The innovator always at work: Meyer demonstrates a new rock-paper-scissors technique he hopes to use in Glendale, Arizona, site of the BCS National Championship.
Gainesville, Fla. – Urban Meyer knows something about unfairness. Two seasons ago the second year Florida head coach had to listen while pundits across the nation knocked the Bowl Championship Series and a system which kept an undefeated Auburn team from playing for the national title. The Tigers beat ACC champion Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl but USC – owners of an impressive 55-19 destruction of previously unbeaten Oklahoma – was everyone’s unanimous champion in 2004. Still, the consensus was that Auburn deserved a shot at the Trojans.
The problem? The Alex Smith led Utah Utes were also undefeated – and coached by Meyer.
“I die a little bit every time I think about it,” Meyer says.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t want to brain an intern or strangle a small dog over the thought of it. We had a good team in ’04. A fine team. To have worked that hard and not even be in the equation….” He trails off and sits in his office, contemplating. The room is brightly lit and fiendishly organized. There are stacks of three ring binders everywhere, all of them neatly labeled with things like “12/6 PERSONNEL PKG.” and “OATMEAL CRAN COOKIES W/ HAZEL GLZ.” Meyer is the only coach present.
“Sometimes,” he says suddenly, “when I’m sitting at home watching game film I’ll use the google to find a picture of the crystal ball and…. It’s hard to explain. Have you ever seen the movie Punch-Drunk Love? There’s this part: Adam Sandler’s character, he’s finally pouring his heart out to the girl, and that scene has always been close to my own heart. It’s something real special.”
Meyer pauses. Upon first meeting him it’s impossible to get a sense of the forces at struggle deep within. He is incredibly cordial and measured, a man every bit in control as a career 59-12 head coaching record would indicate – but now there is a brief crack in the armor. Without getting up from his chair he wheels over to a nearby computer and quickly brings up a picture of the BCS national championship trophy. Meyer stares intently at the screen, nodding quietly.
“I’m lookin’ at your face and I just wanna smash it. I just wanna fuckin’ smash it with a sledgehammer and squeeze it. You’re so pretty,” he whispers, eyes never leaving the crystal football glowing out from the monitor. Continue reading