Dabo Swinney, Thanks For Being Dabo Swinney
Why did Clemson win the national title? Sometimes, you have The Dude Thoughts on this in the Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy.
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Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …
The coach called a pick on the final play, and it worked.
And, forget that he combined the concept of a pizza party with bringing guts
Okay, so Dabo Swinney is a little bit too overtly churchy as the main face and personality for an entire university and community without set religious tie-ins like a BYU or a Notre Dame, but let’s put that all aside for the moment and focus on what really matters.
He just proved that it’s possible to be one hell of a football coach without having to be so surly.
I’m an unapologetic Nick Saban apologist, considering the ridiculous pressure put on him as the head of a program whose season is now a failure after going 14-1 and getting to the College Football Playoff National Championship. If his style and demeanor are miserable, and it he makes everyone around him miserable, and if playing college football at Alabama seems like a miserable experience, I don’t care – “the process” works.
But what Swinney proved by taking Clemson to a national championship is that the process really doesn’t have to be miserable.
Yeah, it really is possible for an elite football coach to have some fun with this. It’s okay to be goofy at times, it’s okay to be silly, and it’s okay to talk to fans, media, and people, and not at them or down to them.
It’s okay to have a personality, and it’s okay to let your emotions show.
If that’s not the way you roll, that’s fine – Saban is Saban, and that’s okay. But if Alabama had won, that just would’ve reinforced the idea that you have to be grouchy, or Belichickian, to win.
You have to be ultra-intense, zero-fun-sir all the time. You have to be a ruthless taskmaster who has to micromanage and control every single aspect of every single aspect of the world.
Nope. It’s possible for coaches to have a new role model.
That’s not to say that Swinney can’t or doesn’t get serious, and that’s not to say he isn’t going to be all coachy when he needs to be, but it’s possible to succeed at the highest of levels and to actually enjoy the process along the way.
Maybe Dabo will change. Maybe he’ll win a slew of national championships over the next few years and become yet another insufferable dillweed who equates winning college football games to doing something important. But for now, Dabo, please, you go on being Dabo.
And thank you.