Coach says, “Winning at all costs is not worth it.”

Coach Says, “Winning at all costs is not worth it.”

cak5This season, during a local high school football game a quarterback lost his wristband. You know the one with all the plays on it.

An opposing player picked up the wristband and brought it to the sidelines, giving it to one of his coaches, thinking he was helping his team win. Maybe he would have been, if the coach would have used the information. Instead this coach immediately handed the wristband to the nearest official (who quickly gave it back to the opposing quarterback).

The coaches’ philosophy was simple and along the lines of, “you can’t talk about life lessons and doing the right thing and then not do it when the situation arises.”

This is all relevant because of the story coming out of Wake Forest where Tommy Elrod, former Wake Forest football player, coach and radio broadcaster who was giving away secrets about the Demon Deacons program.  What kind of secrets?  How about the playbook and game plans.

The question is not how big a scoundrel Elrod is, the question is how would you feel if your favorite college football team used this stolen information to try and win?

I remember watching an old Twilight Zone episode where this rail thin confederate soldier on a recon mission searching for shoes in a Pennsylvania town comes across a troop of marching union soldiers frozen stiff in mid step. A broken down old man appears and tells the confederate soldier that he has a spell that can freeze the union soldiers before any battle just like the frozen soldiers in front of him and, offers this spell to the confederate. Knowing there’s something demonic about all this and aware there’s an imminent battle on the horizon sure to determine the outcome of the war is tempted by the offer but declines.

It’s not that I’m against gamesmanship or stealing signs; in fact many times battling and overcoming obstacles like that only adds to sports lore. I even laugh at the old NASCAR adage of, “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

Now, I am not a moral high ground kind of a guy but I would not be happy if my team gladly accepted this Wake Forest information when offered. If I was the head coach and found out about an email or phone call from Elrod, I’d contact Wake Forest and let them know there is a traitor among them.

It’s easy to do the wrong thing – it’s hard to do the right thing. Everything can be taken away from you except your integrity. That we voluntary surrender and once you do it’s lost forever.

Kudos to that coach who refused to surrender his integrity and gave the lost wristband to the official.

Paul Dobbs

Connecting the right coach with the right school so our kids have the best available mentor, teacher, role model to – “Coach Americas Kids and Inspire Tomorrow’s Leaders”


December 15, 2016