View Full Version : Looking for Potent Quotables 44

01-24-2010, 07:39 AM
Looking for Potent Quotables 44
Sunday, January 24, 2010
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ten minutes after his Minnesota Vikings finished rubbing Jerry Jones' nose in a 34-3 flogging of the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, Brad Childress strode into a Metrodome media pit with a rather urgent rhetorical purpose.

Minnesota's head coach wanted to remind everyone of how the Vikings-Cowboys division round game had been characterized prior to kickoff, when there was a growing consensus that the Cowboys might just be playing too well to lose until sometime next fall.

So this is what Brad Childress said:

"The Tasmanian Devils were coming from Dallas that were about to bombard the state of Minnesota and run through us like Sherman through the South."


And that's why Brad Childress belongs in the Super Bowl.

I mean look at that quote; I'll wait while you read it again.

Aren't we fairly safe in saying, after all these years of postgame prattle, that it was Childress, on Jan. 17, 2010, who first successfully deployed a Looney Tunes character in conjunction with a Civil War general to make a point.

It's brilliant.

This was no mere spasm of cliché mixology, friends. This was not former Philadelphia Eagles coach Joe Kuharich saying, "that was the nail that broke the coffin's back." This was not Kirk Herbstreit's admonition to "throw havoc to the wind." This was an original adaptation using both modern video culture and the wrenching military history of our national manifest destiny.

How a carnivorous marsupial of the Australian outback perhaps best known for putting Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and Daffy Duck on the same oversized sandwich roll combines with a deal-closing scorched earth Union general for the express purpose of dissing the national sports media and the Dallas Cowboys is something that comes together apparently only in the mind of Brad Childress.

He doesn't have that psychology degree from Eastern Illinois for nothing.

With apologies to the New Orleans Saints and their fans, long-suffering by every definition, the Super Bowl needs a head coach such as Childress. In the Super Bowl's 43-year oral history, which includes thousands of news conferences with dozens of coaches and thousands of players, occasions marked by truly inspired rhetoric are barely a handful.

Brutal honesty has been a poor substitute, and has turned up only a few times itself.

When Vince Lombardi told a writer before the first Super Bowl, "I don't think Kansas City would be one of the better teams in our league; Dallas is better. There, that's what you wanted me to say, isn't it?" it set a promising standard, but after Joe Namath's "We're going to win the game, I guarantee it" two years later, the Super Bowl's been a virtual wasteland of forgettable blather.

Duane Thomas of the Cowboys found a place in history with an innocent quip: "If it's the ultimate game, why are they playing it again the next year?" But the bar for eloquence is so low that pointed expressions of the perfectly obvious have even found a place in the game's enduring memories. Denver defensive tackle Karl Mecklenburg, for example, is remembered for saying, "Defensively, I think it's important for us to tackle."

No, no, don't tell me that that goes without saying, because the 49ers beat the Broncos a few days later, 55-10. Too few Broncos listening to Mecklenburg, obviously.

Should Childress make it to Miami and Super Bowl 44, he won't just be riding the momentum provided by the Tasmanian Devil/William Tecumseh Sherman quote. The Vikes' coach has provided a season's worth of edgy characterizations, once comparing standout wideout Sidney Rice to a Great Dane (without specifying Marmaduke or Scooby-Doo) and another time describing the chess match between familiar opponents with the phrase, "sometimes it's a you-know-that-he-knows-that-you-know-that-he-knows type of deal."

That's right.

Asked this week if the deafening aural assault of the Superdome will be a factor tonight, Childress said, "None of those 70,000 people will come on the field and have anything to do with the win or the loss. It's like the [Roman] Coliseum. It will be the people between the lines."

I never knew they lined the field at the Coliseum, but now I suppose in some of those early Christians vs. Lions classics, there was inevitable controversy over whether some cat came down with at least two paws inbounds.

Regardless of who turns up in Miami next week, I expect several attempts at duplicating Childress' genius. It's a copycat league, the people in it like to say, so I wouldn't be surprised if New York Jets coach Rex Ryan or Indianapolis Colts boss Jim Caldwell started with something like this on media day:

"We've only been here 24 hours and already it seems like the NFC champions are yakking like Foghorn Leghorn lecturing Yosemite Sam; I mean it's like they never heard about what happened to ol' Irvin McDowell at Manassas Junction."

McDowell blew a big early lead and got fired, would be the point there, and Lincoln replaced him with George McClellan, the acknowledged inventor of the run and shoot.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10024/1030669-150.stm#ixzz0dXL8Qhzt