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'mf: Gateway • volume \CV ill number 5 


SPORTS 19 


Wanted: the perfect boss 

Its hard to define what makes a great coach, but we at Gateway sports 
know it when we see it—and what we see is ballsy suits and crazy plays 



The taunts you heard in the school- 
yard are true: statistics are for squares. 
It takes mure titan just a fancy Hall of 
lame induction ora shiny undefeated 
streak to impress the truly discerning 
sports fan. As the squeaky kid from 
Captain Planet would say, It takes heart 
to truly be a champion, and that goes 
double for coaches—though some¬ 
times "heart" means "yelling” and 
"plaid.” 

In recognition of this fact, the 
Gateway's finest coaching analysis 
have pul their heads together to make 
an entirely subjective list of the best 
coaches—any sport, any time. 

Trevor Phillips 

My pick can be summed up in just 
three words: Donald S Cherry. The 
loveable loudmouth commentator 
from CBC's Hotkey Might in Canada 
is. without a doubt, the greatest 
bench boss in the history of sports. 
Statistically speaking. Grapes isn't the 
top hockey skipper of all time—that’s 
obviously Scotty Bowman—but what 
Cherry lacked in NHL games coached 
he has made up for with a keen fash¬ 
ion sense that comes equipped with 
one fine pair of ass-kicking boots. 

Cherry took over the Rochester 
Americans in '71. and two years later 
he won AHI Coach of the Year and was 
promoted to the two-time defending 
Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. 
There, lie won 231 games in five 
years, two conference championships, 
and the Jack Adams Award in 1976. 
After he and Bruins GM Harry Sinden 
exchanged knuckle sandwiches over a 
coaching blunder in '79, he was fired. 
But, for the record, it was a too-many- 
inen-oti-the-ke penalty, and nobody 
was going to beat the Habs in die '70s 
anyway because that jerk Bowman 
was coaching them. 

Still, Cherry went on to revive 
hockey in Colorado, albeit with a 
fight-first, play-hockey-later strat¬ 
egy. before retiring from the game 
and filling our ears with insightful 
knowledge and our eyes with beauti¬ 
ful suits every Saturday night on his 
Coach's Corner segment. 

Don't forget. Cherry accomplished 
all of this while only having play¬ 
ing one shift in the NHI and never 
finishing junior high—that alone 
should be reason enough to crown 
him as the best coach. Then again. 
Bowman never played in the NHL 
either, that wuss. 

Nick Frost 

As a fan of hockey, it would be abso¬ 
lutely criminal for me not to include 
a guy like Roger Neilson on a list of 
the greatest coaches of all l ime, what - 
ever the criteria. He was one of a only 
a handful of coaches to have coached 
1000 games at the NHL level, had 460 
regular season wins, two President's 
Trophy-winning seasons—one with 
the Rangers in 1992 and the other with 
the Senators in 2002—and was even 
named to the Order of Canada. It's 
pretty easy to see, then, that Neilson 
had an astounding impact not just as a 
coach, but as an individual as well. 


Neilson's greatest contribution, with¬ 
out question, was his method of using 
game footage to analyze tlte strategies 
of other teams and determine the areas 
in which is own team needed to work 
harder—a way of coaching that has 
since been adopted been most, if not 
all, coaches in all levels of the sport. 

His innovative thinking and ability 
to read Icxjpholes in tlte NHL's rule- 
book gave liim a unique approach to 
the game, one that any coach in the 
current era would be hard-pressed to 
match. Hell, any guy that would send 
out a defenceman to play goal on a 
penalty shot—which would allow the 
defenseman to come out of his net and 
play the shooter directly, and lead the 
NHL to change the rule to permit only 
goalies to defend on penalty shots—is 
someone who's clearly thinking on his 
feet. 

To this day. Ill never forget watch¬ 
ing die NHL Entry Draft in 2003, when 
Gary Bettman came to the podium in 
Nashville lietweert picks to announce 
Neilson’s sad passing, and the collec¬ 
tive lump in every hockey fan's throat 
in knowing that we had lost one of the 
best to ever stand lie hind the bench 

Marc Affeld 

It took almost three years of petitioning 
the NFL, but this season, San Francisco 
49ers head coach Mike Nolan was 
finally allowed to dress the way he 
wanted to. and was the first NFL coach 
in thirteen years to don a suit and tie on 
the sidelines. 

Thanks almost entirely to Nolan, a 
special deal was negotiated before the 
start of this season between the league 
and Reebok—which owns exclusive 
rights to providing all of the clothes 
worn by NFL coaches—to create a 
Reebok-brand suit for Nolan to wear. 

You see, while coaches in the NHL 
and NBA have pretty much always 
been allowed to wear suits, profes¬ 
sional ftxttltall coaches have for the |tast 
decade been forced to dress like the 
angry gym teachers that exist only in 
our darkest nightmares. 

