« NodakJack Sunday


by Jack Sunday

Before I begin, to give you some context, I hope you'll read this from my friend and co-worker, Daniel, "Pinto" Gunderson.  PINTO'S POINTS

When I was in school, we had tough coaches.  In fact, some were so tough they insisted players play injured. "It's not broken, get up!!!!"  I didn't play the game, but was "team manager" for three years.  I had footballs,  basketballs and water bottles thrown at me when the coach we called "the little white haired rat" was mad. He'd demand the clipboard upon which I'd been keeping stats, read them aloud at the top of his lungs and then throw it back at me as if it was me that sucked.   He would scream obscenities to the players during games, slap the basketball floor with both hands, turn red, scream like a victim in a zombie movie and generally conduct himself disgracefully.  He ordered the players to put their cleats in the face of opponents as they "rolled" after a tackle.  "KEEP YOUR CLEATS UP!"  During practice, if the team lost, he'd make the players run laps until they puked.  (Not all of them did...he LIKED those guys.)  When they did puke, he'd stand over them, laughing, ridiculing and urging them to get up and run.  When a star player, (Curly,) dislocated his shoulder and the doctor didn't allow him to play "the big game" with our arch rivals, Shelley Idaho, he forbade the player to ride on the team bus because he was "soft." That friend of mine, now a very successful manly man, still hates the guy.  The only players that liked him were his "faves."   

With the coach Jim Jonas boogie woogie going on in West Fargo, I've heard glowing words about how "tough coaches" molded better people.  It works both ways.  The bad coaches often produce resentful, angry adults that can't stand the guys guts.