Saturday, January 8, 2011
Chip Kelly unplugged
By Ted Miller
Oregon coach Chip Kelly was his wisecracking self with the media this week -- the only time he's had to endure an extended grilling.
I read through the 15-page transcript so you don't have to. For those aficionados of Chippisms, here are some highlights.
Do you have to pinch yourself every once in a while, tell yourself you are actually here.
Chip Kelly: I am not a pinch myself kind of guy.
Not even once!
Chip Kelly and his Oregon Ducks are fired up for the BCS title game.
We haven't had the luxury of seeing the team behind the scenes this week. How have you felt about how they have handled everything? Have they been enjoying themselves?
CK: They are fired up. It has been great. We miss you guys. I apologize for that.
Can you talk about Micky Ward and how you know him and what you think about him as an athlete?
CK: What I think of Micky Ward? He is the toughest person I have ever met in my entire life.
Talk about the ticket and this being one of the hottest tickets in BCS history and in two small markets relatively in the state of Alabama and Oregon.
CK: I'm unaware of the ticket prices. I don't have to pay for mine.
CK: Four grand? To come to this game? (Smiling). Wow. That's awesome.
Some of the things that you mentioned like Secretariat and The Fighter, are you at all taking not necessarily an underdog approach to this game but sort of a us against the world like Micky Ward or a Secretariat?
CK: No. I mean, our message with Secretariat is he didn't care. He ran -- I never looked at Secretariat as an underdog. You can watch that movie. You win the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths, that's not an underdog in my book. I think the message we had with Secretariat is it didn't care about what its competition was. It was a faceless opponent. It went out when the gate opened it ran as fast as it could as long as it could. That's what Steve Prefontaine did. He ran as fast as he could for as long as he did. If he didn't do it that way, then he wasn't happy with it. We are not going to lay back, sit back and do it. We have never taken that -- we don't talk much about our opponent, to be honest with you. From a scheme standpoint we do. We don't use those "are we an underdog" and all that. Those are outside influences that motivate you. We are an intrinsically motivated operation.
When you have been watching the Auburn tapes or just watching football in general, have you found the SEC teams to be significantly faster or stronger or better than the teams in the Pac-10 or other conferences that you look at?
CK: No. We don't look at it that way. I have been asked that question before. I don't analyze it by what teams are playing against somebody. When I watch Auburn on tape, I'm watching how they are doing schematically and who their play makers are. I don't get into that what's this league about, what's that league about. I know we played Tennessee this year, so we have had a game in the SEC.
Do you find it surreal to look around this room and see all these people here to see you and talk to you?
CK: Very, very surreal.
Why don't you like to talk about yourself?
COACH KELLY: Because I know about myself ... That's great. I entertain myself. I never got caught up in that. And I hang out with a bunch of people and it's the environment we grew up in. If somebody started talking about themselves or I had a friend talking in the third person, he may get hit.
Should Oregon fans be worried that you are becoming such a hot commodity that you would leave Oregon for another job?
CK: Again, outside influences. I'm really worried about Monday night. Should they be? I have never told our fans what to think.
When you look back on your days at New Hampshire, did you ever think you would be here playing for a national championship?
CK: Yes. Knew it.
CK: I had it mapped out. I got my life mapped out. 2011, January 10th, we would be playing.
That being the case, what's going to happen Monday night?
CK: Monday night. I haven't gotten that far. I just got myself to the 10th.
It is not on the forefront of your mind, but [Andrew] Luck coming back, do you have any thoughts on that?
CK: Yeah, I threw up, to be honest with you. [Kelly went on to praise Luck].
Earlier on in your life, what made you, what drew you to being a coach?