Monday, February 4, 2008

'The Pep Talk or What's a Halftime for?'

A sportswriter I know once snuck into a locker room at halftime, not to copy the X's and O's but to add motivational phrases from the coach's pep talk to the rich lexicon of sports -- you know, "Let's show 'em what we're made of ... Leave it all on the field ... Make me proud!" And so on. My friend was busily scribbling notes, until he found himself writing, "Hey, who's that guy in the back?" and realized the coach was talking about him!

No doubt anyone attempting similar research at yesterday's Super Bowl XLII would have been hoisted on his own Bic, so we can only guess at what must have been the contrasting styles of New York Giants' Tom Coughlin ("Let's Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go-Go!!!!!!!!!") and the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick ("Let's ........ go .......... men.")

Although it may have worked this time, frenetic exhortation may not always be more effective than the scowling monotone. For more on this subject, Tom and Bill, consult one of my earlier posts, "Delivery."

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