Paul Azinger goes Mike Krzyzewski, congratulates himself a little too much for Ryder Cup win
Coaches get way too much credit in all sports (except Mike Martz, that guy is a real offensive genius - just see the Detroit Lions without him). It’s part of the deal, with most sportswriters being unduly obsessed and impressed with coaches. The problem comes in when a coach tries to give himself even more credit.
And that’s what U.S. captain Paul Azinger seemed to do after the Ryder Cup.
“I poured my heart and soul into this for two years,” Azinger told the Associated Press. “The players poured their heart and soul into this for one week. They deserved it. I couldn’t be happier.”
Azinger made it sound like his two years of watching who was playing well (most people call this being a fan by the way and really what else does the Ryder Cup captain do before picking his wildcards?) outweighed the great week of actual golf work the U.S. players put in. That’s creeping into Mike Krzyzewksi territory, being a gasbag coach who makes it all about him - in an eloquent, contrived way of course.
The U.S. players and fans acted fine with their conduct during the Ryder Cup (sorry wimpy golf traditionalists, sometimes actual sports does creep into the game and you’ll have some raw moments of emotion). It’s the U.S. Captain who lost me by going all self congratulatory. Azinger sounded like Coach K. after the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team managed to put the gold medal game in doubt despite severly out-talenting the Spainish squad. Like the fake Krzyzewski often does, Azinger tried to paint things much more noble and favoring him than they needed to be.
Just give the players credit and step aside. The fawning press will give you more than enough praise. There’s no need to endlessly pat yourself on the back too. It’s not a great human struggle that you masterfully orchestrated. It’s sports.
Azinger did a fine job - but was his selection of the surprisingly effective Chad Campbell really any better than Nick Faldo’s pick of the surprisingly dominant Ian Poulter?
It’s the players who made the difference. This isn’t all about you, Paul. No matter how sweet you think you looked holding that walkie-talkie.
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But you're totally right about the media fawning over him. At the press conference, you've got twelve players up at the podium and half the questions were directed at 'Zinger. Not his fault though.
I suggest you get your facts right. I doubt you can cite an example of Coach K crediting himself over his players.
The only debate is whether Azinger went into K. territory with his remark.
Ironically, I see a Google ad for "Knockoff Golf Clubs" to the right of this comment box. You're aiding the selling of PHONY golf clubs, Chris!
Why don't you contact the British Press and tell them to lay off of Faldo for managing his team in the worst way possible. If coaches are going to be the "fall guys," they certainly deserve the credit when their plans work out on the positive side.
Coach K and Paul Azinger are team players and both are much more accomplishedin their fields than 99.9% of any sports writer that I have ever read.
The fact that Coach K has done commercials does not address your claim. That's a big 'so what.' (And, BTW, at least some of K's commercials income went for charitable purposes -- a community center in Durham is the principal example.)
Give it up, Dude. You have no idea how inaccurate you are.
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