Friday, November 30, 2007

More Crushing on Pete Carroll

Here's a link to a mind-blowing article on Pete Carroll from Los Angeles magazine: 23 Reasons Why a Profile of Pete Carroll Does Not Appear in this Space. This guy never ceases to amaze me. Halfway through, I'm very happy to read the following:

His first task: Turn USC into the grandest college dynasty ever. Not this week’s number one team but history’s. “To win forever,” he says . . . .

Sounds impossible, right? Unrealistically ambitious? Read the article and you'll have a tough time not believing he can pull it off.

Even after almost seven years at the helm of USC football, you'll learn things about the man that sound like they were lifted out of a movie script, like this:
Along the way [Bo] Taylor tells me that he and Carroll do this often. They make late-night journeys through the dicey precincts of Los Angeles. Alone, unarmed, they cruise the desolate, impoverished, crime-ridden streets, meeting as many people (mostly young men) as possible. The mission: Let them know that someone busy, someone famous, someone well known for winning, is thinking about them, rooting for them. The young men have hard stories, grim stories, about their everyday lives, and at the very least Carroll’s visit gives them a different story to tell tomorrow.

[. . .]

We start in east South-Central, a block without streetlights, without stores. Broken glass in the gutters. Fog and gloom in the air. We hop out and approach a group of young men bunched on the sidewalk. Glassy-eyed, they’re either drunk, stoned, or else just dangerously bored. They recognize Carroll right away. Several look around for news trucks and politicians, and they can’t hide their shock when they realize that Carroll is here, relatively speaking, alone.

Carroll shakes hands, asks how everyone’s doing. He marches up and down the sidewalk, the same way he marches up and down a sideline—exhorting, pumping his fist. At first the young men are nervous, starstruck , shy. Gradually they relax. They talk about football, of course, but also about the police, about how difficult it is to find a job. They talk about their lives, and their heads snap back when Carroll listens.

This anecdote from Carroll's tenure with the NY Jets also caught my eye:
And at the end of my talk I say, ‘As we get through it, I’ll explain it more to you, and I know this to be true so much right now that thunder will strike—’” At that moment, Carroll says, he struck a table with his fist and a clap of thunder shook the building. His coaches, he says, turned white. I turn a little pale myself. “At bed check,” he says, laughing, “I found guys curled up, reading their Bibles.”

Read it.

HT: TrojanWire.

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