Brooklyn high school coach pens a letter on what football means to him
The following, written by Brooklyn Tech High School head coach Kyle McKenna, originally appeared on FootballMatters.org and was reposted with permission of the National Football Foundation.
When people ask me what I do, I answer that I am a teacher and a football coach. However, when I really look closely at it, I am an investor. I invest in potential and I attempt to refine and cultivate that potential into a positive result. I feel that I do very much the same thing in my role as a father. I help people through the good and the bad. Participating in education and the game of football provides a unique opportunity for me to function in a transformative role in the lives of the young people I work with.
I am the result of the investment that others have made in me, at one point or another. Whether those individuals were people that had a stake in the outcome of the investment or they were individuals that did so with no stake at all, those investments shaped who I am.
Young men and women need to experience transformative moments. In addition, young people need to know that caring about something, especially in a shared experience with others, will elevate them. They need to experience shared joy and shared misery and learn how to function within those emotions.
Read the full letter at FootballMatters.org.
Rocky Long on playing Power Five opponents: “The only way to prove you belong is to play them.”
The two men are each in search of the same goal, but they’re taking the diametrically opposed routes to get there.
Speaking at last week’s Sun Belt media days, league commissioner Karl Benson advocated his opinion that his member schools avoid playing Power Five opponents as much as possible, saying the new system meant a coveted New Year’s Six bowl appearance was worth more than a guaranteed paycheck. “As nice as it is and as great as it is to win a game against one of the ‘Big Five’ — I don’t want to minimize that — but right now, in the system that we have, competition with our peer conferences is so important,” Benson said last week. “Those are the games that we really need to focus on.”
Now enter San Diego State head coach Rocky Long. Speaking to reporters as Tuesday’s Mountain West media day, he challenged his conference bunk mates to play more than one token game against Power Five foes. “Alabama wants to play one tough team and three easy teams,” Long said. “I don’t blame them. I wish I could do that. We’re not in that league. … That’s our lot in life. We want to prove we belong, so the only way you can prove you belong is to play them.”
Long’s Aztecs played two Power Five foes in 2014, a 31-27 loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a 28-7 setback at Oregon State, en route to a 7-6 season, and two the year before, a 42-7 loss to Ohio State in Columbus and a 34-30 defeat to Oregon State in San Diego. Overall, San Diego State is 1-6 against the Power Five since Long’s arrival in 2011, toppling Washington State 42-24 in his third game as head coach and losing their next six. Long is 31-14 at San Diego State against non-Power Five opponents.
San Diego State will play two Power Five opponents again this year, a visit to California on Sept. 12 and a trip to Penn State on Sept. 26.
So, which man is right, Benson or Long? Neither of them. Not yet at least. We only have one year of precedent on the table, and last year’s Group of Five spot went to Boise State of the Mountain West, who lost their only game against a Power Five foe – a 35-13 defeat to Ole Miss in Atlanta – before upsetting Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl.
Saban shares a key to his success: “Don’t think much about the past and don’t worry about the future”
Years down the road, when Nick Saban decides to hang up his whistle, he will be forever remembered as one of the best coaches that college football has ever seen. Without a doubt, future coaching generations will study Saban’s approach, and try to duplicate it, just as current coaches already do.
One of the things that sticks out about Saban’s approach to coaching is his focus on the present. He doesn’t get hung up on his 177-59 overall record as a head coach (86-17 at Alabama), or his four national titles, or the desired outcome of this coming season. Instead he’s continually focused on what’s next, as it’s all part of his famed “process”.
“Well, I don’t really think much about the past, and I don’t really worry a whole lot about the future, so I can’t say how gratifying it is because I’m worried about what’s next. I think that’s one of the keys to being successful, to keep thinking about what I can do right now, because what comes next is most important.”
“So the challenge that we have in front of us, with the players that we have now, the team that we have now. That’s the fun of it. That’s what I enjoy the most.” Saban told CBS Sports.
Wednesday’s One Minute Warm Up
– Did you know cartoonist Chuck Jones created rules for himself to follow while illustrating the Road Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons? Now you do.
– Loved this tweet from Penn State offensive line coach Herb Hand:
ATTN: All Offensive Line Prospects https://t.co/D5UhWOczb6
— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) July 28, 2015
– They sculpted Urban Meyer into butter at the Ohio State Fair. That’s a higher honor than being made governor up there.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) July 28, 2015
– Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension was upheld by the NFL yesterday. But you knew that already. The big winner here? NBC. They get the Patriots’ opener (a Thursday night affair against the Pittsburgh Steelers) and Brady’s return at Indianapolis – what a coincidence! – on Oct. 4.
– Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is the early front-runner for Strangest Quote of Training Camp:
OC Hue Jackson on offensive creativity: “We are going to open Pandora’s box. Last year we just tickled it.” #Bengals
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) July 28, 2015
In Case You Missed It:
– Iowa athletics director Gary Barta says he does not regret giving Kirk Ferentz a 10-year contract extension before the 2010 season. The Hawkeyes are just 34-30 (and 19-21 in the Big Ten) since the extension.
– If you haven’t seen Oregon’s 360-degree view of what it’s like to be a Duck in Autzen Stadium, fix that immediately.
– Wyoming’s new recruiting pitch will be a big hit with recruits.
– When Pat Narduzzi downplayed the Backyard Brawl, Dana Holgorsen came in off the top rope.
Video of the Day – SDSU behind the scenes at MW Media Day
Video of the Day
Wednesday July 29, 2015
SDSU behind the scenes at MW Media Day