Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Football coaches are pointless

Few things in professional sports are more annoying to me than the conceit that grown men need to be policed and personally disciplined by some meatheaded loudmouth in order to be successful. But for some reason this fascistic management theory continues to enjoy widespread buy-in among fans and commentators which is... well, you know it might help explain Trump, for example.

Anyway the reason I bring this up is I just read that NFL Hall of Famer Doug Atkins passed today.  According to this story, Atkins wasn't exactly what our more milquetoast sportswriters like to celebrate as a "character guy."  He and his team seemed to get by okay, though. 

In his years with the Bears, Atkins did not confine his quarrels with Halas to money issues. He bristled at Halas’s attempts to control him.

“There was a time when there was a question as to who was running the Chicago Bears, Doug Atkins or George Halas," the Hall of Fame lineman Stan Jones told The Chicago Tribune in 1994. “It was a very hot day early in the season. We came into the locker room and one of the customs was that we could have oranges and cold ice packs and things like that. But you couldn’t drink a Coke at halftime.”

When Atkins nonetheless grabbed a Coke, Halas demanded he turn it over. Atkins refused.
“Doug would take a swig of the Coke and the old man would grab the Coke,” Jones recalled. “And here we have a wrestling match going on at halftime.”

“We made the darnedest comeback and won the game,” Jones said. “The next day in The Chicago Tribune, the writer wrote, ‘We don’t know what Coach Halas said to that team at halftime, but it worked!’ ”

No comments: