The Turnaround: Cliches and the NCAA

Lubbock Westerners football

by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

It’s mid-week and our Laguna Beach vacation is at the halfway point. I’m trying to
enjoy as much of it as I can. It goes by way too fast.

I’m writing this particular blog on Wednesday morning with the waves crashing in on the beach, some fifty yards or so from me. Talk about mental clarity! Relaxing
at its best, right now. Gathering my thoughts and listening to the Pacific. Doesn’t
get any better than this.

Naturally, I’m thinking about football. And, this of course a football based blog. So,
I will tune-out the ocean and get into some blog material. It always seems like I
have a lot to write. Not sure if that is a good thing for a bad thing.

I Hate Cliches

If you read this blog, you know I hate cliches. For instance when people say “it is
what it is.” Gee, thanks. Didn’t realize it wasn’t what it was, for crying out loud.

Anyway, there are a ton of cliches that get floated around football and it irritates
me to my core. One particular one is when coaches say “we need a good fight.”

What they mean is, they want to see someone get angry, pissed off, and get into a fight to energize the team. These words are usually uttered during fall camp.

Since Day One, I have always thought this to be ridiculous, elementary-level thinking. Thankfully, Bill Belichick feels the same way I do.

Yesterday, at Patriots training camp Coach B kicked two players out of practice for
fighting, one of whom was Julian Edelman. That’s a big name to be tossed-out of
practice for getting into a fight. But I love it!

You cannot be a coach and boast about chemistry, family etc. and condone in-fighting on the practice field. How does that make sense? It’s the opposite of what coaches preach. Furthermore, last time I checked, fighting in a game leads to ejection. So let’s throw in the “you play like you practice” cliche to this scenario.

If you are a coach and condone some fights on the practice field, are you not condoning fighting during games? Play like you practice, right? Ridiculous.

Fighting amongst teammates to provide a spark in practice or whatever excuse they have doesn’t fly with me. At LHS it doesn’t happen and it is driven into their heads that we don’t allow it or condone it. We preach this daily. Sure, every team has a disagreements. But, we fix it and move on without throwing a punch.

Real life application: You cannot get into an argument at your place of work and
fight with a co-worker. You get fired. Maybe even arrested. I’m all about teaching
real life applications for our kids to learn from. That’s how we go about our
business.

So, awesome job Coach B! Good to see someone sticking with what they believe and not caving into the goofy culture of cliches.

The NCAA

The billion dollar industry of the NCAA is out of control. It’s has been for a long
time. There is no end in sight to their madness, either.

I had to chuckle last night when I came across an article about the UCF kicker.

Apparently, he was booted from his team by the NCAA for “monetizing” his YouTube account. I didn’t read the article. because it would have infuriated me. But the level of hypocrisy on this one must be through the roof.

So the kid was making money. The NCAA makes money off kids every day. But, they boot this kid for making money and strip him of his career? As I said, I didn’t read it.

I could be way out of the know on this one. But the headline alone was double-take
worthy, especially because it was coming from the hypocritical NCAA. The same
institution who was nailed kids for eating to much pasta.

Keep on ridding the world of big time troublemakers, NCAA. I am right here laughing at you the whole way.

Randomness

-Football is the safest it has ever been since its invention. Technology, resources
and research have made our game as safe as it can be right now. It will continue to
get safer along the way. There will be a blog coming on this topic in the near
future.

-Pearl Jam is a very good band. Not sure if anyone over the age of 15 has heard of
them. Garbage music today. I feel bad for the younger generation.

-The Heisman race this year will be Darnold from USC and Barkley from PSU. Will be an awesome race. The two best players in the country. My blog, my opinion.

-ESPN has jumped the shark. Unbearable TV. Let me know when they get back to sports. Maybe I will tune in again.

-Oh before I forget, the NCAA playoff thing is a sham. Wanted to mention that
earlier. Luckily I just remembered it.

I think that about covers what I’m thinking this morning listening to the waves crash.

Until next time…. FIO.

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.