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Coach Cal - A View from Memphis; What We Can Learn

From time to time there has been some discussion on Coach Calipari at U of Memphis.  There is an article in today’s Commercial Appeal by Geoff Calkins (our version of John Clay, with a bit of Tipton thrown in).  It chronicles his 9 years at Memphis – from the rocky start to him owning the town today.

It is an interesting read, but some highlights are:

Questions from past press conferences:

Q: What do you think about Seth Davis of CBS?

A: He picked the Germans in WWII.

Q: What’s your philosophy in recruiting?

A: We’ll get the kids we’re supposed to get.

Q: What about The Commercial Appeal, John?

A: The only time I see it is when I back over it in my driveway.

 

And on his rocky start in Memphis (NIT first couple of years…)

 

Q: Were you always this popular in Memphis?

A: After my first couple years, there were “For Sale” signs in my yard.

Or not. Who knows, at this point, if those “For Sale” signs were reality or metaphor?

Calipari did have his critics. You know how he countered them?

With two words: “The Miserables.”

What a brilliant phrase. It’s funny, for one thing. The Miserables. How can you say it and not smile?

But what it did was effectively inoculate Calipari from criticism. Instead of addressing the criticism — instead of taking it seriously — Calipari could label the critics as The Miserables.

He still uses it, too. He used it Monday at his radio show.

“We have no more Miserables around the program,” he said, to laughter. “They’re in cracks now, waiting for us to lose games.”

 

Maybe BCG should see if there is a trademark on “The Miserables”…..

 

The entire article is at:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/mar/17/cal-speak-tigers-coach-words-come-fast-wins/

 

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