I wrote to Peter King, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, about his opinion today on cnnsi.com that the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper was wrong for removing sports writer Tony Grossi as Brown’s beat writer for publishing a tweet criticizing the Cleveland Browns owner. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/01/30/superbowl/index.html
Grossi sent a tweet intended to be private for a friend. By mistake, he published it publicly. The tweet said called the Brown’s owner a “pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world.” King “disagreed vehemently” with the newspaper’s decision to remove Gross.
I sent Mr. King my opinion that I disagreed vehemently with his opinion. Here’s why:
1. if the tweet was intended to be private, he knew it was wrong to publish it publicly
2. publishing a message by mistake has zero credibility. If he didn’t mean to send it publicly, the message is meaningless.
3. 140 characters or less is a baseless, unjustified opinion. Without evidence to back it up, the opinion is meaningless – zero value, zero credibility.
4. S/he who asserts must prove. The name-caller has the burden of proof, the onus to present evidence. Calling a person “pathetic” and “irrelevant” without evidence proves nothing. It’s meaningless name-calling.
Those who can, do. Those who can’t resort to name-calling.
I’ve coached football for 40 seasons and never have or never will understand football’s contradictions and myths. That’s why my teams have a 20-year no-kicking streak.
Last week’s soccer games called NFL conference championship playoffs were boring. The Baltimore Ravens were taught a lesson that will never be learned – never leave a game in the hands/foot of a kicker. I’ve got no sympathy for anyone who loses with a missed kick. If the NFL banned field goals in the last two minutes and in overtime, the NFL would dramatically improve instantly. The thought of a kicker making or breaking an NFL season is a joke. If you love kicking, watch soccer.
The NFL and the entire football culture is one of the greatest contradictions in all of society. Lots of tough talk, smash-mouth, etc. then they trot out a kicker to boot a ball over the heads of guys who bloodied themselves for over 59 minutes. Foolish. Height of stupidity. No sport operates like football. There is no equivalent in any sport of a non-factor player deciding the outcome of a game. 59 minutes of hell decided by a player who has never been through hell. Makes no sense whatsoever. The reason why kicking is accepted instead of going-for-it is the Power of Conformity. Following aimless, fearing being different, and horribly misusing the word ‘risk’. Risk involves actual life-and-death, not what to do on 4th-and-1 with elite athletes on your offense.
Kicking field goals to win games is worse than shootouts winning hockey games and soccer games. It’s unimaginable to have the Super Bowl participants decided on a missed chip shot and a made OT chip shot. No team should get or be excluded from the Super Bowl because of a kicker. Anti-climatic and downright boring. Football is the biggest evidence of conformity – fear of breaking from conventional thinking, fear of being different.
Last week, the Baltimore Ravens had 3rd & 1 and 4th & 1 on the New England Patriots 15…the vaunted Ravens running game versus the worst defense in the NFL. If the NFL banned field goals in the last 2 minutes, the Baltimore Ravens would be in the Super Bowl, assuming their alleged vaunted running game could gain a mere one yard against the worst defense in the NFL. By the way, I am not a fan of any NFL team, just anti-kicking.
Same with overtime. How does football justify allowing tough guys like the New York Giants to end a game with what amounts to a soccer kicker? No idea how anyone can get excited about a kicker winning a game with Manning, Bradshaw, Jacobs, Cruz, Nicks et al standing on the sidelines as spectators. Who would you rather watch – Giants offense or a kicker? Cheapest way of winning in all of sports. And watching a kicker celebrate like he just won the lottery is the most annoying image in all of sports.
Winning with field goals in overtime is the equivalent of a 15 round title fight won by throwing sand, swinging purses, or name-calling. Field goals are the passive solution to an aggressive sport. The ultimate contradiction. The cause is the fear factor – fear of the rectangle on the ground. There are two rectangles that let you score points in football – the ground rectangle (end zone) and the one upright (between the goal posts). The upright rectangle is the past of least resistance. Football coaches and players use all the tough-talk clichés, war metaphors, but when faced with 4th down they take the path of least resistance under the disguise of “safe-call.”
