Not a Super Week for the Super Bowl: Tony Dungy Needs to Mentor Coaches
New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said he wanted to get some shots (clean or otherwise) on Peyton Manning in this week’s upcoming Super Bowl. Chalk this up as just another angry coach in what seems to be one of the fastest growing gene pools in sports. Where have all the Tony Dungys gone?
Violent hits and a smack-em-in-the-mouth kind of attitude is a big part of the NFL and many sports, but there are classy ways and unclassy ways to handle one’s self when speaking about the game. Everyone knows that every team’s goal is to get after the quarterback. How you say it is another thing.
Williams could have said, “We need to generate some pressure this week to better our chance of turnovers.” It means the same thing. Perhaps Dungy should spend less time with troubled players and more with the coaches that are mentoring these players.
Coaches are blowing up more and more frequently. Whether it is during the press conference (Dennis Green) or on the sidelines (Bobby Knight) or at recreational events (Rex Ryan) they are happening more often than ever. Some Web sites have even featured Top 10 coaching meltdowns, which illustrates the problem even further. People tend to think these outbursts are funny and make for good entertainment…but what happens when your kids are involved?
I think we all can remember the peewee league coach rushing the field and body checking a kid five yards down the field after a missed late hit penalty. This is something that needs to stop.
The numbers for Tony Dungy speak for themselves. As a head coach he compiled an eye popping 139 wins to just 69 loses. He coached six division championships.
However his off the field work defines him further with his advocacy for getting involved in local communities and charities. His recent mentoring of Michael Vick has been well documented and Vick seems to have made it a full year keeping his name only in the sports section of the news.
In 2007 (the last Super Bowl Dungy coached in) one could read about the super bowl and find headlines like John Clayton’s “Smith, Dungy will make this a classy Super Bowl.” This year we have shows, like Mike and Mike in the Morning , debating the issue of bounties being put on players and the barbaric aspects of the game.
The Super Bowl is supposed to be a celebration of the game, not a week to show the world its faults.
Over the last several years we have seen a continuing increase of information on how to deal with “angry coaches.” Several college campuses have information packets on how to deal with angry/violent coaches and steps to take to cope with them.
I often hear people saying that they don’t even know what Jim Caldwell sounds like because he hardly ever speaks and doesn’t spend the whole game barking up and down the sideline. Perhaps this is from spending time with Dungy.
So even if the NFL is our era’s version of the gladiators there is a classy way to conduct one’s self while involved in it. Dungy, if you’re reading this, please sit down with the younger coaches and let’s make sure this trend doesn’t continue.
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