Whistle? Check. Clipboard? Check. Tight, Sansabelt
pants? Check. Plaid sport coat with extra wide lapels?
Check. 97.3 KIRO FM’s John Curley is ready for some
Curley is gearing up to take the helm for the first time
as head coach of his son’s football team of eight and nine
year olds in Sammamish.
He’s gearing up, but first he has to figure out his
“We’re all old school when it comes to how football was
treated back in the 70’s and 80’s.”
That means the way he was coached might not fly with
parents in this day and age.
“You never got water, water was for the weak. If you
weren’t listening you ran, you ran constantly,” Curley
But it seems that meant the kids who struggled the most
got singled out most often.
“So let me get this straight. The kid with asthma who is
like 40 pounds overweight and his pants don’t fit right
and never fit right all year, he’s last. Guess what, he’s
going to be last again, so he’s going to have to run
again. That never seemed to make sense to me.”
And then there’s how to get your point across. If you
can’t make them run, do you at least yell at them? Curley
loves old school football coaches like NFL great Bill
Parcells, who wouldn’t hesitate to scream at his players
or even dump a trash can on them in anger.
“In today’s politically correct world, can you get away
with that without having parents call you up and say ‘Why
did you say the word ‘crap’ or why did you tell my kid
Curley admits to a special fondness for one former coach
who yelled so aggressively, he would end up spewing spit
along with it.
“He would actually fill your face and the back of your
head with stink and then later on you’d get hit on the
line and all this stink would come forward. It was cigar
and coffee and a whole bunch of stink coming up as well.”
Then there’s the inspirational speech.
“I hope that at some point in the season I say a speech,
or I mess up some words so that the kids will forever for
the rest of their lives, be able to remember them and
repeat them almost verbatim when they see each other 30
years down the road,” he laughs.
But even if he doesn’t achieve such lofty goals, there’s
no doubt he’ll stand out, since it’s likely none of his
fellow coaches has a hankering to fashion himself after
some guy from the 70’s.