Texas head coach Tom Herman took the podium at Big 12 Media Day yesterday and Tom Herman did what Tom Herman does – he rocked it.
Of course he talked about quarterbacks and made it very clear that he wants to get Texas A&M back on the schedule. But the biggest thing he talked about was losing, something which Texas has done too much of lately and Herman wants to change that: “Losing has to be awful, and you can never get used to losing. That is one of the biggest downfalls of a lot of teams, is you get used to losing.”
He’s not here for your “good job, good effort” attitude. There’s no joy in just trying your best for Tom Herman. “No, l*osing is awful. It’s awful. It’s not just, oh well, we’ll get them next week. No, this is like the sky-is-falling-type stuff.”
And how do you go about changing the culture? How do you make sure your guys know that losing is awful? With food. Because while nothing tastes worse than defeat, a nasty-ass breakfast will come pretty close.
So Herman started competitions among the players. Guys who won, ate like kings, guys who lost ate like losers. Just ask defensive back P.J. Locke who lost his series of agility drills to DeShon Elliott: “The winners were there eating crispy bacon. The losers got a trash breakfast – burnt toast, cold pancakes.”
But wait, it gets worse, according to offensive lineman Connor Williams: “The losers got watered-down eggs and had to eat out in the stadium with the cold wind blowing.”
A trash breakfast and you have to eat it in the cold? Nothing will make me hit conditioning harder than wanting to avoid that nightmare… I don’t know which playbook Tom Herman ripped that from… Maybe from his time with Urb. Or maybe from the Navy Seals who have a saying: it pays to be a winner.
Have you ever seen video of the Seals’ Hell Week?. They have what they call evolutions; or an event that’s part of their training schedule… and they have units compete against each other in these evolution, and if you win, you get rewarded, if you lose you get the equivalent of burnt toast, and cold pancakes served to you outside in the cold. Or maybe in the case of a NAVY Seal, it means going back and out and spending another ten minutes in the freezing ocean. No one wants that. So everyone tries to win. Because it pays to be a winner. Literally.
And no one knows that better than Tom Herman., who is trying to establish a new culture in Austin. And the best way to do that, is feed crisp bacon to the winners who are busting their ass, and runny eggs, burnt toast and cold pancakes to the losers who aren’t.
I know I said something similar about Charlie Strong when he showed up, but there’s no doubt in mind, Tom Herman will show out and is the man to bring the Longhorns back. And not just because of crisp bacon and cold pancakes. My man has a blueprint, and I’m not saying just because it worked in Houston, it will work in Austin. But I am saying it will work.
When everyone was coming for Mack Brown, I would always defend him saying, it’s not a question of if, its’ a matter of when. And then Mack got his. Just like I said he would. And Herman is going to get his as well. Write it down.