PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23: Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers pose for a photo as they tailgate outside the stadium prior to the 2011 AFC Championship game against the New York Jets at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
A ship isn’t worth a damn without a good captain. And likewise, a tailgate can’t survive without a proper leader calling the shots. That’s why today we’d like to study 10 coaches that we think would make an excellent addition to your tailgate. Unfortunately, we are sad to say that this list is exclusively reserved for non-fiction coaches, so Coach Eric Taylor, Craig T. Nelson and Bill Fagerbakke will all have to sit this one out. Although… hey editors! For next week, maybe top 10 fictional coaches? We’ve already got 30% of the list!
Without further ado, here we go:
10. Lou Holtz
Yes yes, some of you are about to get all snarky up in here about his lisp. But listen – the man is one of the most sought-after and highly paid motivational speakers in the motivational speaking game. Rumor has it that at one point he was the second most expensive after only Bill Clinton. Wouldn’t you want to hear his stories for free, all while drinking beer? I think so. That’s a steal, friend. Also, I’m not ashamed to say, as a Notre Dame grad, I’m putting Lou Holtz up here entirely for selfish reasons. He’s my Santa Claus.
Rob Ryan (Photo Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
9. Rob Ryan
As I might have mentioned elsewhere, Rob Ryan’s stock is way better than his brother’s these days. Although, to be fair, I’m a Patriots fan, so to me Rex Ryan will always resemble Pizza the Hut. Still, Rob Ryan has been known to hang out with New Orleans fans and hit the French Quarter after a victory. Sounds like a helluva guy to have at your parking lot party.
8. Ed Orgeron
Legend has it that when Orgeron was at Ole Miss, he started his tenure by having himself and every player on his team remove their shirts. He then instructed half the room to yell “Ole Miss,” and the other half to yell “Wild Boys.” This went on and on, and built in intensity, until eventually desks were being turned over, and everyone was losing their collective marbles. It was then that the coach said something along the lines of, “And one more thing – any other you m*****f****** think you can take me? Come on up and get a piece.”
He’d be a little Bears-heavy. But he’s been in Coors Light commercials and he’s got a few steakhouses. He looks like a man that appreciates the finer things in life. And that probably includes tailgates. Plus, with a few shots, maybe we can get him “drunk enough to trade for Ricky Williams” drunk. That’s some kinda drunk.
6. Jim Mora Sr.
No concrete reason for this, other than I love the “PLAYoffs?” bit so much that I’d try to get the old man sauced up and then ask him incredulous questions. “JELLO shots? Jello SHOTS?”
Bill Belichick (Photo Credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
5. Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick is famously terse with reporters. That’s why I’d like to get him around a bottle of peach schnapps. If the two of us split one of those, who knows what kind of secrets I’d get out of him? Like why does Tom Brady switch his hair every year or what Troy Brown is up to these days or WHY HE NEVER EVER SMILES.
4. Herm Edwards
Just so I could tank a game of beer pong with him as my partner, and try to goad him into saying “You PLAY to WIN the GAME. HELLO!?” Aw. Herm Edwards, you’re the best.
3. Les Miles
Here’s a pro-tip: Google “Les Miles press conference” and enjoy the next four hours of your life. This possibly insane, always-entertaining good ol’ boy would keep your tailgate guests rolling with his stories. I bet he’s eaten a gator before. Alive.
Andy Reid (Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
2. Andy Reid
Look, any guy who’s the size of Andy Reid, who’s spent a sizable amount of time in Philadelphia and Kansas City – two big tailgating towns – has to have had some good experiences. Plus, after leading Kansas City to what appears to be a revitalization, you know he’d be in good spirits. And if that doesn’t convince you, maybe this will.
1. John Madden
Having to explain why John Madden is #1 on this list is like having to defend that Abraham Lincoln was a decent enough president. Madden popularized the Turducken – yes, with a capital T – that bald eagle of tailgating birds. Push comes to shove, you could actually say that John Madden wrote the book on tailgating. NO, FOR REALSIES, LOOK. He was a great coach, a great commentator and one of the best tailgaters to have ever lived. Congrats, Coach Madden. You’re #1 on our list.