Monday, April 24, 2006

A Tragedy on the Ice

There was this one episode of Coach where I think Luther, Dauber, and Coach were going out on to some frozen lake to ice-fish. It must have been a frozen lake because they lived in Minnesota, so I don’t think they went out to the ocean or anything, but I know that Minnesota has hell of lakes and that it can also get pretty cold. Anyway, so, they went to this cabin out on the middle of the frozen lake that was totally Spartan, having only I think just some walls and a little stove to keep warm. I don’t remember any beds, even though I think they were planning to sleep there for a little while, but the main point was that it was totally small. I think there were probably some sorts of hilarious jokes when Dauber hit his head on a beam or a pipe because he’s so tall. Anyway, at some point they were starting to ice-fish (there was a hatch in the middle of the cabin that revealed a hole in the ice through which to fish) and then Luther accidentally dropped something really important in to the ice-hole. Maybe it was the stove, or the car keys, or the “How To Ice-Fish” book that they were going to need, but whatever it was, it was important enough for the studio audience to make an audible gasp when Luther dropped it. The studio audience was pretty damn worried about Coach and his friends

I don’t remember what happened after that, but I think the problems got solved and they left the cabin and went home.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Coach's Position

What the hell position in football did Coach play before his coaching days? I cannot remember even the slightest hint of a suggestion as to what position he played. I mean, clearly, he must have played football in college or else he probably wouldn’t have been a football Coach at a big school like Minnesota State. But seriously, I have no idea what position it was.

Okay, I’m sure we can figure this out.

Coach was way too lanky and (probably) slow to have been a defensive back, wide receiver, or running back. Similarly, he probably wouldn’t have made a very good safety. I mean, Coach just doesn’t seem like a very quick guy. By the same token, I think we can all but eliminate quarter back, though certainly he was a leader on the field wherever he played. Even though he was tall, he didn’t quite seem to have the heft to have been on either the offensive or defensive line. That basically narrows it down to either a tight-end or a line-backer. I think probably he was a line-backer. He probably made some big hits in his day and probably also really motivated the defense.

I bet that people always said it was an honor to be on the same field as Coach.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Every Dog Has His Day

So, usually, Coach episodes focused on the character of Coach and his problems with football and relationships and zany situations. However, every so often, some of the more peripheral characters would get a chance to shine.

I remember one episode where Luther got a dog and he totally loved the dog and took it everywhere. I think probably this caused problems because Coach hated dogs. This was a hard decision for the writers to make probably because everything about Coach's personality suggests that he would love dogs, but if he actually liked Luther's dog then there couldn't have been all sorts of hilarious situations where Coach got mad at Luther for having his dog in the office or maybe there was dog slobber all over the footballs or something else. So maybe Coach just didn’t like Luther’s dog; I think that was probably it. Probably as an added joke Luther named the dog Haden.

Anyway, I don’t remember why, but for some reason Luther’s dog got detained and sent to the pound and was going to be put to sleep. I think, maybe, it had supposedly bitten someone, which was funny because every time you saw the dog it was just like, sleeping or sitting in one place or some other lazy dog behavior. It was hell of ironic. But I remember on the night before the dog was going to be put to sleep Luther came to the pound and sat outside the dog’s cage and they shared an order of French Fries covered in ketchup. It was actually a really sad scene I think, especially if you like dogs. Man, I’m getting sad just thinking about it.

At the end, for no explicable reason, the dog was allowed to live. I think probably Coach had something to do with the dog being saved, even though he did it somewhat begrudgingly, I’m pretty sure.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Coach's Ear

I think Coach was on the air for a really long time. If you’re making that many episodes, one has to imagine that eventually there would be an episode that was filmed while Craig T. Nelson had a zit in his ear. I mean, everyone I know has gotten a zit in her ear at some point or another; it’s something of a shared cultural annoyance. I wonder if you can tell which episode(s) it is by how often Coach like, maybe, puts his finger in his ear while he’s trying to act. Like the aggregate Coach-finger-in-ear count could maybe be plotted as some sort of percentage of the likelihood that Coach has a zit in his ear.

I guess Coach isn’t so perfect after all.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Coach Haven

Coach had this place, like some sort of log cabin in the woods, where he would go when things got rough. I don’t remember if it was actually the house that he lived in full time, or if it was just some cabin he owned, but they only showed it when Coach was trying to get away from his football problems or else (in a positive setting) hanging out with Luther and Dauber to fish or something. The cabin was on stilts for some reason, so the establishing shot from outside made it look like it was about 50 feet off the ground, and the main room was like a big circle with, I think, stuffed fish on the walls. It would probably have made sense, given the context, to have some sort of animal trophy on the wall as well, but I don’t remember seeing that and I’m pretty sure that that wasn’t the image the show’s producers wanted to convey about Coach. I mean, he was manly enough to fish and put stuffed fish on his walls, but he wasn’t so barbaric as to hunt deer and moose and other big mammals. This was a good production move and totally didn’t alienate any potential viewers and/or advertisers.

I think probably like, after a big loss or if Coach was worried he might get fired or if he screwed up in the media or something, he would go to the cabin and probably there would be a scene where Coach was sitting there looking at the fire in the cabin and Christine would come in and say: “I knew I’d find you here.” And then Coach would make a self-deprecating joke that showed both a sense of humor and a sense of humility. Then Christine would sit down and say, like, “Hayden,” (that was Coach’s first name) “I know that it’s hard to blah blah blah” and then Coach would listen for a while and then maybe say something strong-headed because he’s a manly sexist football coach that doesn’t want to take any lip from anyone, especially not from some broad who has entered in to his manly fish-trophy haven. Probably he would stand up when he said this and walk around the room a little bit to show that he was serious. Then Christine would also stand up and get right back in Coach’s face and confront his denial but also be compassionate about the situation. Then finally Coach would admit what had gone wrong and there would be a catharsis. Then, when the tasteful music stopped, Coach would say a one-liner referencing something from earlier in the episode and the studio audience would laugh. Then the credits would roll.

Man, that cabin was awesome for solving problems.

Monday, April 03, 2006


That chick who I have been referring to as Coach’s wife/girlfriend was named Christine, I think. Coach also had a daughter, I remember, but I can’t remember what her name was. It is possible that Coach’s daughter was named Christine and the wife/girlfriend had some other name, but for whatever reason I’m pretty sure that it was the wife/girlfriend who was Christine. In any case, that's what I'll be calling her.

Unfortunately I can’t remember at what point in the show she stopped being his girlfriend and started being his wife, if that happened at all. Probably there were episodes where Coach got in to some screwball situation that put strain on the relationship and they had some talk where Christine said something like “maybe we’re rushing in to this marriage thing a little too fast,” and they agreed to postpone the marriage date or else just to talk about things some more. I bet the music that played in the background when Coach and Christine had those talks was hell of appropriate and tasteful.

This probably happened for like, five straight seasons.