|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Headstones Tops the “Rock”?
“Some time, Rock, when the team is
up against it… tell them to go in there with
all they’ve got and win one for the Gipper.
I don’t know where I will be then, Rock. But
I’ll know about it, and I’ll be happy.”
Now let’s reset the scene to 2011.
George Gipp is not dying but rather a high
school junior varsity player on one of the
worst teams ever, the Marcellus (N.Y)
Mustangs. The Mustangs are so inept they
just lost to Skaneateles.
Have you even heard of Skaneateles?
No? Well, don’t feel alone because very few
others had also and Marcellus is so bad they
lost to a never-heard-of team. Now
pretend you’re George Gipp, good enough to
someday play for Notre Dame, and you’ve just
been embarrassed by Skaneateles. How do you
inspire the coach to motivate the players to
rise up from the sorry trash pile of
ballplayers they’ve become and salvage their
season. After all, you can’t play the dying
Does Jim Marsh stop the Marcellus
bus? Yes, George, it appears you inspired
him. Does he make a speech? Yes, he
does. Does he make the two dozen players
exit the bus, walk into the cemetery and lay
down on the graves while giving his speech?
Yes, he… wait a moment! That’s not what you
intended, was it, George? For Coach Marsh to
make the guys lie down over the dead people
and say something like “the people
underneath would cherish the opportunity to
trade places with you players and fight to
George, he didn’t go that far, did
he? He did? Oh, gee, you need to be careful
in this coach inspiration business. You
can’t let the guy go all Jackie Sherill on
them. George, it’s one thing to have a
guy deliver a speech next to a cemetery, but
on the graves, lying on the grass? Mr.
Gipp, you must be more specific in what you
Need I remind you about Jackie Sherill, George? After your time? Sorry, but Jackie would take his Mississippi State players out to a working cattle ranch and make them watch the bulls get castrated.
Motivation? I’m not sure. Trying to
prove it takes a pair to play winning
football? You only get a couple of
opportunities and you could lose them? Be
grateful you’re a football playing human
being and not a bull?
|Silliman On Sports
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