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Mike Sherman Wants You At Texas AM

Greetings Promising Negro Athlete!

I am Mike Sherman. The head coach of the Fightin' Texas Aggies. Pleased to meet you.

Your home is very pleasing and I like the way you pronounce the word "aunt."

I like this barcalounger very much. Just going to ease down and take a load off - Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, that's nice. The plastic traps heat nicely.

Each shift of my buttocks unfolds a new wrinkle of warmth and security.

Now.

I want to tell you about Texas A&M, the unique pride of Aggie spirit, what we have to offer, and...

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Gwa-wha?...(snort)...ishappened? Shermwasnapping?

Good Golly, I nodded off! Without my hemorrhoid doughnut. And your family stacked grape drink cans on me. All in ten minutes.

Mmmm? It's quarter to nine? So four hours, then. Goodness, me. Might we just catch the end of Matlock? That Andy Griffith plays possum until the final scene and then he brings it all together. Just fine television. Not like that CSI foolishness.

So, Texas A&M. That's why I'm here. I'm the head coach. Really surprised by that. To this day.

We're a large public school in Texas. We're just over an hour from Houston. We care a lot about football. The state produces 325 FBS players per year and...

...we're bad at football.

Ha ha! Right. Yes, I don't get it either. It's VERY puzzling. It's almost as if there's something deep within us, something badly broken, that thwarts us.

But we're going to change all of that. Program momentum is up. We were 6-7 last year. We went to a bowl! In Shreveport. Heard of it? Yes, THAT Shreveport. The Independence Bowl gave all of our players iPods and Macaroni Grill gift certificates. Macaroni Grill is too spicy for my tastes. The food burns my mouth like Heinz catsup or yogurt. I will be shucking and jiving to Christopher Cross and Mel Torme once I convert my tape cassettes to digital though.

Now, take away the 60 point loss to Kansas State, the blowout to Arkansas, a loss to a 3-9 Colorado team, the loss to our rival on our home field, a blowout bowl loss to a bad Georgia team quarterbacked by an albino, and we're 11-2.

Do you see the momentum we just established - right here - in this living room? Playing pretend. Using the powers of imagination.

I'm a players' coach. I want to be your friend.

I want to be the fella you confide in when your best girl has you down. Or when you don't know who to ask to the sock hop. Maybe you'd just like to go out and play a little snooker? Work a crossword puzzle together. Get out the croquet mallets.

I keep a snort of rye in my upper desk drawer, but that's just between us. Maybe we'll just talk the fight game. Rocky Marciano. Jack Dempsey. Gene Tunney. The long count. Primo Carnera!

Who is your favorite Davis Cup captain of all time? Mine is Bill Tilden. A real gentleman. I wish they still played in long pants and sweaters.

Do you like harness racing as much as I do?

Will you be Mike Sherman's friend?

I'd like to be yours. I understand the pressures of youth today. The marijuana cigarettes. Switchblades. Rumbles. Talking back sassy to teachers. Busting milk bottles on front porches. I'm not as out of touch as rival recruiters paint me.

Say, do you happen to know who BRETT FAVRE is? Of the NFL? Let me pause meaningfully and let you absorb that.

PAUSE.

I made him who he is today. He came to me an ignorant indestructible hick playing solely on instinct and I transformed him into an ignorant indestructible hick playing solely on instinct.

My coaching philosophy? Simple. Plentiful rest, high fiber, 75 SPF sunscreen, naps, Docker pants with flexi-waistbands, and winning.

Has our recruiting been a little slow? I don't know. Are three toed tree sloths slow? It's a matter of perspective. To a saguaro cactus, it's a very fast animal.

Sure, Texas will get their guys.

Then Oklahoma.

LSU. Oklahoma State. Texas Tech.

Then TCU.

SMU. Baylor.

Colorado School of Mines.

Yeshiva.

The Culinary Institute of America.

But if you think SFA and Rice are going to consistently whip us on the recruiting trail, fella, I've got ocean front property in College Station to sell you.

I can see you're persuaded by the way you're avoiding eye contact with me. Just think it over. We only offer 130 to 140 guys each year, tops.

We knew when the Letter Of Intent hit you from the crop duster offer strafing at the Dallas Nike Camp that you were special.

Come to A&M, son. You won't regret it. And if you do regret it, you can always join the merchant marine or go hoboing.

Look into my sleepy, unblinking eyes. And clasp my hand in warm companionship.

Do I have your commitment?