Friday, August 22, 2014

What in the wide-wide world of sports is wrong with Troy Calhoun?

He does come across a bit like Khan Noonian Singh.  Apparently, when it comes to players being involved in benefiting from any coaching that might be going on at the sideline during practices or scrimmages, only some players are allowed. The genetically…injured, are relegated to the stands, well out of earshot. 


I’m not making this up. This isn’t just some Navy fan snark.  Honest.  From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

When a player under Calhoun is injured he wears a red jersey and does not participate in practice. In fact, he's not generally in the same vicinity as the team practices as injured players often rehab in separate facilities. During a scrimmage at Falcon Stadium on Friday, those in red sat in the stands instead of standing close enough to hear instructions from coaches.

Any coach would want to weed out guys who search for aches to prevent them from working with the team, but there might be value in allowing a key player who suffers a legitimate injury to continue to learn from watching teammates up close and gaining instruction. But that's not how it's done at the academy.

"They go to meetings," Calhoun said. "I just think you either add to the chemistry or take from the chemistry. There's no in between. If you're a red jersey, I just don't want anybody sucking the life out of everybody else who is working. Who is able to go out there even if they have an itch somewhere?"

Asked if he saw anything wrong with this policy, essentially excommunicating an injured player from the program until he heals, Calhoun offered only this: "I think a warrior wants to be in battle, and we want warriors."

You might think this is some “tough love” for some injury-faking slacker, but it is not, as the article makes clear. This is Calhoun’s SOP. 


By implication, I suppose that an injured starter that is familiar with his position would be “sucking the life” out of the sideline if he were there. No benefit to be had from his experience? No benefit for him from seeing/hearing instruction to his backup?  Apparently Khan thinks the benefits do not outweigh the possible harms to team morale or the prod to individual motivation for return to the field.

Khan hasn’t thought this out: Is there no negative effect on morale? No ‘sucking the life’ out of team cohesion or loyalty by creating these two tiers of ‘citizenship’? No negative impact on preparedness, once the injured do return to play as most will? No message being sent to players that they’d better hide or downplay injuries?

I think this will not end well for Calhoun. Pretty soon, he’ll be hunkered down in what remains of the Botany Bay, stranded on Ceti Alpha V, raving obsessively about his own personal Moby Dick… Navy Football, surrounded only by players that never ever ever had injuries.

Too quote Capt. Spock “His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking”