Locker Room Surprise

Th day my Dad disagreed with Woody and got the surprise of his life.


One day at practice, Woody made a comment about a player. My dad was his position coach, and vehemently disagreed with Coach Hayes. (More on this in another post).


After practice, they all jogged to the locker room. Dad took his time, as he didn't want a run-in with the coach. Dad was just taking off his cleats, getting ready to shower and get home.


Then he heard a noise behind him.


"Herbstreit!"


It was Woody. Dad spun around to answer.


Standing before him was the legendary coach wearing only white sport socks, black shoes, his signature black hat, and a jock strap. (Yeah, the old-fashioned kind.)





Nothing else.


He spoke as though he had no idea that he looked odd, or that he wan't completely dressed. His belly, hanging over the strap, bobbed and moved as he bellowed. His hair, stuck out of both sides of his black hat, the hat that would become his signature.


My dad froze. His frustration forgotten, he choked back laughter. He knew better.


Dad did a quick sweep of the locker room. Yep, he was the only one here to witness this awesome display. How could no one else–not even another assistant coach–be here to see this? Like a kid in church trying not to laugh when his friend makes faces at him, Dad had no idea how he would hold himself together. His impulse was to bust out with hysterical laughter. Yet Coach didn't seem to notice that he was only wearing a jock. Dad started to sweat, it was taking every ounce of strength not to laugh.


He loved and respected Coach, and he would never disrespect him.


"Damn it, Herbie," Coach said. "Well? You disagree with what I did out there?"

The legendary coach wore only white socks, black shoes, his signature black hat, and a jock strap. Nothing else.

Keeping his eyes trained on Coach Hayes' eyes, he answered honestly.


"Um yeah, I disagree." Dad said.


The whole experience left my dad with a vision he would never forget, and then he shared it with me.


Now I'm sharing it with you. You're welcome.

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This is an honest blog about growing up in a sports family, being an imperfect parent, taking risks, and the complicated, beautiful mess that is life.

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