McMackin knows how to reboot


POSTED: Monday, October 27, 2008

Greg McMackin lived out my fantasy the other night.

No, not coaching the Hawaii football team to a 38-31 win over Nevada in the final minute.

Something much more satisfying: He killed a computer, or, at least, maimed it badly.

Now, the Warriors coach won't confirm this.

“;You know how rumors can get started,”; he said yesterday, chuckling.

But we have good reason to believe that at halftime—in punctuating his speech to his team—Mack cracked a Mac, or wasn't very PC to a PC. Truly an action all of the techno-enslaved Luddites-at-heart among us can appreciate.

Even if it's just an urban myth—like the screwdriver flying from the stands in Fresno, past June Jones' ear and then quivering stuck in the grass like a Bowie knife—I choose to believe it really happened, and McMackin is officially my hero of the week.

After this rebooting, so to speak, the Warriors offense exploded for 24 second-half points. That's 21 more than after the break in the other four conference games combined.

Now, to make the Hawaii Bowl, the Warriors need just three wins in five remaining games against Utah State, New Mexico State, Idaho, Washington State and Cincinnati. Very, very doable.

I dream about destroying my laptop about five times a day, often recalling the time 20 years ago when a co-worker coated his computer with glue, set it aflame and dropped it out a second-story window.

Of course, my motivation may be different than Mack's. The sources of my frustration are bad connections, slow loads, disabled servers and my own general computer illiteracy.

For the coach, it's something else entirely. He has wizards like Brian Kajiyama and Dave Aranda to help him with the trouble-shooting, programming and such.

For Mack, the irritation must come from the content spewing from the screen, the stuff written about him and his team. He could've burned some newspapers instead, but that would only account for hacks like me.

A more drastic step was needed to symbolically crush the blowhard bloggers and anonymous armchair coaches and cyber commandos—you know, the ones who wanted him fired after three games.

Some of these haters even line up after wins to claim responsibility for the successful game plan and adjustments.

There are two ways to deal with this: Completely ignore it, or use it as fuel to fire up your squad. Most coaches who say they choose the first option are lying.

Linebacker Solomon Elimimian had no comment about Saturday's halftime goings-on, other than to say, “;Coach tried to fire us up, and it worked.”;

In a game where the perfect pitch of emotion can make the difference, you take your motivation where you find it.

Remember last year when Mack let the boys hear what Mel Kiper had to say about their “;cupcake”; schedule? That was a beautiful thing.

And so is this.

The Internet's a wonderful tool when you know how to use it.

Greg McMackin sure does.