Chip Kelly has an, er, way about him.
“I think the media around here is the smartest people I’ve ever been around in my entire life.”
He can be funny, biting, pithy, strange, fiery and surprising when talking to reporters.
“Opening statements? Is this a debate? LaMichael: Thermonuclear war. Are you for it or against it?”
He seems to be in constant amusement at all the chatter going on around him and his Oregon Ducks team. But he doesn't suffer fools well. He sometimes provides one-word answers when reporters were hoping for at least a phrase or two. He doesn't like to talk about injuries. He doesn't like being asked to entertain hypotheticals. He sometimes resists answering seemingly simple questions -- "If quarterback Darron Thomas is healthy, will he start next weekend?" -- but he is as good as any coach in the country at giving colorful, insightful answers to reporters working on features about his players.
A lot of the time, you know exactly what he's going to say -- reporters have to ask about injuries, even if they know it will annoy Kelly -- but the times he riffs to his own beat are truly original.
For example, after his team won the first Pac-12 championship game over UCLA, he said this through his typical sideways grin to the audience on Fox and the Autzen Stadium crowd, "We're gonna go drink some Dr. Pepper, and mail our Christmas presents with UPS!!!"
Why did he say that? Well, guess who had the most sponsorship signage at Autzen Stadium that night?
Three friends who grew up in Eugene, graduated from Oregon and really, really love their Ducks noticed that Kelly has a way with words that's unique in college football.
“I saw the ‘Feel Sorry For Yourself’ train leaving the parking lot & none of our players were on it so that was a good sign.”
And they started a Twitter account called "Chipisms." They also prefer to maintain their anonymity. Said one, "We don't want any credit for it. We did it for fun."
“C’mon, you’ve never seen Fletch?! WOW!!! It’s a great movie!”
While the genesis for the Twitter account was an Oregon fan living in Seattle during the Ducks' 2010 run to the national title game -- "I was surrounded by Huskies," he said -- a seed was planted three years before when one of them was throwing a football around while waiting to buy basketball tickets in 2007. A stocky guy walked up and decided they needed throwing lessons.
He said, “Let me show you how to throw a football. You gotta flick it like a booger.”
That colorful bit of advice came from the Ducks' new offensive coordinator, who was just out of New Hampshire. It later became No. 7 on the list of best Chipisms -- see below -- and is the only one that is not sourced directly to TV or newspaper quotes.
These guys take Chipisms seriously. If you closely follow the team, reading through their Twitter page is like re-experiencing the season. That's their intention.
"Hopefully you can read Chipisms and get an idea what's going on with the Ducks," said the founder. "As dumb as it sounds, we spend a lot of time talking to each other about how we should do it. It's very fun."
The feed didn't have many followers until Kelly notoriously exploded at some boisterous fans during an interview with Erin Andrews in 2010 after the Ducks beat Stanford. This Tweet, "Can you please show her (@ErinAndrews) a little respect?” was re-Tweeted by Andrews, who has many, many followers. Chipisms got a boost and is now at around 3,000 followers.
And, yes, these guys hold Kelly in very high esteem.
"We often joke that if Chip wanted to adopt us, we'd be his three 20-something sons," one said.
So, without further ado, here is their personal list of top-10 Chipisms as well as a handful of honorable mentions.
10. “Our goal every day is to win the day.” #WTD
9. “I've worn the same practice visor since I got here in 2007 ... I'm just trying to save the school money.”
8. “I was kind of surprised with a school like this that they didn’t have a lawnmower.” On the long grass at Stanford Stadium.
7. “Let me show you how to throw a football. You gotta flick it like a booger.”
6. “Maybe your parents didn't believe in you (@JohnCanzanoBFT).”
5. “De'Anthony's pretty good. D'Angelo's is a great restaurant back East. They sell great subs.” After postgame flub by a Root Sports reporter.
4. “Can you please show her (@ErinAndrews) a little respect?”
3. “(Play calling) is driven by the players that you have...you can't be a riverboat gambler if you are coaching the Little Giants.”
2. “The sports reporters are very underpaid in this state. There should be a pension system for them & maybe some of them could retire early.”
1.“HEY! WILL YOU SHUT UP!!!” Coaching up some young Ducks fans while talking to @ErinAndrews after the ASU victory.
“I don't know. Could be God.” On who Nick Aliotti is talking to on the phone during Ducks games.
“The 3-4 is the second greatest mystery behind the Sasquatch in Eugene, to be honest with you.” [Kelly has repeatedly resisted reporters and a few coaches contentions his defense runs a lot of 3-4 looks].
“I'll answer any question, but every question is a stupid question.”
“I could go and stay at a @HolidayInn and see if I could figure it out, but we're just goin’ with what we got.” On dealing with injuries.
“I'll give any teller who gives me a lollipop four stars.” Comparing recruiting services to banks.
“They are like a tea bag. You don't know what you are going to get until you put them in hot water.” On quarterbacks.