Friday, June 21, 2013
Jordan Conn: Head Hog
By Edward Aschoff
Anyone who has paid attention to Bret Bielema since his arrival at Arkansas has seen just how entertaining he can be. And he hasn't even coached a game yet.
His Twitter antics and confidence have been pretty refreshing for a league that keeps a lot of its thoughts close to the vest. Sure, he's gone after fans here and there, but his entertainment value is fun to follow.
But Bielema, who left his three straight Rose Bowl appearances with Wisconsin for a chance to get the Razorbacks up and running again, is more than just Twitter. He means business and he wants to win in Fayetteville. He didn't leave Madison, Wisc., for any shock value.
He traded in Bucky to win in the sport's toughest conference.
Grantland's Jordan Conn got to spend some time with Bielema and looks at why he left Wisconsin to rub shoulders with the SEC elite:
We should establish this up front: Plenty of the phrases that Arkansas Razorbacks football coach Bret Bielema uses — most of them, in fact — lack a single curse word. "Cut drill," for example. Also: "Grind it out," "Run some skelly," and "Let's give the kids a snack." All Bielema's, all clean, and all uttered while he's sitting in his new office, surrounded by his new staff in his new state.
But there's a problem with the rest of Bielema's cleaned-up sentences. On this morning, at least, they're almost impossible to understand. Bielema is auctioneering his way through a 9 a.m. meeting, packing so much jargon into so few breaths that unless you work for him, you can discern nothing about the strategies being tweaked or the plans being made.
When he slows down, however, the cursing starts. And when the cursing starts, Bielema transitions from coach-as-CEO into coach-as-giddy-overgrown-child. And that's when all the questions that have followed Bielema from Wisconsin to Arkansas — primarily, what the hell is he doing here? — start to find answers.
To read more of Conn's piece, click here.