Once upon a time there was a man who was hired as a professional football coach even though he had never played football and had absolutely no coaching experience.
However, many of the team’s fans liked his swagger and the way he mocked the previous coach and insulted all the other current candidates for the job. He promised to make the team great again and pledged that other teams would be afraid to play them.
He went all over the country and told people how great a coach he would be. To a group of fans gathered in Washington D.C. he said, “We will have so much winning when I get hired that you will get bored with winning.”
To a gathering in Albany, New York, he said, “We’re gonna win so much you may even get tired of winning and you’ll say please, please, it’s too much winning! We can’t take it anymore!”
One November night the man was named the new coach. Most people were quite surprised. For some it was a happy surprise. For others it was a shock.
The new coach was given a 4-year contract and began hiring many assistant coaches, and like the head coach many of them had never played football nor had any football coaching experience either. People hoped that the coach and his staff would have meetings in the coach’s big white house to learn important things about the rules and strategy of playing football.
Two years later the team was really struggling. There hadn’t been much winning. There seemed to be many football rules that the coach did not understand or like. He often wanted to make up new rules. There was much division in the team.
However, in August the coach said on a TV show, “I would give myself an A+. I don’t think any coach has ever done what I’ve done in the short, we haven’t even been two years.”
The teacher must’ve been grading on a steep curve and apparently coaches are not required to speak in complete sentences.
A few months later into the season the coach reiterated his self-assessment to an interviewer. “Look, I hate to do it, but I will do it, I would give myself an A+,” “Is that enough? Can I go higher than that?”
It was widely known that the coach did not like to read about offense or defense, did not watch game film, and did not like to take advice from his assistant coaches. One day the coach said to a reporter, “I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.”
It was clear the coach had a gut, a big gut in fact, and many people were growing increasingly concerned about what his gut was telling him.
The coach had a pet parrot named Twitter; and Twitter repeated everything the coach and his gut said to the bird.
The coach was often vocal and harsh in his criticism of his staff even though when he hired them he said they were brilliant. Insults included “weak,” “wacky,” “low life,” “lazy as hell”, and “dumb as a rock,” to name a few.
There was a lot of turnover on the coach’s staff. It seemed like every week that some assistant coach or associate was resigning, being fired, or getting arrested.
To most people on the outside it looked the coach’s large administration was in constant chaos. But the coach repeatedly insisted that his staff was “running like a well-oiled machine.”
Many people wondered what staff the coach was looking at. Others wondered if he understood what a well-oiled machine looks like and does.
Whenever there was a problem and the team was struggling, the coach blamed the sports reporters. He did not like newspapers and reporters. He labeled any negative reporting about him as “fake news.” He called the press “the enemy of the people,” a term actually used by Stalin, Mao, and the Nazis. The coach did not read much about history so he likely did not know that.
But the coach did watch lots of television. Actually, he mainly watched one channel and he liked it very much because the people on camera said that everything the coach did was wonderful.
Then one day, many different men and women began announcing that they wanted to be the team’s new leader in 2020 when the coach’s contract is up. It seemed like every day a new person declared themselves to be a candidate, including one guy named Howard who owns a coffee shop.
Observing everything from a distance, the fans became very divided and disagreed about many things. But one thing they did agree on: the next two seasons were shaping up to be even crazier than the first two.
Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin (www.ramonpressontherapy.com) and the author of several books. Reach him at
firstname.lastname@example.org. To read Presson’s previous columns go to www.franklinhomepage.com/?s=ramon+presson