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Orange Jacket

Tuesday
April 5, 2005

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
-Albert Einstein

There's a phrase I like in the world of sports: Act like you've been there before. That is to say, don't go showboating after a touchdown and play it up as if you scored the first touchdown ever. Barry Sanders, an NFL Hall of Fame RB with the Detroit Lions, was great at always showing that type of class on the field.

I think the rule should apply to coaches to a degree. In this case I'm talking about Bruce Weber of Illinois, who inexplicably decided to wear a bright orange sports coat last night in coaching the Illini in a loss to North Carolina. To call the coat tacky would be an understatement. It was downright distracting; you'd see play going up and down the coach, and there was Coach Weber in that awful orange coat. Thank goodness Illinois lost so that the orange coat didn't somehow get associated with good luck or victory.

And just so someone doesn't see that game twenty years from now and think, "Wow, that was stylish then?", the answer is NO. It was never stylish. Then again, I'm the same person who looks back at the Bob Knight plaid sportscoats from the 1970s and laughs (and there's no hiding those 1970s styles -- I've seen the tapes of it!)

My personal favorite is how baseball managers actually wear the same uniforms as players do, a throwback to the "player/manager" days. I think the last of those was Pete Rose in the the 1980s. It's one thing when a guy looks like he could potentially get out there, but when you see someone like Don Zimmer still suiting up... well it's some high comedy in my book.


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