Sunday, January 31, 2010

Clinically Speaking...

Ahh, the "Clinic."  There is just so much to say about a Coaching Clinic that I have to pause to collect myself.  It is truly an overload of blogging material and I have to pace myself.  Otherwise, I just "overdo it" and end up feeling all bloated and out-of-sorts.  There is just so much to make fun of!!!

Today, we will be focusing on the "swag" that comes home with a coach after he attends a clinic.  When they sign into the clinic, or as they say "register," they get this big pile of stuff.  A coach walks up to the "registration" table and tries to act all cool-like.  But, on the inside, he's a little girl on Christmas morning staring at a box in the shape of a dollhouse:  "Oh my gosh!  What is it?!?!?  Is it a fanny pack?  Or a fabric briefcase?  Is there a clipboard inside?!?!  What color is my pen?  OK.  Stay cool...stay cool.  Do something coachy.  Is my team logo visible on my polo shirt?"

It is the stuff of legend. 
It is gaudy. 
It is covered with advertisements and emblems. 
It is usually some garish color.  "Hey Al, we got all this extra fabric that is the color of fungus.  You want me to throw it out?  Naw, sell it to one of those companies that makes swag for coaching clinics.  They love that stuff!"

Upon his triumphant return from a recent clinic, I catalogued the swag that Mr. Coach brought home.  It was pretty standard fare and a good representation of the normal haul of crap.  And it was literally crying out for me to make fun of it:

The Pen

This is standard swag.  I think there is a rule somewhere that you cannot have a clinic unless you give away a pen.  The clinic costs $200.  The pen is FREE

The Schedule of Events/Speakers

If you don't know anything about football jargon, then this schedule looks like a schizophrenic got a hold of a can of alphabet soup.  The topics are crazy and disjointed and there are alot of numbers and run-on sentences:  "Using Your Front Four in a Cover Two for Power Smash Wide Right Light Bulb Starfish Leprechaun Seven."   Huh?

The "Man Purse"

Wow.  I've got to pause and collect myself here.......OK, I think I am ready.  {inhale}
This bag is classic.  A color of yellow not found in nature, except maybe around the backside of a sick cow.  With beeeeautiful purple accents.  Just scrumptious. 

And it has these peculiar loops on each side.  We are left to painfully wonder why they are there.  I asked Mr. Coach, and he said that they are for an optional shoulder strap.  You must have to pay extra for that:  Clinic:  $200  Clinic with Shoulder Strap Option: $210.

The Lanyard

Coaches must have an inherent fear of sharp things, because they cannot wear a name tag with a pin in it.  It has to be worn around their neck on a lanyard of some kind.  It reminds me of some kind of leash or noose.  Both interpretations are a sad comment on coaching football:  Vascillating somewhere between the dog house and suicide.

The Beverage Caddy

What advertising mastermind came up with this?!?!  I don't think I have ever seen anyone under 50 years old OR not in or around a fishing boat that uses a beverage caddy, yet they are giving them away to the high school football coaching demographic.
I think we'll use ours to store any errant beer bottle caps I find around the house.

The Power Point Presentation

There inevitibly is one of these in a registration packet.  It is always about some product or new defense or offense that is going to revolutionize the game.

This one in particular scares me.  It is about a "new" helmet that "all but eliminates head injuries."  Here is the part that scares me:  the name.  It is called the "Xenith XI."  What the heck happened to Xenith's I through X?!  Are there a bunch of laboratory rats out there that slur their words and have crossed eyes that tried out the previous 10 helmets?  Doesn't "Zenith" mean "the pinnacle"  or "the best?"  Shouldn't those first few helmets be named "Almost Good Enough" or "Not Quite There?"

Some well-meaning soul took alot of time on this.  But sadly, at a coaching clinic, it is flipped over and used for scratch paper.  X's and O's.  Arrows.  Squares.  Phone numbers of coaches we are going to call to trade film.

Why are there so many coaches named "Bambi" or "Tessa?"

And why is it written in lipstick?

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