Our two-decade no-kicking streak continues because the football culture passes itself off as the ultimate test of manhood with its smash-mouth ground & pound facade but allows, invites, and even wildly celebrates the tenderness and softness of kicking the ball through the path of least resistance – over the heads of the enemy instead of through them.
I hope that whoever wins the Super Bowl wins it in the right rectangle – the one on the field, not the one upright. Win it outright, not through the uprights.
This is my new blog called “POST PATTERN.” My old blog is retired because it got tired. This is the start of a new era. The topics will be wide-ranging. Comments & questions are invited. What will be different about this blog? It’s a return to what worked – literally and figuratively.
1. Who is obligated to help football players get recruited – coaches or parents?
2. Relevance of 40-times in recruiting.
#1. I coach second-chance and last-chance players. I’ve been head coach at three levels – high school, collegiate, semi-pro. During my 40-year coaching career, I paid for all recruiting expenses. 100%. Game film, mailing, long distance calls. The results have been amazing. I’ve been blessed to have coached 1000s of players. 212 have been recruited by a “next-level.” Incredibly rewarding but incredibly costly. In 1997, my wife and I started a non-profit collegiate- level football team. We paid for it with no taxpayer money. More incredible results. But gas prices and passport requirements at the American border forced us to suspend our team last year temporarily.
Parents never paid us a dime for recruiting services. We’ve even hosted combines for players to supplement their game film and athletic resume. Would I do it again? Absolutely not. I have 3 daughters that I have never done this for. I have spent more on other peoples’ kids than my own. I built a home gym for my players when our school didn’t have one. Turned it into a business. We lost a ton on money of helping kids reach the next level. Now I’m writing books to make up for the losses. The reward of helping players reach the next-level is incomparable but in retrospect, family comes first. So, who is responsible for player recruitment? Parents have to foot the bill – time and money. Coaches can act as consultants but I would never again take on the whole responsibility again. I hear about how times are tough but I see players with every electronic toy, taking vacations that I can’t take, and parking lots full of new cars. This isn’t about resentment, its about my own family. Your own children will be young only once. They deserve your time. I would still have coached and helped kids get recruited but not to the ridiculous extent that I did.
#2. Regarding 40-times: I agree that 40-times are significant for NFL combines. I was referring to my 40-year research that I conducted about the recruiting process of 212 players of my players who were recruited by next-level teams and thousands more who did not. The research applies to our own reality. The majority of our players have been recruited by D2, D3, Canadian university, CFL, Arena/Indoor, European semi-pro paying leagues. Only three players I’ve coached were recruited by NFL scouts, as free agents. My findings are lengthy and I intend on publishing them but the most compelling factors that led to university and professional recruiting have been: (i) game film…game performance. What a player does on the field is the top factor. The majority of recruiters time speed on film. I’ve been told repeatedly that most 40-times sent to them are bullshit. Additionally, we run a warp-speed no-huddle. Recruiters have timed our players on film to find fourth-quarter speed. We strive for over 80 plays a game. Speed under fatigue is more important than rested speed (ii) filmed weight room performance. 225 bench and squats have been major factors in my players (iii) live combine/scrimmages. We have organized our own combines with live scrimmages. Recruiters love to evaluate live scrimmage in-person to evaluate the intangible ie: work ethic, attitude, heart, soul, balls. Forty-times are a factor but in my personal research, conventional rested 40-times haven’t cracked the top three. Game-performance speed matters more.
Additionally, the reasons I never time players: (i) I’m usually a one-man staff – time constraints (ii) in our system, endurance matters more. As mentioned, I use one of the fastest no-huddles humanly possible and I need two-way depth…players have to practice multiple positions. Rested 40-times have no relevance in our system. What matters is fatigued 40-times – fourth quarter speed. Our no-huddle weakens every team we play – their 40-times slow down while ours don’t. The only thing that matters to us is being faster than the other team as the game progresses.
Great discussion. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at:
Or contact me on Facebook at Gino Arcaro or X Fitness Welland
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc.
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Head coach – Niagara X-Men football
Author- (i) Soul of a Lifter (ii) SWAT limitless no-playbook no-huddle (iii) SWAT limitless no-playbook defense (iv) Explode – X Fitness Strength training and Conditioning system
-copyright (2011) Jordan Publications Inc. – excerpt from my next book.
