How To Rile Up An Opposing Fanbase: Awkwardly Misquote One Of Their Icons
New Indiana Hoosiers football coach Kevin Wilson spun a few reporters' heads around and set Twitter afire when he quoted legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes as having said something-or-other about rollerblading. But what was the real quotation?
Thursday's Big Ten Media Day video of Wilson's quotation:
Given that Hayes died in 1987 and ended his coaching career in 1978 the likelihood of him referencing rollerblading (a term licensed in 1983 but not in the public consciousness until the late 1980s) is spurious. But coaches have gone to the well before. Late Miami U. and Northwestern coach Randy Walker, in the August 19, 2001 Contra Costa Times:
"But great football players, great football teams, learn to ice skate in the summer and roller skate in the winter," Walker likes to say in explaining his belief in conditioning. "I borrowed that from (the late Ohio State coach) Woody Hayes. What he meant by that was, shoot, everybody gets good at what we do in August. Everybody's practicing football. Everybody's working at their trade. It's what you do in the off-season, when there are no coaches around, to become a better football player (that makes the difference)."
Walker, again, in the Daily Northwestern newspaper on May 20, 1999:
"Woody Hayes used to say you've got to learn to ice skate in the summer and roller skate in the winter. Everyone gets better at ice skating when the ponds are frozen. How much better do you get in the summer?"
Unfortunately, we couldn't find the original Hayes quote itself, though he said a lot of things very similar to it in interviews after his hiring in 1951 to coach the Buckeyes. Regardless, it's not just a simple misquote on behalf of Wilson -- he misses the entire point of Hayes' (apocryphal?) statement. Hayes was advocating cross-training before the phrase had even been coined.
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