Alright, before we start worshipping Race Porter: Jimmy Lake and The Sideline Shoving (no, this isn’t a Harry Potter knock-off from when CBS couldn’t get the rights a la Jenna Maroney as Janis Joplin AKA Jackie Jormp-Jomp).
The clearest point that Jimmy’s over his head was this incident — not because we’re “offended” or have gotten soft and are pearl-clutching, but because of what it demonstrates about his leadership and hold of the room. Namely, that it isn’t there. A coach secure in his leadership and control over the program doesn’t do what Jimmy did.
Before anyone goes “If he were a winning coach this wouldn’t be an issue” — you’re right. If he were a winning coach, this wouldn’t be an issue. Because a winning coach would never have to pull a move like that in the first place.
Aggressive dogs aren’t aggressive because they know they’re the boss. They’re aggressive because they’re insecure and lost and have no clue how to assert themselves.
Milo was a 120 lb Newfoundland. Milo was hot shit.
He had the ass of a black bear* and the jaws of a hippo. Sometimes when he was sleeping I’d lift up his jowls just to see the 42 swords in his mouth with which he could have killed me, my family, the cat (actually, the cat might’ve won), every dog in the neighborhood and in fact all the neighbors, had he felt like it.
While Milo wasn’t a fan of other dogs simply because they had more energy than he was down with, he didn’t snap at them for getting too close. He didn’t lunge or snarl when one came into his territory. He never charged or bared his teeth. He rarely barked at all, but when he did it was so deep and bass-heavy that you could hear it for — and I am not exaggerating — a mile.
In general, he didn’t go after other dogs save for twice the whippet down the street, wherein there was some sort of deranged chemical aversion between the two that I’m convinced originated with Milo thinking he was a wild hostile animal who posed an imminent threat. I say that because the only other times in Milo’s 13-year life where he went after something was 1) when he was a puppy and thought my dad-pretending-to-be-an-evil-ogre-attacking-six-year-old-me was actually attacking me, and 2) when my family ordered a box of peaches that turned out to be rotten and decided to use them for a rotten peach fight. Once again, my poor suffering father, shoving rotten peach flesh into my aunt’s face, got clothes-lined, pinned, and caught in the mouth of 120 lbs of protecto-dog.
Otherwise, the routine was this: You knock on the door. Milo runs to the door with his chest out and head up, staring you down. He sees it’s just some person, welcomes you in, and offers you tea. Then he spills tea on you because he is a dog without opposable thumbs. Or, if it was dark out: You knock on the door. Milo cannot see who it is so, while running head up to the door he barks** one bark whose soundwaves you feel reverberating through your chest. This causes you to shit your pants, but he makes up for it by letting you in and making you tea. And then plopping a gallon of Newfoundland drool on your lap.
Milo ran shit. And other dogs knew he ran shit. And he knew that they knew he ran shit.
On a completely unrelated not, I mean dude, do you remember the Chris Petersen death stare? (Psalm Wooching and Cory Littleton do...)
I didn’t have more respect for Chris Petersen because he didn’t shove a player on the sideline; I had more respect for Chris Petersen because he didn’t have to.
Pete ran shit. And his players knew he ran shit. And he knew that they knew.
That’s why that moment from Lake matters — not because we’ve “gone soft,” or whatever.
The fact Fuavai was unlikely to suffer any injury from Lake's actions is not the point. To me, the major issues are:— AIRWOLF! (@redmond_BDTW) November 8, 2021
(1) a coach should never lay hands on a player in anger, period, and
(2) a coach loses his authority to demand self-control out of his players, when he has none.
The fact that Jimmy Lake got physical with a player doesn’t make me clutch pearls. As Mama Molden said on Twitter, she trusted Lake with her son and he made the absolute best out of him. If I had a son I’d trust him with Jimmy — as a DB coach, but not as the head of a program.
But the fact that Jimmy Lake got physical with a player makes it blatant that he doesn’t have control over his program or, as a head coach, over himself — a necessary prerequisite to build a successful team.
I’m not “offended” by what he did. I just know what “what he did” tells us about his head coach shortcomings.
That is all.
*Seriously, you ever seen a Newf? They’re like if hockey butt was a dog breed.
**If you haven’t heard a Newfoundland bark while on guard duty but think you’ve heard a Newfoundland bark... no you haven’t.
A Prayer to Our Lord and Savior, Race Porter
Our Punter, who art on Montlake
Hallowed be thy right foot
Thy hangtime come, thy will be done
On the two-yard line as it is in Heaven.
Give us this punt, our daily boom
And forgive us our devaluing of punters as we forgive the Australians who are way better at punting than us
Lead us not into shanking, but deliver us from bad field position
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.
(Apologies to any devout people who are now about to beat me up for what is, I assume, sacrilege.)
Lines of the Week
My general feelings leading up to last Saturday:
Race Porter after hitting two banger punts in a row:
Do good things, don’t do bad things, and, like, bow down to Washington I suppose? Peace.