Shelby Metcalf,教練的幽默

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2月9日,前Texas A&M教練Shelby Metcalf(1930-2007)病逝( Texas A&M Athletics Legendary Aggie Hoops Coach Shelby Metcalf Passes Away ),享年76。

一向在NCAA中不太引人注意的Texas A&M,本季在教練Billy Gillispie的率領下,目前戰績21-3排名全美第6,同時以9-1在Big 12聯盟領先Kansas、Oklahoma State等隊,排名第一。

Shelby Metcalf, former Texas A&M coach, dies at 76
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Shelby Metcalf, whose homespun humor often overshadowed his penchant for winning basketball games at Texas A&M, died after a long illness. He was 76.

對一般球迷而言,Metcalf大概在他們的記憶之外。事實上,我也未曾見過Metcalf擔任教練的球賽,讓我記住他的,和其他球迷、記者一樣,是他的幽默感。

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Shelby Metcalf and Winston Crite.

Metcalf以幽默的one-liner聞名,其中最有名的,大概是他對一個拿到4個F和一個D的球員說:

“Son, it looks to me that you are spending too much time on one subject.”

但事實上,他帶隊的成績相當不錯。Texas A&M是有名的football school,籃球原本就不是最受重視的項目,招收球員比起其他學校有著更多困難。Metcalf從來都未曾擁有知名的全美明星,但是在Texas A&M一待就是27年,至1990年才下台。在當時還叫作Southwest Conference(尚未整併為Big 12)的SWC,他是聯盟史上最多勝(438-306)教頭,五度打進NCAA錦標賽、六次獲SWC聯盟冠軍,1968-69和1979-80球季曾挺進NCAA甜蜜十六強。

Metcalf領軍期間,我還有印象的球員只有一個6-7、233磅的重磅前鋒Winston Crite。他在1987年NBA選秀第三輪被太陽隊選上,只打了兩季,平均2.8分。

至於Metcalf自己,他在就讀East Texas State期間,曾率該校拿下1955年NAIA全美冠軍,當年他也是NAIA全美明星後衛。

Metcalf即使在被炒魷魚之前,還是蠻有幽默感的。校方告訴他,他會被指派其他的學校職務,他說:

“I told some former players not to throw gum on the floor because I might be the one that would have to pick it up.”

這裡是其他有關Metcalf的幽默語錄:

Shelby Metcalf, RIP
After a tough game in Lubbock, a reporter asked Metcalf in the post-game press conference about what he told his players after Tech fans resorted to throwing coins at the Aggies. Metcalf replied: “I told my players to show some class, and not pick up anything less than a quarter.”

When a number of A&M players were having trouble academically, Metcalf arranged to have them enrolled in a basket weaving so that they could increase their grade point average. “Problem was,” Metcalf later admitted. “A couple of them were American-Indians, and they set such a high curve that they flunked the others out.”

After former Aggie football coach R.C. Slocum resigned under pressure during the A&M administration led by former CIA Chief and current Defense Secretary William Gates, Metcalf commented: “R.C.’s lucky. He could have just disappeared, you know.”

Metcalf always had the same pre-season observation about the keys to a successful season: “Stay happy, healthy and out of foul trouble.”

During a particularly turbulent airline flight, an A&M player was feeling quite nauseous.
“Son, what’s wrong with you?” inquired Metcalf.
“Coach,” replied the player. “I am dizzy, sweaty, and nauseous. I think I might throw up.”
“Well now,” Metcalf shot back. “Now you know how I feel every time I have to put you in a game!”

提到Metcalf,不得不讓人想起另一個已辭世的Jimmy Valvano。當然,只有幽默感,卻無法將球隊帶好,打不出戰績,也不是什麼好事。但一名有幽默感的教練,總是比較能引起我的注意,特別是在台灣SBL,有幾個教練只會別上麥克風,在場邊罵裁判、罵髒話,面對媒體和公眾又吐不出幾句象牙的情況之下。某種程度下,這不但反映出教練的EQ,可能也同時暗示出他們的IQ。

除了籃球專業之外,這是台灣籃球教練急需學習和觀察的另一大領域。

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