Translating Classic College Football Coach Speak

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Translating Classic College Football Coach Speak
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

If you’ve ever thought about ways to link college football with power politics, try considering the relationship between spin and coach speak.

Indeed, while the former allows politicians to verbally avoid tough questions by answering with evasive, issue-twisting and ultimately confusing dialogue the latter allows head football coaches the same type of defense mechanism against queries they can’t or won’t answer.

And basically, it’s the same road that leads to nowhere.

The following slideshow celebrates the concept of “coach speak” by translating nine classic verbal maneuvers coaches employ in specific scenarios to avoid answering difficult or ludicrous questions.

Whether they utilize an “I’m not saying, I’m just staying” strategy, throw out a bunch of unrelated coaching  jargon or attempt to make something look good when it’s obviously crap; it’s all spin and it happens all the time.

Since the ultimate goal for coaches is winning and keeping their jobs, what gridiron leaders say to the media can do one of three things.

First, the words he uses with the press can hurt a guy by virtue of him being too honest.  Next, the contact could help him if he is skilled at utilizing an ultra-concerned demeanor to hide the fact that he’s not really answering any questions directly.

Lastly, it could generate zero net effect, a result that can only be achieved by delicately riding the line between honesty and spin.


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