Signing Day After

January17/ 2000

..losers say deal”… This title is deceiving if you expect a recruit by recruit evaluation and assessment – BORING!  I have one teenager whose future I REALLY care about.  All others are someone else’s responsibility be it Amato, Bunting, Fulmer, Stoops, Brown etc.  As the dust settles and “the winners tell jokes and the losers say deal” I shall conjure up one more satirical sermonette for those of you perched on the ledge.

   If you don’t know how I feel about college athlete recruiting go back several columns and get up to speed.  I’ll wait …… …… …… OK, moving along … I have a regular plumber that I call whenever my toilet backs up.  He’s a prince of a fellow … Christian, Republican, Tar Heel fan (odd combination now that I see it in print!) and, most of all a darn fine plumber.  He does his thing clearing out my sewer line.  As he departs we usually shake hands.  Before his van is a block away I wash my hand knowing where his hands have just been.  No offense to my friend the nice plumber.  If I had shaken hands with any Division 1-A Football Coach yesterday, I would have washed my hands as soon as I could … knowing where his hands had just been.

   If you don’t care for my plumber analogy … imagine being married to a proctologist.  When his wife says “everybody wash your hands before we sit down for supper.”  It’s not a suggestion … it’s an order.

   Which magically segues us to a further comparison of what John and Chuck and all those coaches “do for a living” compared to what YOU “do for a living”.  They compete in elaborate arenas in full view of 50,000 experts evaluating their performance. (Except for Ted Roof … 20,000 tops except for 2 home games/year).  You compete in your own “marketplace” in the particular position you hold be it sales, production, shipping, accounting, or even “the boss”.  

   If you are in direct sales you REALLY compete every day.  But every role in a corporate situation is in a competition on a team basis.  There are competitive operations vying for your company’s market share.  Your McDonald’s has a Burger King across the street offering “2 sausage biscuits for $1” and you know he’s running a lost leader just to draw away your breakfast trade.  I hear that Burger King manager worked in Florida for 18 years and pulled that crap all the time.  The fast food police should shut him down … he is CHEATING!

   Every profession has room for people to work the ethical margins of the parameters of legality.  Lawyers, CPAs, Real Estate developers, Stockbrokers, etc etc.  Most of us boast of our purity and sanctimonious professional conduct.  We ARE the golden standard by which our competitors should adhere.  When you have everyone in your marketplace taking that attitude it gets quite crowded in the Penthouse Suite at the Holier-Than-Thou Hilton.

  If, perish the thought, someone calls your sanctimonious bluff on some ethically marginal action you took.  How do you react?  “WELL, that low down rascal “over there” left me no choice. I had to sink to his level.”  … yawn!  

  Spouses cheat on each other because “he/she drove me to it”.  Executives “cook their books” because “the tax laws are unfair and my accountants told me “everybody does it”.  Just one Godiva chocolate isn’t breaking my diet.  Missing one day at the gym won’t hurt.  Fudging that expense report just this once.  Paying a prostitute for a BJ isn’t really cheating on your wife. YIKES!

   The world of these almost mythical football coaches isn’t much different from yours.  Assuming your success hinges on 18 year old ego-maniacal kids who have been convinced all the world they care about does indeed revolve around them.  Suppose your success hinges on teenagers buying your fashions or your CDs or watching your television shows … understanding how these kids “think” is something you better get tuned into if you are going to get them to buy whatever you are selling.  Bending them to fit your mold simply ain’t happening.  It’s not coincidence that they don’t sell wing tips at The Gap.

   One of the most valuable professional experiences I ever had occurred when a “headhunter” convinced me to leave Company A to join direct competitor Company B.  Let’s call it “Mike O’Cain and Robbie Caldwell go west”.  I was sure those corrupt rascals at B were quite bad folks.  How was I, being steeped in “the right and honorable” way to conduct business, ever going to co-exist with those unprincipled brigands.  Guess what … they were worried about me for the exact same reasons.  My new co-workers kept staring at me.  I finally asked “what’s the deal?”.  We are looking for your horns and spiked tail. We know you used to work “over there”.”   BOING!

   I guess I haven’t been too subtle with where this is headed, huh?  Subtly not exactly being my most well-known trait.

   Lots of hooting and hollering over “signing day”.  “Stars” only matter if your signees had a lot of them.  “We got everybody we REALLY wanted”.  “We value character above speed, strength, and aggressiveness.”  Need I go on here?

   If in business business or in the business of sports we get out maneuvered (“snockered!”), we have several ways to react.  

  • Objectively reevaluate how we structured the proposal; 
  • Seriously consider if we are really suited for “this business”; 
  • Dedicate ourselves to working harder and smarter on the next proposal; or 
  • Sneaking over to our competitor’s shop at night and pouring sugar in his gas tank.  

   I’ve seen all of these courses of action tried and, yes, sugar in a gas tank creates a real mess. Depending upon your level of reserve capital, too many lost sales eventually drains those reserves and the next presentation is a “corporate life or death” situation.  That’s how Glaxo made lots of money with Zantac.

The Saga of Three Young Men 

Ryan Perrilloux, Montario Hardesty, and Jon Hannah

   Last Tuesday these three 18 year old athletes were considered outstanding paragons of virtue and vigor in Austin, Chapel Hill, and Blacksburg respectively.  By Wednesday at noon, each had drastically morphed into scurrilous scallywags for whom the utter depths of hell will be their certain destiny.  Not only are they now forever tattooed as “low down dirty birds” they are so joined by their mammas, their daddies (if whereabouts known), and their Aunt Shirley.  Their heinous crime?  They changed their minds after a “verbal commitment”.

   What is a “verbal commitment” you ask?  You know … like when you told the salesman at the Honda dealership you “definitely” wanted that burgundy Accord and you would be back first thing in the morning to do the paperwork … then you decided to drive by the Toyota dealership and fell in love with that metallic gold Corolla. Do you think that Honda salesman is still waiting for you to come back? Are you kidding?  He sold “your” burgundy Accord to another guy that same afternoon who “did the paperwork on the spot” and gave him the check.  Car salesmen are all shysters aren’t they?  That’s debatable, but car salesmen who don’t sell cars, aren’t car salesmen very long. 

   Of course even The Very Best Car Salesmen such as Mr Brown at Longhorn Motors in Austin sometimes get “snockered”.

“Winners tell jokes and Losers say deal”


Swagger’s Stumper

According to song … Maverick traveled

 “from Natchez to ________”

Extra Credit

What did he “live on” while travelin? 


   Our companion website is scoring some national pub with its current offering on Al Sharpton.  It’s a relatively safe read for those of the non-Repub persuasion.  Relatively being a relative term of course.  Check it out.

Some 18 year olds pull caps out of gym bags 

and are called “BlueChippers”.

Some 18 year olds carry a rifle thru the streets of Fallujah 

and are called U.S. Marines. 

   Jill, Sabrina, and Kelly were “managed” by Bosley.  Charlie Townsend owned “the agency” and directed “the Angels” thru Bosley.  “Charlie” eventually sold the agency, changed his name to Blake Carrington, moved to Denver and married Linda Evans and Joan Collins.  But that’s another story.

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