As a charter member of the Woke AF College Football Bloggers Association of America (WAFCFBAA), I try not to traffic in generalizations or stereotypes. There is one group I make an exception for: football coaches.
Football coaches are just the worst. Personality-wise, they range between the Steve Harrington character in “Stranger Things” to, well, the monster in “Stranger Things” (hi, Art Briles!).
There are exceptions. I have to admit we’re pretty lucky to have Rocky Long at the helm here. Despite his gruff-tuff-footbaw-man persona, he’s kind of a wonderful, joyous troll in a way that few other non-Harbaugh coaches are. He also lives in Ocean Beach (!), which adds a delightful air of mystery to the man. Like, I’m *guessing* Rocky has never taken part in a bongo circle with three dudes who look like (are possibly are) Adam Duritz, but can you say so with any certainty?
In general, Rocky gives off a “pretty OK stepdad you could learn to live with once you get to know him” vibe. Other football coaches? That relationship is probably going to end with you lighting his PT Cruiser on fire in the driveway.
That said, with the Aztecs’ season a few short weeks away, I’m actually here to express my appreciation of football coaches across the nation.
This snub is, in an objective sense, fucking bullshit. This is the most complete Aztecs team most of us have ever seen – a conference champion on a 10-game win streak, returning essentially the same squad that was a missed field goal vs South Alabama (drink) away from a Top 25 ranking at the end of last season. It just goes to show that coaches make their rankings based on politics, Power Five arrogance and outright ignorance.
In a subjective sense, however, this snub is fucking wonderful. If you’re a skittish SDSU football fan like me – forever scarred by seasons of high expectations under Ted Tollner, Tom Craft, Chuck Long (there were articles about how long he’d be here before a BCS school poached him, I swear to god) – having someone pump the damn brakes on the expectations bandwagon feels like a godsend.
The thought of Aztecs players reading the praise thrown their way in this USA Today profile, this SB Nation analysis or this ESPN story scares the hell out of me. Glowing press frightens me because I am a coward who does not believe he deserves nice things. The current crop of players don’t appear to share my self-esteem issues, which is probably for the best.
But I don’t want them arrogant, either. Arrogant teams do things like lose to FCS opponents. Arrogant teams run to the beach after getting punched in the mouth. Arrogant teams generally get beaten by teams angry about real perceived slights.
With that in mind: thank you, American Football Coaches Association. Thank you for being you and keeping an underrated program underrated.
Y’all are still the worst, but you did us a real solid here.