The Hamilton Wildcats were a semi-pro team that was brand new in 1994. I was hired one week before the seaosn started. In game one, we fell behind 10-0. I scrapped my power running game and went to our warp-speed no-huddle. Full-force extreme passing. The pendulum swung all the way that day. Our no-playbook SWAT system transformed to an air attack. We won that game 36-10. We passed for 512 yards and 5 TDs and three 2-pt conversions. It was the start of a two-decade passing odyssey that has seed explosive performance by untalented, unrecruited, second-chance, last-chance players.
The Wildcats faced extreme adversity. In all likelihood, no football team in North America at any level faced bigger odds. And, to add to the overwhelming odds, I scrapped the schedule, moving us up to an American schedule that featured some of the strongest program in the USA. The Wildcats were foreigners…the only Canadian team versus established American semi-pro teams.
The season ended with a perfect 9-0 record featuring 4 last-minute miracle comebacks. The most incredible game was a 28-25 win over the vaunted Brooklyn Mariners, one of the top semi-pro teams since 1957. Coming into the game, Brooklyn had lost only 2 games in the last 6 years. But the Wildcats scored a last-minute TD pass, capping off an 82-yard drive with only 1:52 left in the game.
We recorded a perfect season with only 22 players. And we never kicked. Two of our players went on to long CFL careers. Four other either had tryouts or were recruited by other pro teams. The Wildcats went on on to record a 20-2 two-year record, shattering passing records in semi-pro/senior leagues. I was privileged to be the head coach and witness amazing moments.
The Wildcats are one of the many reasons why I have a hard time watching NFL games and taking the NFL seriously. I’m not an NFL fan. I have no interest in spoiled multi-millionaires playing a game that the rest of the world plays for free. I have no interest in pro athletes masquerading as adults tweeting juvenile nonsense on Twitter. I have zero interest in coaches acting like rank amateurs on the sidelines, during press conferences, and during handshakes. The NFL at times lowers itself to pro wrestling level. I have seen football played with the greatest respect for the sport by iron-willed athletes who won’t stop dreaming. I have seem my players spill their guts quietly, without trash-talking punk behaviour, for the love of a game that most will never profit from financially. But we all become rich – we made a fortune in memories.
Solving a mystery needs evidence - physical evidence and statements. When two people/items meet, an impact is guaranteed to happen. The secret is to connect the evidence to the mystery. Self-investigation reveals evidence.
Soul of a Lifter is a soul-searching exercise that revealed life-lessons learned in several occupations. Soul of a Lifter gives solutions. The book is an experience…a memorable experience. You’ll read the book again just like readers have…re-reading the book has become a common practice. Re-reading the book is readers’ way to repeat a memorable experience.
Getting motivated can be the hardest work of all. X Fitness is dedicated to changing the world by motivating everyone to reach their fullest potential. Adult and adolescents alike all have the potential to shine, to use their God-given talents to make planet Earth a better place. The X Fitness Youtube channel is dedicated to motivating everyone to self-actualize, to reach their highest potential.
Don’t be a product of your environment, shape it. The energy you invest or waste determines what you become and don’t become. Invest wisely, become wise. Invest foolishly, become a fool. Wasting time builds up psychological toxins that consume and corrupt unless they’re purged from the system. You become what you invest.
Personal and professional environmental disasters are the product of wasting time and energy on fools. There’s a broad definition of fool but here’s one – any one who intentionally wastes a golden opportunity. Here’s another – any one wastes time on team-corrosives, those whose sole purpose in life is to tear down what you’re trying to build. Here’s another – wasting time on juvenile activities but envying and hating those who are building.
The hardest thing to do is to stop wasting energy on foolishness.
A surfire way to disintegrate and shred any hope of building a team’s potential is wasting time on those who know how to build only one thing – conflict. Unresolved conflict is the leading cause of all team failure, all debilitating personal stress, and all regrets that result from it. Conflict-builders are psychological invaders guaranteed to lead any team to losing. Those who can’t build anything positive compensate by building conflict.
Conflict-builders are easy to pick out. They pollute your environment by littering junk and trash that, unless cleaned up, will toxify your spirit.