Tlte reason Nolan gives for wanting 
to kick it old-school is out of respect 
for his ex-coach father and all of the 
suit-wearing football coaches of years 
past—evidence that the man has class 
to spare. 

I don't care if current New England 
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has 
three Super bowl rings; I would per¬ 
sonally much rather take orders from 
a man who is one fedora away from 
looking like Tom Landry than a man 
who is one missing tooth away from 
looking like he pans for gold in a tent 
along tlte North Saskatchewan River. 

Of course, diere are many foot¬ 
ball fans who might point out how 
insignificant being named Esquire's 
eleventh-best-dressed man in the world 
is compared to one's performance on 
the sidelines, but tlte fact remains that 
Nolan is a beacon of hope for old-style 
gridiron fans who are sick of having 
to hear about dog fighting, strip-club 
shootings, human growth hormones, 
and secret films of the opposing teams’ 
defensive signals. 

Bert Carter 

Football is, essentially, a game of 
common sense. If you've prepared 
well enough during the week and 
you have quality players who know 
what they're doing, a football game 
basically comes down to two things: 
who can make the fewest mistakes. 


and which coaching staff can make 
the adjustments necessary through¬ 
out the course of a game to win. Fans 
looking to learn a lesson in quality 
football coaching should liave their 
eyes focused firmly on the sidelines 
at Commonwealth Stadium, as Danny 
Madocia is providing lessons on what 
not to do. by getting thoroughly out- 
coached every week of tlte season. 

When he first took over the team 
in 2005. Macicicia inherited a team 
rich in talent and experience The 
Esks won the Grey Cup later dial year, 
where Maciocia distinguished himself 
by running out onto the field before 
the game was quite over. 

Since then, the team lias floundered, 
due in large part to one boneheaded 
coaching or personnel decision after 
another. The infamous last-play loss to 
Winnipeg in 2006 (in which the Esks 
decided that double coverage wasn't 
necessary on Milt Stegall—only the 
greatest receiver in CFL history), the 
end of 34 consecutive playoff seasons, 
and a number of incidents that sug¬ 
gest the Eskimos have become a team 
without a lot of class (AJ Gass. Rahim 
Ahdullah) have all occurred under 
Maciocia's watch. 

The Eskimos, once the envy of 
every team in the league, have 
become mired in mediocrity, with a 
long way to go to catch up with the 
rest of the CFL. 

It remains to be seen wliether or not 
Maciocia will go down in history' with 
other CFL coaching disasters such as 
Jeff Reinbold. Man Dunigan. or Kay 
Stephenson. But as it stands, he remains 
the favourite coach of this non-Eskimos 
fan. and I will look forward to seeing 
his confused stare on CFL sidelines 
weekly for as long as 1 can. 

Robin Collum 

Records and trophies are impressive, 
and Jacques Demers lias picked up his 
fair share of these. The former NHL 
coach and current French-language 
TV announcer coached in Montreal. 
Quebec City, St Louis, Detroit, and 
Tampa Bay. He won two Jack Adams 
awards for NHL Coach of the Year, 
in 1987 and 1988—the only person 
to have won in consecutive years— 
and led the Habs to their most recent 
Stanley Cup in 1993. 

But it's not his accomplishments in 
the arena that have most earned my 
respect; it’s what he did two years 
ago: he publicly admitted that he was 
functionally illiterate Demers had 
kept it a secret throughout his entire 
career, and even many of his clos¬ 
est friends were shocked at the rev¬ 
elation He was practiced at hiding 
his status: he knew a few common 
phrases, such as those he would write 
for autograph-seekers; developed an 
excellent memory; and would often 
ask for help w ith English text, claim¬ 
ing that he wasn’t bilingual enough 
to handle it—among other tricks. 

Everybody has a secret that they 
dread exposing to the world, and tilts 
was Demers'. He explained that he 
was too afraid to admit his illiteracy 
earlier, for fear he’d be ostracised. He 
figured that the NHL would never have 
given him a chance; he even kept his 
illiteracy from his wife. 

It was an incredibly brave move to 
come forward with his story, and drew 
attention to a problem that gets very 
little attention in North America. 

Good coaches lead by example, and 
in my books this makes Jacques Demers 
one of the best. 


r 


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Cinch your belt tight, tuck in the cuffs, 
and stuff two ferrets down your trousers: 
you're now a participant in the noble—and 
illegal—sport of ferret-legging. The ordeal 
is then timed, and neither the wearer nor 
the participants are allowed to be drugged. 
Underwear is also forbidden. 

Gateway sports meetings, which happen 
every Tuesday at 5:30 in 3-04 SUB, have 
been designated a ferret-free zone 


GATEWAY SPORTS 

Wearing white pants to better show the blood since 1910