August 06, 2010
If you're over 30 and ever played football on the high school level or above, odds are you came up under an old-school hardass whose enthusiasm for the venerable Bear Bryant/Woody Hayes school of preseason practice hell knew no bounds. Men who seemed to revel in cottonmouth, heat stroke, dust-caked mouthpieces and, most of all, the classic post-conditioning puke session. You sprint, you violently expel your breakfast, you line up again: This is the circle of life.
Gassers and suicides may still have a place in the 21st Century conditioning repertoire. But as the Utah Utes enthusiastically demonstrated Thursday at the end of their first practice (which was closed to the media, for the record), today's cardio-endurance sessions are a) Frequently air-conditioned, on artificial turf; and b) About as likely to resemble "You Got Served" as "Junction." Dance it out, boys!
Actual fun in the preseason must not be tolerated. Clearly the Utes have made a mockery of the hallowed rites of the gridiron gods and shall be smitten accordingly. What do they think this is? Some kind of game?
Alert viewers may have spotted former All-Mountain West quarterback and 2009 Sugar Bowl MVP Brian Johnson (now the Utes' quarterbacks coach) at the end of the clip, lobbying in vain on behalf of the defeated – or "served" – offense. If he's really looking to judge borderline amateur talent, positions are currently available. At least give them a call, Brian. It never hurts to keep your options open, man.
[UPDATE, 9:47 a.m. ET] Well that was fast. It took about two minutes for the "Dance Dance Revolution" clip to get pulled by the user, who apparently uploaded an entertaining scene to an enormously popular, universally accessible website with no intention of anyone ever seeing it. Sound strategy. Sorry, folks, especially to all you "worm" fans out there. We'll replace the dead clip with a functioning version if another one ever surfaces.
- - -
Hat tip: Richard.
Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.