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Week 9 cliché quote converter: Harbaugh yearns for Paul Bunyan

Jim Harbaugh
Steven King/Icon Sportswire

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. On to the winged helmets, where Jim Harbaugh is simply hypnotized by Paul Bunyan.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh on Michigan State clawing back, in spite of a 32-23 victory:

“We were tested in all phases. We were sure that was going to be the case, and our guys made the plays, from start to finish. Tight game … Good for our guys to be tested that way, and good for the guys to come through.”

What Harbaugh probably wanted to say:

“In no way, shape, or form was I going to let Michigan State take home Mr. Bunyan again [props the Paul Bunyan Trophy onto table]. Look at this little fella [holds Bunyan up to his face]. You’re so strong, Paul. Here, take some cow [tries to jam a piece of steak into Bunyan’s mouth]. I didn’t know that whichever team won got to take this little collectible guy home. It’s like a free Happy Meal. Ha, wow, we’re going to kill Michigan State every year. This thing is nifty.”

That’s the Harbaugh we know is lurking beneath the surface.

Here’s Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall on the Cavaliers’ 32-25 loss to Louisville, in which the Cardinals scored a last-minute, come-from-behind touchdown to win:

“We’ll take whatever we can and everything we can from this game and improve on it and learn and grow and continue to move the program forward. But again I was lucky to be the coach of the University of Virginia today and be part of this football program and this team. The players tried as hard as I’ve seen the team try for as long as I’ve seen them try.”

What Mendenhall probably wanted to say:

“All you have to do is make one stop and you can walk into any dive bar you want in Virginia and drink for free. I had this postgame [takes out crumbled piece of paper from pocket] speech ready for when we won the game. Literally wrote it during Louisville’s last drive. Pretty much told our defense to play prevent because I was too busy trying to think of how great it was going to be to become Twitter famous. Obviously, that’s not the case [throws paper and makes it into trash can]. Oh, baby! KOBE! [keeps follow-through arm up in the air].

“Look, we lost to Louisville by 7 and Florida State lost to the Cardinals by 43. That makes us better than the Seminoles.”

Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the Volunteers’ 24-21 loss to South Carolina, the third straight loss for Tennessee:

“Mark my words, there’s a lot of football left to be played. ..There’s no need to panic.”

What Jones probably wanted to say:

“This team is a dumpster fire and I look forward to coaching a program that doesn’t look like a bunch of orange Crème Savers when it takes the field.”

Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl on the Cowboys’ upset win over ranked Boise State:

“I think there are wins that you look back on that I think help define a program, and this is one of them. We have a great deal of respect for Boise and [head] coach [Bryan] Harsin.”

What Bohl probably wanted to say:

“Oh, Boise State’s field has always been blue? I didn’t know that. I just thought the Broncos went straight to their turf after we beat them and started crying everywhere. Pansies. Good luck picking up all the ducks who die because they dive head first thinking that the blue turf is water. Unreal. Someone get PETA on those criminals.”

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