Defensive Thoughts

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express my interest in the defensive coordinator position with the Jacksonville Jaguars. To all the dream-thwarters out there, yes, I realize the position is currently filled. Yes, the position usually goes to someone who played the game past the high school level and has at the very least a handful of years in coaching. Even with these detours to success, it would serve the Jaguars well to listen to my qualifications.

Before my search progresses any further, let me say I have nothing against Bob Babich. The Jaguars’ current defensive coordinator seems like the lumpy-guy-with-the-Hawaiian Shirt whose vacant smile could fill the awkward silence of Sunday barbeques. Poor Bob had to endure multiple years as a coach for Lovie Smith and now he’s forced to endure the weekly drawing and quartering of a 0-7 start? My interest in the position is one of servitude, not status attainment. I am willing to go through the paces of brutality for the betterment of the sport.

So why me? What set of skills and personality traits does one need to improve upon a unit who surrendered five touchdown drives to the passing fancy of the read-option offense? Here are my most appealing credentials:

Experience: A 1-1 record as a Powder Puff Football Coach in high school and attention to detail in any Madden or NCAA College Football gives me the next best thing to the actual experience of coaching. Well besides playing, it’s the only thing short of actual experience.

Adherence to Lombardi Time: Everyone is familiar with the old coach’s edict that his players and staff show up 10-15 minutes early to something, otherwise they would be considered late. I run on the same schedule, but it’s not out of respect for others or respect for the subject matter. No, my personal Lombardi Time is due to a lack of any other plans. And really, after the defensive coaching staff and I barnstorm through every Applebee’s in Jacksonville, what else will I have to do but show up early?

Swearing: Swear words might intimate a low-rent, low-brow individual, but creative vulgarity fails to get the credit it deserves. George Carlin even crafted an entire routine on the seven words one could not say on television. He recited the words in a sing-song fashion that brought a needed amount of artistic recognition to an act that explicitly enlightened the masses.

And to remove the multiple layers of vanity that encircle me, I can swear with the best of them. The act was accrued through years of menial jobs in which a manager chastised me for not bringing out a chafing dish on time, or breaking the string of a weed-whacker on a head stone. I responded (under my breath) by telling them where to go or what rusty object to stick into a portion of their body.

All you need to do is vary your curse words with an array of far-fetched nouns and verbs to create a compelling phrase. Curse words are the accoutrements, not the main dish of the sentence. Besides bible verses and clichés, what types of words do athletes love the most? Swear words. I’ll get those (expletive deleted) playing so hard and so (expletive deleted) angry that they’ll have no choice but to put their (expletive deleted) hearts, souls, and (expletive deleted) spirits on display. Good luck blocking us with your (expletive deleted) patchwork offensive line. We’ll get to your quarterback so (expletive deleted) quick you’ll think the (expletive deleted) idiots rushing the quarterback are delivering (expletive deleted) Turkey Tom’s.

Sunday Wear: The day of the Lord typically involves pressed khakis and an oxford shirt with a man on a horse stitched above the wearer’s heart, but football coaches of today, as enforced from the league’s uniform police, are a collection of goatees and beards situated between flex fit baseball caps and crewneck sweatshirts. The look connotes comfort in times of duress. It also mirrors the Sunday afternoon wardrobe I employ right between pacing in anticipation of the ten-point teasers and the stomach-wrench produced by a Frito Lays’ dip.

Aren’t you supposed to dress for the job you want, not the job you have? For roughly thirteen Sundays throughout the year I am one big piece of wicking fabric.

Everyone can be an enemy: If you can’t find fault with anyone you’re either in love or living a bigger lie than the former defensive coordinator from State College. I can identify a slight from any collection of comments. Praise my shoes? You must have a problem with my jeans. Tell me I lost weight? Well I didn’t realize I needed a Fleet Farm trailer to tote my big ass around town.

Really gifted defensive coordinators could find a slight anywhere. Buddy Ryan did it repeatedly with the offense on his own team. So if the opposing quarterback compliments our run defense, he must think our pass defense sucks. People who can’t muster hate aren’t trying hard enough. Spend any amount of time with anyone and you’ll find fault with the way they walk, their hand gestures, and the way they pronounce “ellipses.”

I feel these credentials speak for themselves and should be enough to grant me an interview, even with the Rooney Rule. However, I must warn Jaguars’ brass that there is no guarantee I will accept the position if it was offered to me. Even make-believe has its cold hard moments of terrible realization.

Sincerely,Nick Matkovich


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