Following the September 11th terrorist attacks back in 2001, legendary college coach Bill Curry was inspired to write and narrate a piece he entitled “The Huddle,” which he shared with the National Football Foundation at their annual awards dinner December 11, 2001.
At the time, Curry was a handful of years removed from his last head coaching job at Kentucky (and he had previous head coaching stops at Alabama and Georgia Tech, and also stops with the Packers and Georgia Tech as an assistant), and felt the need to get some of his thoughts about the power of football. Of course, in 2008 Curry was named head coach at Georgia State, and in 2010 the program played their first season at the FCS level, going 6-5 and then 3-8 in his second year, and 1-10 before his retirement following the 2012 season.
In light of some current events, and as high school teams wrap up training camp and college programs continue their grind across the country, I thought today would be a perfect opportunity to revisit coach Curry’s inspiring words.
“The football huddle is a metaphor of our culture; imperfect like all metaphors. In that huddle are a bunch of folks that are black, brown, white, red, yellow, liberal, conservative, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu. We are slim, fat, short, tall, fast and slow. We are analytical people, and we are impulsive people. We have some of the finest men on Earth, and heaven knows, we’ve got a few rounders.”
Curry goes on to talk about how the great coaches know how to extract every ounce of energy from players, how the grind of training camp forces people to quit, and how everyone – yes, EVERYONE – thinks about calling it quits. He goes on to share about the great opportunity that lies ahead for those that push on through, the bonds of brotherhood that it creates, and how those bonds change people’s lives forever.
I don’t recall ever coming across this video before the other day, and surely there are some coaches out there that have never seen it either, so while the video may be more than a decade old, Curry’s words will strike a chord as loud as ever today.