It's always fun when a reporter with a knack for agitation confronts a coach with a history of hotheadedness and the sparks fly. Well the electric combination of the two showed up this week in Annapolis when Navy Head Coach Paul Johnson was confronted by reporter Bill Wagner of the Annapolis Capital and the results were pretty great (reported by Syracuse Post-Standard's Dave Rahme):
Wagner (reporter): Can I ask you something without making you mad?Yeeeeeeee...Ok then... I don't want to come off as critical of Paul Johnson (it seems he's a wee bit sensitive), but I've never really understood this line of reaction to fan criticism. I feel like these coaches and athletes who use the "McDonald's Defense" aren't "getting it." The reason you don't go down to McDonald's and criticize the fan who works this is because their product is consistently delicious. Now if you ordered a quarter pouder and found a dump on it, you'd probably complain to high holy hell. In the same way that if you as the coach produced a delicious product every week, nobody would complain or criticize you. But when your team takes a dump on the field, the fans are well within their rights to complain. You see what I'm saying? Anyhoo, Johnson and Wagner were not finished:
Johnson: Maybe. I don't know.
Wagner: I was talking to a Navy fan and he said he follows the coverage and that he noticed something and I'm just going to put it to you. He says that it seems like when Navy loses you blame the players, i.e. we can't execute fundamental plays, but that the success of the team the last four years has been attributed to brilliant coaching. How do you respond to that?
Johnson: Whatever he thinks. I don't go down to McDonald's and start second-guessing his job so he ought to leave me alone.
Wagner: But do you feel like it can't be both ways?Unfortunately, the address was redacted from the transcript so you can't walk over to Paul Johnson's house after you finish your shift at McD's and ask him why he gives his players so much shit after they lose and takes so much credit after he wins. Though it probably won't stop PJ from receiving a side of snot rocket in next Big Mac.
Johnson: You know what? I could care less. I'm old enough where I could give a crap what the fans think or what you think, to put it in a nutshell.
Wagner: Wins and losses are evenly distributed as far as credit and blame, right?
Johnson: If you could ever find one time that I said we won the game because of brilliant strategy I will kiss your butt at city dock and give you two days to draw a crowd. Find it and bring it to me. Tell that guy that if he wants to talk to me I live at (address given but deleted for the transcript) I will be right there. Come ring my doorbell and I will be glad to talk to him.