There once was a deputy called Fife,
Who carried a gun and a knife.
The gun was all dusty,
And his knife was all rusty,
'Cause he never caught a crook in his life.
-Poem from The Andy Griffin Show regarding bungling deputy Barney Fife
I'm going to start by saying that I love San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, but the "Aura of Barney Fife" that he brings to the table is simply not cutting it. A head coach's aura or vibe is picked up by the team and players become like that vibe.
Randy Moss with the Raiders, terrible. Randy Moss with the Patriots, hall of fame caliber.
Deion Branch with the Patriots, Super Bowl MVP. Deion Branch with the Seahawks, also-ran.
While we all wait for Norv's squad to win 8 to 10 games in a row to end the season, I am more concerned with the silliness that is San Diego's slow starts for the past four seasons under Norv. A simple way to look at things is Norv's guys simply do not handle the fundamentals until the midway point of the season.
These guys are basically playing themselves into mental shape every season under Norv and it's ridiculous. Every year there is some huge mental lapse in one area or another that prevents the team from winning at the beginning of the year.
Norv isn't doing anything wrong, however. Norv is a fiery guy and has superb attention to detail, but the spirit of Norv is basically the spirit of Forrest Gump.
Norv's mind is bringing superb attention to details and superior X's and O's. His body is relaying fiery intensity. Unfortunately, his spirit is instilling all the command of Adam Sandler in The Water Boy.
Norv is probably as fierce as Bill Parcells ever was when it comes to getting rid of a guy who is repeatedly making mistakes, but either you're intimidating or your not. You are either a leader of men or a front man (for AJ Smith?).
Norv's accomplishments say he deserves respect, but his presence doesn't command respect. The problem with not commanding respect is that the people under you do not develop into their full potential unless they are self starters. Most people simply do not have this in them.
For example, play and wrestle around with a six year old child for three days and then try to tell them what to do. Too late! You've already conveyed the aura of a clown. Your threats of a spanking will only lead to an actual spanking. You could have avoided spanking the child in the first place if you acted like a responsible adult in the first place (Warning, do not take my advice on kids. I don't have any!).
This season, Norv has even done away with the annoying self deprecating humor and turned up the testiness, but it's too late. The players couldn't even stay focused with the threat of unemployment looming over their heads. Why? Because the player's minds could not overcome the spiritual notion that Norv is a buffoon that doesn't need to be followed.
Even though that notion is false.
Norv's aura says “humble buffoon.” Even though we all know he's neither humble nor a buffoon.
Look at Pittsburgh Steelers Coach and Super Bowl Champion Mike Tomlin. His aura says “intense, no nonsense guy who won't accept screw ups.” While everyone knows that this description also fits Norv, his spirit still says “Chris Farley from Saturday Night Live.”
The spirit affects one's mindset, the mind controls one's body, and the body produces results. San Diego's results stink with a miserable 2-4 record.
With the season slipping away, the Chargers are about to go into full panic mode. Good for Norv. Maybe now his team will focus as they usually do down the stretch.
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