View Full Version : A Sports Article (NPR)

09-07-2002, 10:34 PM
This is an excerp from a Washington Post article about Redskins Coach Steve Spurrier...it shows some insight into his MENTAL GAME as well as his SHARKING techniques in GOLF...


There is gamesmanship, and there is cheating, and the delineation is crucial to any true gamesman. Cheating is when you break the rules.

Gamesmanship is when you find and exploit loopholes in the rules, and the dull wits of your rival. There are a multitude of nuances between them, which may be confusing to others, but not to Spurrier. "It's a very clear, specific boundary that he understands," says Steve Jr. "He knows it and he executes it, and he monitors everyone else, too."

Spurrier doesn't tolerate "fudging," and a victory is hardly worth having if it comes on a bad officiating call. "It doesn't seem like winning," he says. "It's almost like you lose." He is a literalist, almost obsessively so, about rules. In golf, he is famous for counting every stroke, "otherwise, why call it golf?" he says.

To put it another way, cheating is something you do to yourself, while gamesmanship is something you do to the other guy. If Spurrier is a stickler, he is also an inveterate needler. One of his golf partners is Allen Trammell, an old friend and Florida teammate. On many occasions, Trammell has stood on the 18th green, looking at a putt to beat Spurrier. Invariably, the same thing happens. Spurrier stands behind him and begins to murmur, in a nasal southern drawl. "That's downhill, isn't it?" he might suggest. "Remember that twister you missed six years ago?" Trammell backs off the putt. Doubts creep in. He jabs at the putt -- and misses. "He plays with your mind, big time," Trammell says. "He wants you to think he's some kind of psychic."

What Spurrier the gamesman understands is that, to a certain extent, the game is played in the other guy's head. "It's part of a method to his madness, to ratchet things up before the big ballgame," says his former boss, Jeremy Foley, Florida's athletic director. Games, and especially football, to Spurrier are played in a mental space, as much as a physical one.

Spurrier plays games constantly. He plays feverishly, his visor pulled on and off and his hand disheveling that russet hair. He plays forgetfully, with no attention span for anything else, including his bride. "Jerri, get my attention when you're talking to me," he says to her. She rolls her eyes. And he plays maniacally. Two years ago, after a typical winning fall Saturday at Florida, Spurrier was celebrating at a barbecue when he challenged Foley's wife, Molly, to a game of Ping-Pong. The score was 1-1, when she sent a sharp volley across the table. As the ball skipped away from Spurrier, he made a suicidal lunge after it -- and ran headfirst into a window ledge. He spent the rest of the party reclining with an ice pack on his face. The next morning he showed up in the office with a black eye. "He about killed himself," Foley says. "Here he was, going all out on the second point of the game."

So Spurrier doesn't intend to fail in the NFL. He knows some coaches are rooting for him to fall flat on his cocksure face, after tripping on his $25 million contract. "Human nature," he pronounces. But he's not afraid of losing.

A gamesman knows that fear of losing is where failure begins.

09-08-2002, 08:00 AM
The example given in the article as to Spurrier's actions on the golf course constitutes a clear and blatant shark. In a gentleman's game, this is viewed as virtually little difference than moving your ball or cheating on your scorecard. His friend should do him the huge favor of not allowing him to get away with it, or to get him back by doing something else in return to prove his point. Spurrier wouldn't last long in the pool world with that kind of behavior. - Chris in NC

09-08-2002, 08:03 AM
Thanks, that was a good read and hit a target with me on that last sentence...sid

09-08-2002, 08:16 AM
Spurrier Rules!

Hail to the Redskins!

MM...leaving now for FedEx field.