Tuesday, January 02, 2007

NFC Playoff coach’s corner: Mike Holmgren

Instead of flooding the market with “previews,” or rambling on incessantly about “facts,” I’ve decided instead to delve into the NFL Playoffs by interviewing a few of the big-name coaches who will be prominently involved. Coaches, after all, are very important, because they make a lot of money, and are crucial to the success of their respective football team. Without coaches, armies of helmeted men would all be aimlessly wandering the streets, wondering what time it was, and how they got there. In that respect, we’re going to sit down with a very important coach to discuss the upcoming weekend of the NFL Playoffs. This week’s participant: Seattle Seahawks’ head coach Mike Holmgren.

Me: Welcome, coach! Have a seat…

Holmgren: Thanks for having me.

Me: If it’s okay, I am going to call you “coach” for the duration of this interview, for a few reasons. First, my name is also “Mike” and I don’t want our audience to get confused. Second, you seem like the kind of guy who demands to be called “coach” at all times, even from the waitresses at Applebee’s. Lastly – and I’m sure you get this all the time – you have a “Craig T. Nelson”-like presence on the sidelines. I respect that.

Holmgren: You can call me coach.

Me: Coach, let’s get right down to it. Your team has been kind of crappy this year. Do you blame the referees?

Holmgren: Not entirely. We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries, and it’s taken us a while to find our groove.

Me: Injuries are so annoying, am I right? Have you considered telling your players to not get injured?

Holmgren: I hadn’t thought of that.

Me: Coach, other teams bitch and whine about injuries, but they’re often being stupid. Like, I hate when a coach is like, “Oh, no, we lost our starting right guard, Bart Johnson! That’s really gonna hurt us!” That’s just being stupid, because nobody gives a crap about Bart Johnson. You, on the other hand, have lost your starting running back - also last year’s MVP - your starting quarterback, and No. 1 wide receiver for significant periods of time. That must feel good for you, because you love to complain. This has undoubtedly given you an edge when you argue with other coaches at cocktail parties as to who has had the most misfortune this season, thus deflecting any personal responsibility.

Holmgren: I don’t go to cocktail parties.

Me: That was a bad example…I forgot that you can’t eat cocktails. Pizza parties?

Holmgren: I eat pizza by myself, in bed, watching game tapes.

Me: That is nasty. But back to the injuries. Shaun Alexander’s foot injury kind of came out of nowhere, and my stupid brother-in-law found out first, and picked up Maurice Morris off the waiver wire. Pretty sneaky, sis. Anyhoo, did you not know how bad the injury was at first, or did you downplay it initially, just to screw over the entire fantasy football-playing universe?

Holmgren: We did not know how bad it was at first. Feet are tough appendages to evaluate.

Me: Tell me about it. When you looked out onto the field in the middle of the year, and saw Seneca Wallace handing off to Maurice Morris, did you want to curl up into a little ball, and roll yourself off a cliff? Because that’s the kind of face you were making on the sidelines, the “just kill me now…seriously, shoot me” face.

Holmgren: I always have that face on.

Me: That’s true. What’s up with that?

Holmgren: I’m a perfectionist, and I’m always noticing all of the things we’re doing wrong.

Me: Like losing to the 49ers?

Holmgren: Yes, losing to the 49ers really gets my goad.

Me: Yeah, I...wait - get's your what?

Holmgren: My goad.

Me: I thought it was goat. Like, "gets my goat."

Holmgren: That doesn't make any sense.

Me: Neither does goad. What's a goad?

Holmgren: I'm not sure. But when we lose to the 49ers, I feel a sharp pain in the goad region.

Me: I can't tell if you're being serious, or a dick, so let's move on. Let’s talk about your quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck. I never thought I’d see the day when an extremely bald quarterback named Hasselbeck was doing “Chunky Soup” commercials. Is he cool now? And if so, why?

Holmgren: Matt is a great, young quarterback. I always believed in him, dating back to our Green Bay days, and he’s rewarded my loyalty ten fold. He is very cool.

Me: You also lost a Super Bowl with Brett Favre as your quarterback. That guy used to be the coolest man on the planet. Now, Matt Hasselbeck is doing “Chunky Soup” commercials and Brett Favre is doing ads for erectile dysfunction. The pendulum has swung. Did you swing it?

Holmgren: I don’t think the commercials Brett does are for erectile dysfunction. They’re for like, acid reflux or something.

Me: Whatever. I mean, how am I supposed to know what those commercials are for? “Ask about the purple pill,” “Take the yellow pill,” “Consult your doctor if you have herpes.” And there’s so many innuendos in those commercials, like when Brett is throwing the football through the tire, ya’ know?

Holmgren: No, no…Brett just throws the ball over the lake in his commercial. It’s the other commercial where the guy throws it through the tire. And that guy throws like a girl.

Me: Oh yeeaaaahhhh. My bad. I like the parts when Brett is chopping down trees, and then he has all of his African American teammates over to eat crawfish, to prove that he is not a racist hick. He makes me want to have acid reflux.

Holmgren: See, Brett’s still a pretty cool guy!

Me: I guess you’re right. Wow, we got off track there for a while. Anyway, ummm…say something football-related.

Holmgren: 3-4 defense.

Me: I agree. Speaking of football, Jerramy Stevens is your tight end. He is best known for having too many “r’s” in his name and for dropping every single pass thrown to him. Have you considered replacing him with a tight end that doesn’t have cinder blocks for hands?

Holmgren: Jerramy has certainly struggled over the past year or so. But we believe in him, and we’re going to need him to come through during the playoffs.

Me: I wouldn’t count on it. Speaking of the playoffs, you guys are in them. How did that happen?

Holmgren: To be honest, I’m not quite sure. Normally, I’d say we’re here because we play in the awful NFC West, but we lost to the Cardinals once and San Francisco twice. And all my guys have been injured this year. I really don’t know how we got here. I guess I’ll say, “coaching.”

Me: Coach, your team plays the Dallas Cowboys this Saturday in the first round of said playoffs. Are you looking forward to exacting revenge against Terrell Owens?

Holmgren: For what? Terrell Owens never played on this team.

Me: Wait - didn’t you used to coach the Eagles?

Holmgren: No. You are thinking of Andy Reid, who still coaches the Eagles. The two of us are often confused, but usually only by people who are idiots.

Me: Interesting. Regardless, Terrell Owens must have done something to upset the chemistry of the Seahawks at some point. Didn’t he murder Steve Largent or something?

Holmgren: Not that I know of.

Me: Agree to disagree. Coach, between Terrell Owens and Jerramy Stevens, how many footballs do you envision falling to the ground on Saturday? A million? A zillion?

Holmgren: Maybe like, four or five.

Me: Do you think your team will be able to pull a “Pittsburgh Steelers,” and crawl into the playoffs only to run the table and beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl?

Holmgren: That Super Bowl never happened. We were robbed by the stupid refs, I tell you! ROBBED!

Me: Glad to see you are still taking that loss in stride. Well, better luck this year. And take it easy on the pizzas, big guy. You don’t need to be getting acid reflux.

Holmgren: Too late. Stupid referees. But hey - it’s better than erectile dysfunction, am I right?

Me: Ummm…I wouldn’t know. I can throw a football through a tire, all right buddy! Well, most of the time...


That's a catch, you idiot! And my NAME is "COACH!"

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