I work in a big, big...really a ginormous company in which you have to interact with hundreds of people in a typical week. One of the ways I get along with people or try to get people to get along is to visualize the positions of the people I'm dealing with. It comes down to that old saw of "Walk a Mile in Another Man's Shoes". So, I've been thinking of frustration earlier in the season when, after yet another poor tackling game, the players and the coaches were asked about the game performance. Kenny V and others said, "Well, it is what it is."
To many, that seemed like a flippant or non-responsive answer - which further inflamed the fan base.
Thinking about it, I think it was the best he and the coaches could do.
Bear with me here.
Suppose your spouse was riding you with the following nag, "I don't know why you don't talk to my mother more when she comes to visit. You just take off and go somewhere and leave me with her. I could really use your help. I'm tired of making excuses for you explaining why you have to go to work the day before Thanksgiving." And on and on and on.
Married guys, you know the score here. You could say what's really on your mind:
- Your mother is a big fat cow who sits in the corner chewing her cud. She has the brain of a peanut, why should I waste any of my brain cells on her.
- If I go to work, then I get to surf the web and read sports blogs and maybe, possibly, do some work in between page loads. If I stay at home, I want to strangle your big fat cow of a mother.
- Seriously? You can't stand her. You're her own daughter, you have to stick around. I'm just married to you, but not to your cow of a mother.
Aaaaand, we know we can't say that. We say, "Well, it is what it is." Neutral, masking the depth of my anger that my mother-in-law has to even come once a year.
What could have Kenny V and the coaches said in response to the questions about poor tackling and completely blown assignments?
Burnt Orange Glasses
- We only care about the wins. How we got there is not important. We won at the end. It's not an individual game, it's a team game.
- They gave up more yards than us, and we won. So what?
- This won't matter if/when we end up in a major bowl. You're nit-picking at the actions, not focusing on the results.
- We'll have to take a look at the film and see where we can improve.
- While there were some minuses, there were some pluses during the game.
- Well....it is what it is.
Throw 'Em Under the Bus
- Some of the players have to get their faces out of the preseason magazines.
- We totally sucked out there. Our coaches made awful calls and we couldn't recover from those bad calls.
- Well, I did my job. Look at my tackles for the game. Look to see who whiffed on their tackles, it wasn't me.
When the Burnt Orange Glasses come out, we say that Mack and his players are out of touch with reality. When the Neutral comments come out, we say that they are being weasels and not answering the questions. If they come out and throw their coaches or teammates under the bus, we say that they've lost control of the team as everyone has dissolved into a "I'm just here for me, screw everyone else" mentality.
During the 5-7 season, I was shocked to see Mack call out the players AND the coaches. It made everyone (us angry villagers) happy, but it basically split the team and the coaches apart (any question why Muschamp was working on his exit strategy during the season?)
You want it the tough talk, but it has to be tough enough to show that "Mack is serious here", but you don't want it to be so tough that the locker room dissolves and the coaches start asking their agents to see if there are openings at Arkansas.
It is what it is, was the best that could be, with what they had....at the time.
Walk a mile in their shoes, Longhorn fans.