Herm Edwards offers advice to suspended Connecticut high school coach
D.J. Hernandez, the 24-year-old Southington, Conn., football coach and brother of the Patriots' Aaron Hernandez, made an unfortunate mistake during a recent football game.
His team found the armband playlist belonging to the opposing team's wide receiver and used it to win a game. Horrible mistake. The kind of character-defining mistake a young person might make and learn from. Until other people find out about it and you get suspended for a game. You apologize. You think you can pick up the pieces and move on.
And then Herman Edwards, in vintage "You play to win the game. You. Play. To. Win. The. Game." was off and running in the "Herm's House" segment on ESPN. (Key phrases bold-faced for your convenience.)
"Well, you play to win the game, obviously [chucklechuckle], but I think there's certain criteria for how you go about doing that, too. I think this is a young coach that was put in a situation where he got caught up in the game, I believe. This is my opinion. I don't know the young man. He got caught up in the game saying, 'Hey, we really need to win this game' and he had some information that he could use that he felt like he was going to win the game with this information. But you have to remember something."
We are "go" for liftoff.
"When you're the head coach, you're the guy that really has to make a lot of decisions and when you're around young people, whether you're a high school coach, pro coach, football coach, basketball coach -- it doesn't matter. There's a thing called integrity and value. That happens to go a long way in life. That kind of happens to be kind of who you are and the decisions you make and other people watch you make those decisions -- that affects people. When you're in this situation and it doesn't matter if it's just a high school game, it's a part of the process of being a coach. Doing the right thing is sometimes not every comfortable. Doing the right thing doesn't mean you're always going to win, but you have to do the right thing. There's boundaries in sports, I believe."
And we have obtained orbit.
"There is this boundary called competitiveness and you compete. I always grew up this way: a lot of times you play in a football game or a basketball game and the coach would come over and say, 'You know what? They've got a couple of injuries. A couple of their good players aren't playing.' That would bother me. That would bother me because I wanted to compete against the best players, because I wanted to find out about me. And that's what athletics kind of brings out in everyone. It kind of exposes your strengths and your weaknesses. But you as a head coach, you've got to make sure when you make decisions, it's the proper decision because it's affect the people that play for you for the rest of their life."
What about a situation like Spygate, Herm was prompted by Steve Weissman.
"Wrong is wrong. Wrong is never right, no matter how you want to spin it. I think at the end, I learned this: You have to look in that mirror and you're lookin' at you lookin' back at you. That would be hard for me to live with. It's just me! 'Cause that's how I grew up. I grew up, I had a great mom and a dad -- they were my role models. I believe this: Character, like soup, is best made at home. And I learned that at home."
It was pointed out that Edwards likes Fig Newtons. What if one was lying unclaimed in the cafeteria?
[At this point, Herm is talking faster than Jackie Chiles. "Who told you to put the balm on??? I didn't tell you to put the balm on."]
"Was it on the ground? If it was on the ground, I'd throw it away."
Nope. Still in the wrapper.
"Still in the wrapper? You want me to walk by and eat it? No, it doesn't belong to me. I believe this. When things don't belong to you, they don't belong to you. They belong to somebody. It doesn't belong to you."
Ladies and gentlemen, Herm's House.
"Make sure you knock, too. Don't just walk in."
I hope D.J. Henderson finds this helpful.
| November 11, 2010; 7:16 AM ET
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