Every sport has it's coach.
The baseball coach is an old grandpa of a man, his skin leathery like a glove from endless summers spent under the sun. His playing days over, he’s now set in his ways, ironic, when you consider what a baseball uniform is: probably the exact opposite of the kind outfit he’d throw together when he’s not on the diamond.
Look at him spit that oddly-colored fluid and make bizarre, alien hand gestures to the third base coach. Is he sending the runner or is he senile? Who knows.
The football coach will go one of two ways: the well-stomached, mustachioed fellow, or your slick, skinny, Tony Dungy-esque guy, introducing those newfangled modern techniques.
Anger is a big factor here, and it always seems to be building, as the outbursts of a football coach come less frequently than in baseball or basketball, but with wilder gesticulations and googlier eyes.
The basketball coach is merely the indoor version of the football coach. He/she’s dressed classier, which makes it seem more likely that what he/she’s shouting is actually intelligible and constructive.
In reality, it’s probably just as vulgar and saliva-fueled as anything a burly guy with a mustache and a headset has to scream. Also, he/she can throw chairs. Check out D'Antoni up there. Settle down, Mike. Your teeth are going to explode.
Finally, the hockey coach.
First of all, they’re noticeably thinner, and stand always with folded arms. This may be from spending the duration of the game in a room that has a thick sheet of ice instead of a floor.
But if you were to line up the stereotypical notions of all four coaches, which one would you assume had plans to kill the President?
Say hello to John Stevens, head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. Or, don’t. You may find yourself waking up in an empty warehouse, duct taped to an office chair, your last memory being the extension of his hand to shake yours. Let’s review some of the pictorial evidence that he is a psychopath.
If your first thought wasn't "OH MY GOD HE'S LOOKING RIGHT AT ME," than congratulations are in order, because you are "Daredevil, the man without fear." Does anyone know the whereabouts of the photographer that took this picture? I do: The morgue.
Just kidding. He's way too much of a professional for that. The body's probably floating down the Delaware or inside a piano, somehow.
Do you see how he keeps his right hand concealed? That's the mark of a pro. Any minute now, the muffled blast of a silenced-pistol shot will fill the air, fired at precisely the right moment, most likely coinciding with an eruption of noise in the arena.
And before anyone notices, a man across the rink is dead, his popcorn spilling to the floor.
"How could I have done it?" Stevens asks in the interrogation that follows. "I was too busy coaching the game..."
Doubt me. Has there ever been an image in the history of photography that more so led you to believe it would come to life and strangle you with piano wire? What's he about to say?
"Please get that camera out of my face," Stevens "suggests" in a disturbingly serene tone of voice. Strange, isn't it, that over the din and commotion of a professional hockey game, you hear his voice clear as a bell.
A bell that tolls for thee.
"Rig the Penguins' bus to explode," Stevens whispers to an underling.
"What?" he responds, perplexed.
"Never mind. I'll take care of it myself."
The buzzer goes off signaling second intermission, and the Flyers look around for their coach.
"What's the plan for the third period?" they ask, turning to each other. Seconds before play begins, Stevens appears, a scrape on his arm and wreaking of kerosene, as he hastily puts back on his suit jacket.
"I want to see 110% out there, guys," he barks to no one in particular. "Not that it matters...either way, we win," he whispers to himself, allowing a small, serpentine grin to spread across his face.
The Flyers starting line exchange confused glances before Stevens' patented icy death stare silently infiltrates their minds, forcing them onto the ice.
There's a dangerous silence behind those eyes. It may appear to be "just a team photo," almost high school-esque in its awkward portrayal of a serious man with serious intentions.
But what's hidden under that suit coat? Ninja stars? A laser? A big snake to throw at Sidney Crosby when he's walking out of Victoria's Secret with a bag stuff "for his girlfriend?"
I never want to find out. But should that solid, cold gaze that chills the blood and fractures the spine ever find you, chances are, you'll know better than the rest of us. And it will be all too late.