I remember reading a story one time that talked about Norv Turner’s fiery practice demeanor, and particular his “salty language.” Ah, yes, this seems to be it. And just as I did at the time, I look at it and think, “…Really?” Turner? Salty? That guy? The one who always looks like this and this and this? He looks like he’s constantly receiving bad news he can do nothing about, so he sheepishly takes it. Combine that, his lackluster head coaching record, and his name being “Norv,” and you’ve got a guy fans love to laugh at.
But what if the guy fans love to look at is all perception, and the real Turner is the salty firebrand after all? We fans don’t have a ton of evidence suggesting as much… or at least we didn’t before yesterday’s Chargers game against the Buccaneers, which resulted in another disappointing San Diego loss – not to mention the doubts about Turner’s job security growing stronger than ever. Following the loss, Turner was asked if his team’s effort was acceptable. Then this happened:
Well, there he is! Fired-up Norv! We never see that guy, and SportsCenter’s NFL former player/analyst bros were loving it earlier in the day. (In fact, they were loving it a little much for my taste, because in praising Turner for showing some emotion, they were raving about how the players would respond to it by playing the “I played the game” card in an especially self-satisfied manner. Maybe the Chargers will respond, but hearing someone – someone talking purely from a player’s perspective, not a media member’s perspective, mind you – laud a guy for ripping on a media member while collecting checks from a giant media conglomerate? Just rubbed me the wrong way.)
Couple things about this Turner rant, though. He’s not quite all the way fired up, and he stumbles over his words a little bit. Basically, he’s a cross between “They are who we THOUGHT they were!” and the idea of Norv Turner NFL fans tend to have in their minds. He started out ranty, but retreated. It was, ultimately, a half-assed rant. And that means that Norv Turner’s brief dalliance with NFL badassery and fire-and-brimstone motivation will probably just result in… more people laughing at him. Poor salty Norv.