When Dabo Swinney was growing up, football and life, in general, were much, much different.

By Khadrice Rollins
September 03, 2019

Dabo Swinney was not going to let Washington State's Mike Leach get through this week with the most amusing press conference clip.

Leach spent the end of his media availability Monday discussing Area 51 and Burning Man. Swinney spent part of his time with reporters on Tuesday talking about how football has evolved over the years in a way that lets more freshmen come into college ready to play right out the gates.

According to Swinney, football has changed over time thanks to the growing number of television stations, increased entertainment options for the youth and specialization of other sports forcing football to keep up.

I know, that seems like a lot of things to touch on in regards to freshman getting more time on the field, but Dabo did it.

"I didn't know what a three-wideout set...man what I would have done to play in a world like today. So you better like it. You better like going out there and stalk blocking. You better like cracking. And if you get lucky, they're going to throw an out cut to you. 'Oh my god, they threw a hitch. They caught a hitch,'" Swinney said when explaining how offense has changed in his lifetime. "You just didn't throw the ball a lot in those days. But you didn't have Fortnite. You didn't have all these games and iTunes and social media. You just didn't have that. I mean, what the heck was I going to do if I went home? What was I going to do? I mean, sit there? Look at the wall? Got three channels: You got Lawrence Welk and Hee Haw and Happy Days. That's what you got."

Swinney went on to explain that all the other elements of life are forcing high school coaches to compete for players' attention differently, and that's what has caused innovation in the sport by adding fun. He also stressed that the current evolution of football is taking place from the high school level up instead of coming from the NFL down.

When you get past the dated iTunes reference and random Hee Haw shoutout, Swinney's point comes through a bit more clearly.

But I'm much more interested in coming up with a theory about football's evolution that is more directly related to Fonzie jumping the shark and Henry Winkler's progression as an actor.

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