He was the fifth-year head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers, calling from an airport halfway by means of what can be the primary of three straight Large Ten championship seasons.
I used to be the third-year editor of Sporting Information, keen to search out out for myself if what I’d heard about Bret Bielema — the coach who didn’t speak coachspeak in a convention with Jim Tressel, Joe Paterno and so many who did — was true.
About 90 seconds in, when he began telling the story behind his leg tattoo, I had my reply.
Right here’s what I wound up writing off a 15-minute cellphone name: 15 stuff you didn’t find out about Bret Bielema (circa 2010) — as instructed to me by the satisfaction of Prophetstown, Ailing., and future Illini head coach.
1. I may watch “Midnight Run” again and again.
2. Laziness is essentially the most annoying factor on the earth to me.
3. I’ll prepare dinner something on a grill. Throughout the season, I’ve the identical two buddies from Madison over after my radio present. I’ll make a pair, three steaks, and we’ll watch faculty soccer. It’s loads of enjoyable.
4. I’ve been to over a dozen Bruce Springsteen live shows. I’m an enormous fan. My favourite music: “My Hometown.”
5. I’m anti-playoff in faculty soccer. (Former Iowa coach) Hayden Fry used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it.” It isn’t.
6. After I was 19, I bought a tattoo of the Iowa Hawkeye on my calf. Appeared like a good suggestion again then — I may by no means see myself being the pinnacle coach at Wisconsin. I’ve had loads of gives to get it eliminated, however I at all times inform my gamers it’s important to be happy with the place you got here from, you recognize?
7. A few of my coaches are within the Fb part. Not me.
8. I used to be in Nationwide Honor Society in highschool. I’ve a advertising and marketing diploma and at all times thought that was what I used to be going to do — commercials or one thing alongside these traces.
9. I learn Maxim.
10. I grew up on a bit of nine-hole golf course and attempt to get out as a lot as I can in June and July. My sport wants enchancment, however I like to golf and fish. That’s the place I went this summer season — deep-sea fishing in Cudjoe Key, about 20 miles from Key West.
11. Lambeau Area nonetheless offers me goosebumps.
12. I’m getting higher at it however after I began, I used to be very superstitious. Once we get on a roll, I nonetheless at all times put on the identical tie, identical socks.
13. I can’t get sufficient of “The Workplace” and that dry humor.
14. Vince Younger is the very best participant I’ve ever coached towards. I used to be at Kansas State (as co-defensive coordinator); he was a freshman (at Texas). We didn’t even know who he was however when he got here in for the starter, he ran the choice for about 200 yards in three collection.
15. One of many first issues I say after I come into the locker room earlier than video games is, “Everyone able to have some enjoyable as we speak?” All of us play this sport to have enjoyable.