I’m sure The Coach isn’t the first to receive an anonymous letter telling him all of his faults and how he should have coached last Friday night’s game, and I’m sure he won’t be the last head coach to receive such a letter. On behalf of all the people who put themselves out there in life, for all of the men who take their life and use it for the betterment of their community by coaching high school football, literally for pennies in the state of North Carolina, for all of those men who spend more time on the field than they do with their family, only to have faceless and nameless people call them out, degrade them, or criticize them, I want to write a letter to you, Anonymous.
You see, I have no problem at all with people expressing their thoughts and feelings in the form of words. I have done it myself at times in the heat of the moment, spouting off my feelings when I was angry or hurt, or thought of a better way in which I saw that things could have been done, but the difference between you and I, Anonymous, is that I signed my work.
Some people have guts. Some people are the kind of people who may not be our favorite people, but we know they will be honest and upfront with us. They come to us, yes, to our face, in person, or write us a note, and sign it with their real name, and tell us what’s up.
Last Friday night, I was as angry as any other person who watched that game. I said some words to The Coach right after the game about how I thought things should have been done, then got up on Saturday morning and talked with him about some other things that I had thought of during the night. You see, I didn’t get to see The Coach come home since I went to bed at 1:30 after waiting up for him. He and the other coaches were at the field house watching film and working until 3:30am. Where were you then Anonymous? Probably sleeping.
Late Friday night I had to apologize to two friends I was rude to at the game, because I was so worked up, and said some things and some words I shouldn’t have said. I take responsibility for my words. Fortunately, they understood and forgave my blatant honesty and rudeness, and we are still friends. We can say things to each other that are honest, and real, and be okay with it and move on. Maybe you should take a lesson, Anonymous, and learn to do so as well.
I respect the opinions of others, but when you take to social media and hide behind your computer to call someone out in front of the world, or send anonymous letters to someone’s home, taking measures to make sure it is typed and not handwritten, (Oh my, do we know you that well to know your handwriting, Anonymous?) Then that tells me just how big of a coward you truly are.
In your letter, you call out a couple of the coaches for their lack of involvement and ability. If you are such a fantastic analyst of football and coaching, then truly, you should get yourself out there and volunteer your time and talents like several of our coaches do. You see, my husband and all of the other coaches on the Shelby staff have a gift. They have the ability to work with young men, inspire young men, and coach teams to greatness. The put their faces, names, and families in the line of fire each and every week, as they get out there and coach in front of “fans” like yourself who like to pick apart and find fault with what they are doing. It’s easy to see what’s wrong from way up there in the stands. The field is a different place indeed. It has a completely different perspective. If you are truly so gifted, why aren’t you putting yourself out there, and helping coach the team? Oh, that’s right. You’re a coward.
Don’t, for a second, think you know what goes on in a coach’s life, or household. Perhaps you, Anonymous, have a perfect life, with plenty of spare time on your hands. Well, coaches don’t have that luxury. Our coaches are dealing with plenty of real-life problems each and every week. They don’t simply appear and get to put every second of their energy into a bunch of players who have it all together. Sometimes they are busy making the very best out of bad situations. It is easy to criticize what you don’t understand. The coaches go home to households where things aren’t perfect either. They have kids who get sick or hurt, kids who need help with homework, parents who are sick or having surgery, laundry, yard work, busted pipes, garage doors that need repair, wives who need some attention, babies on the way, new babies crying in the night, houses for sale, and so much more. Could you balance all that life throws at you, and coach a team to four straight state championships? I challenge you to do so, Anonymous. I challenge you to even try. But, you will never be the kind of man my husband is. You will never be the kind of man that any high school football coach is because you are too chicken shit to even put your name on a letter. You mentioned that The Coach has “an air” about him. He is borderline arrogant at times, but he has to be to do what he does. He has confidence in himself, his assistant coaches, and his players. I hope that someday you will find your confidence, Anonymous.
In closing, I want to recommend you find a positive and productive hobby, Anonymous, instead of picking apart people who are actually getting out there and putting their time and energy into helping young men to be successful. Best wishes for the future. Next time you want to say something, feel free to write me a letter. Just be sure to sign it.
Catherine M. Ware