Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Inside the Mind of Mike Shanahan

The Wall Street Journal posted an article adapted from Stefan Fastis' new book, "A Few Seconds of Panic".

In 2006, Stefan Fatsis persuaded the Denver Broncos to allow him to join the team at its summer training camp as a placekicker, becoming the first writer to suit up for a National Football League camp since George Plimpton in 1963. In this excerpt from his new book, "A Few Seconds of Panic: A 5-Foot-8, 170-Pound, 43-Year-Old Sportswriter Plays in the NFL," the author visits with the Broncos' meticulous head coach, Mike Shanahan, to discuss coaching, training camp and the suspension of his punter for violating the league's drug policy.

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The article shows a candid Mike Shanahan and asks the question, as Robert Lypsyte puts it, is Shanahan a, "mind-bending manipulators who make athletes believe they alone can make them winners."? As Lypsyte once described Vince Lombardi. It also directly addresses the situation with Todd Sauerbrun. You can read the rest of the article right here if you like.

As a fan of the Denver Broncos, and if you're a long time fan I hope that you're in concert... I agree with Pat Bowlen, Shanahan can have control of the team for as long as he wants to be here. Over the years we've caught glimpses of the man that controls this team, Al Pacino even chose to study and later channel Shanahan in Oliver Stone's genius film Any Given Sunday. Don't know if you caught it last night or not, but the NFL Network re-aired the AFC Divisional Playoff game against Bill Belichick's (then) New England Patriot's who had won the last two Super Bowls. The best part about the re-air is that they played Shanahan's microphone and at the end as Belichick and Shanahan embrace each other, you can hear Belichick tell Shanahan, "You're going all the way..."

That was January 14th, 2006. A little more than two and a half years later, the team sits with only a handful of players remaining from that team and have posted a record of 16 and 16 since. What happened? And did we fix it yet?

I'm interested in reading "A Few Seconds of Panic" mostly because of how candid the coach seems towards Fastis. The WSJ also offers an excerpt from the book, you can also check out Stefan Fastis' website here for more information.

- Is it Sunday yet?

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