Cliches Aren't Everything... ...they're the only thing--in the world of sports, at least, in which there's a bromide for any situation

October 15, 2000

Men, if we play our game, bring our A game, take it one game at a
time, stick to the game plan, stay within ourselves, dictate the
tempo, impose our will, give 110 percent, take it to another
level, take the crowd out of the game, make something happen,
show some athleticism, stop the penetration, step up our
intensity, execute, focus, convert and leave it all on the floor,
it's anybody's ball game.

But there's no tomorrow, our backs are against the wall, it's
crunch time, gut-check time, do or die. To click, to gel, to fire
on all cylinders, we'll need good chemistry, and you can't teach

So I'm juggling the lineup, making wholesale changes, trying to
light a fire under you, put a fire in your belly, fire you up,
because those other guys won't roll over, they won't lay down,
they can flat-out play, they're on fire, they're peaking at the
right time, they've got ice water in their veins, my hat's off to
them, you gotta hand it to them, they thrive in the clutch, they
feed off the pressure, they own us, they're hungry, they'll take
you to school, they'll eat your lunch, they'll make you pay, I'd
pay to see them play, even though they put their pants on one leg
at a time, same as we do.

But their go-to guy, we gotta contain him, that kid's something
special, he makes it look easy, he comes to play every day, he
makes everyone around him better, he's got something to prove,
he's got game, he's got skills, he's got our number, he's got a
very bright future in this league.

Although some of you couldn't play dead, couldn't play a radio,
couldn't hit sand if you fell off a camel, we've been here
before, we match up well, we know how to win, we're not happy
just to be here, our goal is a championship, and defense wins
championships, and we're in it to win it, and we're all in this
together, 'cause there's no I in team, so let's just go out there
and have some fun, let's dance with the one that brung us, let's
see what happens, and if the ball bounces our way, we'll control
our own destiny, and that's what it's all about.

Because we have nothing to lose, the pressure's on them, nobody
expected us to be here, nobody thought we could do it, nobody
gave us a chance, everyone counted us out, the naysayers all
doubted us, and that was the turning point, the key factor, the
shift in momentum, so let's silence the critics, let's send 'em a
message, let's make a statement, let's shock the world, let's get
that monkey off our backs.

Because at the end of the day, on any given Sunday, when you step
between the lines and answer the bell, down in the trenches, you
can throw out the record books, 'cause anything can happen. But
hey, they don't play these games on paper, so let's tee it up,
let's get it on, let's get ready to rumble.

We're not protecting the ball, we're not capitalizing on their
mistakes, turnovers are costing us, we need to regroup, we need
to dig deep, we need to show some poise, one big play and we're
right back in it, but we gotta generate some offense, we gotta
put some points on the board, we gotta get everybody on the same
page, or that's all she wrote, we'll have a long flight home,
we'll have a long cold winter to think about it. Still, it ain't
over till it's over, it ain't over till the fat lady sings.

It's all over but the shoutin'. Turn out the lights, the party's
over. Give them credit, they flat-out beat us, they just plain
outhustled us, they wanted it more, they showed a lotta class,
but we need to look in the mirror, this was a real wake-up call,
it just wasn't our day, but I'm proud of our guys, I take full
responsibility, coaches are hired to be fired, it's been a great

I look forward to spending more time with my family.