Coachspeak is a language all its own

October 26, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

All throughout America, sportswriters head to football games - or any other sport for that matter - and, as the contest moves on, they begin to assemble in his/her mind questions to ask a coach following the game. We'll also do the same with our questions when doing a pregame interview.

Somewhere along the line in becoming a coach, there must have been a class in the school curriculum they've had to pass.

It's a conclusion sportswriters reach from their diet of interviews. Under certain circumstances the interviewer can almost predict ahead of time what the coach will say.

Here's the way Answers 101 has been taught:

· Situation: The Purple Mops just lost their 60th straight game and haven't scored in the last 25.

Question to the winning Blue Goons coach: "Did you expect much of a fight?"

Answer: "I really wouldn't want to say. The Mops' record certainly isn't indicative of what they're capable of doing. They have some fine talent and if they put it together they will be tough."


· Situation: Sagebrush High School hasn't completed a pass this season, but it has out-rushed its opponents by more than 400 yards a game.

Question to the Eastwood High School coach: "Does this necessarily mean that you will pull in your defensive backfield to the line?"

Answer: "I won't know until the game. We're going to see what they do against us and take it from there with any adjustments."

· Situation: Sudsville High School has an offensive line that averages close to 300 pounds per man, nearly 100 pounds more than Dryville High, which it just beat.

Question to winning coach: "It seems your backfield ran through huge holes tonight."

Answer: "Well, for their size they have quick hands and feet."

· Situation: SlamJam High School has an all-senior team and through the first seven games has seven shutouts.

Question: "Coach, you haven't lost yet, you've beaten three ranked teams and really haven't had any difficulty. How do things look the rest of the season?"

Answer: "We're not looking at it that we've had it easy. We still have three games left and taking each of them one game at a time."

· Situation: It's Week 10 and Burgerville High School has just lost again for a 0-10 record.

Question: "Coach, could you talk about the season as a whole?"

Answer: "It was a hard season and a rebuilding year. If you look at the results of the games, we were always in every game. We just missed the big play or it could have been a different story."

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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