southeastern Michigan. And yes, I used my fingers as quotes to indicate sarcasm.’
“Okay look, let me promise you, whatever happens, we’re not gonna go 3-9 my first season. Or 5-7 my second. Or set a record for the worst bowl loss in school history. None of those things are going to happen. What, you don’t believe me? Here, I’ll bet you—“ he pulls a wad of hundred dollar bills from his jacket, and starts to count them out. “—Say, $100,000. No, it really isn’t that much money to me, folks. Can you say ‘buyout?’ But honestly, I want you to know, coaching is my life. I would do this job for free. I would also do this job for $2.5 million a year. Let’s go with Door Number Two, haha. ‘
“Let’s talk about Ohio State. Woo boy, do Tressel’s kids play themselves some ‘D.’ They sure tackle good. Kind of almost makes you nervous, watching them. That Tressel kills me. What a dork. I used to shove kids like that into my locker, growing up in West Virginia. And they were football players! Can you imagine what we did to the ones who played Dungeons and Dragons and talked about Star Trek? Just kidding. No one played Dungeons and Dragons or talked about Star Trek in West Virginia. But I guess that’s the kind of thing you Michigan boys like to talk about, on these ‘message boards,’ on your ‘blogs.’ So let me just make it clear: when I tell you to ‘get a life,’ I’m referring to the grown men who like to make elaborate internet posts comparing Aragorn and the Rohirrim’s stand at Helm’s Deep to the ’08 Ohio State game, or our football season to the catalogue of The Smiths. Who would like to argue with me that these people really DO need to get a life? Hmm? Anyone? I didn’t think so.’
“So I’d like to finish by playing you guys a song. It’s called I Haven’t Met You Yet, by a terrific young crooner named Michael Bublé. The song’s about young Michael knowing there’s a perfect girl for him out there, who he just hasn’t met yet. And after meeting you all, I have to say, this song seems very apropos, haha. I had to decide between this, Harry Connick Jr., and Vanessa Carlton, all personal favorites of mine.
You may ask: why would a football coach play music for his team that feels like it’s draining the testosterone out of their balls as they listen to it? Well, then you might as well ask why the same coach would import an exotic defensive scheme his coordinator’s never run before, or let a bunch of players he could really use leave the team. And I might ask why a school would name its mascot after one of the X-Men. What? It’s an animal? Is that it? Looks like a badger to me. Maybe X-Men isn’t such a bad idea. Can we look into it?
In conclusion, let me just say that I am so proud to become a member of “THE” University of Michigan. So let’s all go out and PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY! What? Why are you all staring at me like that? I feel a headache coming on.