We just need to execute. It’s going to be a tough game, but we need to be prepared physically and mentally and stick to our game plan.
That, my friends, is a template given to coaches and players to read whenever a member of the media asks a question.
We like to think that the coaching gurus and athletes are holding back from speaking their minds, no matter how arrogant, pretentious, or honest the responses are.
We take the cliché quotes from the weekend and alter them — only a bit. Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente finally got the answer he was looking for.
“First of all, congratulations to coach Babers and his kids. They played really well today and deserved to win the ball game. They beat us in all three phases of the game. That falls on me. We obviously didn’t play as well as we should have. That’s obviously my responsibility.”
What Fuente probably wanted to say:
“Ah okay, see, I knew that Syracuse’s slogan sounded familiar. It’s kind of cool, it’s ‘orange is the new fast.’ And here I’m thinking, ‘isn’t that the name of that Netflix show? The one where the blonde girl is in prison and makes a bunch of friends?’ I haven’t gotten around to it because my neighbor changed the password on his account.”
“Tennessee has a really good team. I thought this would be a difficult game for us. Our players certainly did a good job.”
What Saban probably wanted to say:
“I know people view me as a stern person, so I get asked the question of ‘do I ever cry.’ The answer is yes, and the last time I cried was back in June when everyone said that Tennessee was the sleeper in the SEC. The Volunteers have been the dark horse team each preseason since 31 B.C. and I love it. I don’t know what it’s like to be a sleeper. Is it fun? Do you get to catch extra naps? I wouldn’t know because I’m too busy coaching teams in January. More like Rocky Bottom in my opinion, ha.”
“It’s not acceptable. I’m upset about it. And I think the best thing you do is you go to work. The only thing we can do as a team is look ourselves in the mirror, each individual guy – starting with me – (and say), ‘What can I do better to help this team?’ We have to improve. We have to get better.”
What Smart probably wanted to say:
“I blame this peasant” [points to offensive coordinator Jim Chaney].
Smart: “Because your play calling sucks [laughs].”
Chaney: “Dude, you just lost Vanderbilt.”
Smart: “No, you did.”
Chaney: No, you did.”
[Cowboy by Kid Rock begins playing over the speakers, in which Chaney and Smart begin body slamming one another through media tables].
“Football is like life, it’s a journey, not a single event. It stings and it hurts, you don’t want to be going through it. I don’t want this feeling and to experience it, but you’re going to in this conference … but it has to be a journey mentality. You can’t just define yourself by one event. That was my message (to the team), let’s go back, let’s get ready, and get excited about competing in another SEC road game.”
What Freeze probably wanted to say:
“Actually, I think I have something. Now, it’s a bit whacky. But you know what would be cool? Here me out, guys [five second pause].
“How about we just play the first half and whichever team is up going into halftime wins the game? Not trying to send any subliminal messages but I think that’s what we should do. Honestly, it just came to me the other day; it wasn’t something that I had planned out after we blew a second-half lead to Florida State and then Alabama and then Arkansas. Thoughts?”