Have you ever been at a family holiday gathering when the phone gets passed around for everyone to talk to the out-of-town relative? There's no way those aren't the most awkward 90 seconds of your day, right? "Yep, yep, we're doing good. No complaints here. Yeah, we're real proud of her. Yep. Thanks. Well, it was hear from... yep, okay. Uh huh."
Now put that conversation on FaceTime. The awkwardness just doubled. Now imagine your professional career -- your dream job -- riding on the conversation. Now imagine you're on camera.
The "career riding on the result of the conversation" is an exaggeration, but not a gross one.
Mike McDaniel is the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, and the surest path to his success in South Beach is to get Tua Tagovailoa to the Pro Bowl. The Dolphins controversially fired Brian Flores after back-to-back winning seasons, the club's first since 2002-03, including an 8-1 streak to end the '21 season. A longterm rebuild, this is not.
And so the McDaniel-Tua relationship is the cornerstone of the new regime, and the first impression of that relationship is the cornerstone of that cornerstone.
All that said, the FaceTime introduction between McDaniel and Tua had the potential to set world records for awkwardness, but I think McDaniel deftly pulls it off here. In fact, I think the 38-year-old first-time head coach's self-awareness -- "He's telling me how excited he is," McDaniel tells the Dolphins cameraman, "and how there's no other coach he'd rather play for in the entire world, which I thought was nice." -- is the best indicator of future success in Miami.
The plane didn't tumble toward the ground in a flaming wreck of cringe, so McDaniel did his job. And now the real work begins.