Thursday, September 08, 2005

...but I'd have to kill you

Ted Striker: My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We're bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We're coming in from the north, below their radar.
Elaine Dickinson: When will you be back?
Ted Striker: I can't tell you that. It's classified.

Football is a little like war in the strategy department, and it is an endless source of amusement for me to see the press not get that. Every year they ask the coaches what their game plan is, what they see as their strengths and weaknesses, and every year they get all bent out of shape when they get evasive answers.

Coaches know they have weaknesses, and they have a game plan for how they expect to play the next team on their schedule in an attempt to nullify their weaknesses and exploit those of the opponent, but they aren't going to tell you. You put it on the airwaves and in print and on the internet. You make it that much easier for the opposition to change their strategy to foil yours. Even if it's stuff they can figure out if they put enough time and resources towards it, the idea is not to make it easy for them, and certainly not to give them something they might not have figured out some other way. If they don't have to put their resources toward that, because you've handed them a ton of information on a silver platter, they can use those people elsewhere. The head coach doesn't want that, so his answers are going to be evasive. There is some stuff the fans would love to know, but so would the opponent, so none of us get to know until they see the results. Deal with it.

It's a lot like Wolf Blitzer asking the generals in the Gulf War when and how they will attack Iraq. Just because they won't tell you doesn't mean they don't have a plan. What do you think got Horrendo Reverewear kicked out of Iraq? Showing the world your strategy (or drawing maps in the sand pinpointing your position) on television isn't a good thing. Same deal with football on a much smaller scale. No coach is going to give a reporter specifics on how they will approach Sunday's game, so don't get all huffy and puffy when they don't.


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