Friday, February 21, 2014

Never Provide "Bulletin Board" Material

I could not believe my eyes! On Bob Weeks' blog site ( for today, Feb. 21 in the post "British Coach Takes A Swipe At Jacobs Before Gold Medal Match", Bob reported the comments of the Great Britain men's coach prior to the gold medal game versus Canada (Team Jacobs). I had no difficulty with "what" he said, in fact, I share much the same feelings and I'll explain my position on that later in this post but I have to take issue with the "forum and timing" he chose to express his feelings. Yikes, what was he thinking?

In essence he spoke out against the antics of Team Jacobs and the outward displays of emotion from time-to-time. But why on earth would he make his feelings public prior to the game for the Olympic gold medal and provide Team Jacobs with exactly the same incentive he feels Team Jacobs provides for its opponent? That's the part I don't understand.

Heh coach, I'm with you. When a team reacts overtly to a situation in a game, be it positive or negative, its opponent will be watching and when a member of the team slams a brush for example, I too feel it emboldens his/her opponent. I love to see the opposition bang brushes, kick stones etc. as I know we're into their head. Teams that do that will defend their actions by playing the "passion card". Well, go ahead and play that card but you do so at your own peril! I don't think it's a risk worth taking and it appears neither does the GB men's coach.

I hope when he made those statements he had the blessing of all the members of Team GB and its entourage. If he did it independently, I think if I were a member of a team about to do battle with a team that's on an extended winning streak and starting the game with last stone advantage for an Olympic title, I'd be a little miffed (or insert descriptive phrase of your choice here if "miffed" is a little mild). That's a distraction I would not need.

Call me old school but I prefer the counsel of a CFL/NFL coach of yesteryear whose words I have used before. His name is Bud Grant and he issued the following "suggestion" to his players. "When you score a touchdown, you have two choices. You may drop the ball onto the ground and jog to the bench or you may hand the ball to the nearest official and jog to the bench. Make it look like you've been there before and you're coming back real soon!"

The last thing a team (and the coach is a member of the team) wants to do is provide "bulletin board" material for an  upcoming opponent. What the GB coach said prior to the gold medal game might have had no affect on the outcome but why take the chance?


  1. I can see the argument for not letting frustration show at the elite level, but not celebrating good shots (which might allow you to get into the heads of the opposition) doesn't make sense to me, celebrate accomplishment (don't celebrate opposition misses - bad form).

    At the club level, a little broom bashing helps purge the frustration, which is better (in my mind) than bottling up the frustration. We don't, after all, have a team of sports psychologists helping us find inner calm...

  2. Part of the problem is that the British team was coached by a Swede. There’s my tribute to Don Cherry.

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