He said in year's past when he'd put up something like "500 yards rushing, total," someone in the locker room would have ripped the sign down and lit it on fire right there. Only when he did it last week Texas' players did nothing.
Question: Would you have ripped the signs down if you were a Texas football player, given how badly BYU beat you last season and knowing that Strong loves playing mind games for motivational gain?
Annabel Stephan’s take
This is two-fold for me.
Yes, you'd love to hear that players are tearing down signs and beating themselves in the chest and getting hyped to play. That's what coaches want to see and that's what fans want to see when they shell out money for tickets; they want the team that's running on the field to be fired up and energized and ready to play.
And, in the words of Charlie Strong, they "were not ready to play." That brings us back to the issue of the Texas culture.
However, it actually makes sense that right now the Texas team isn't burning signs and tearing things down and screaming. We haven't seen that in a couple of seasons and unfortunately, it's exactly that type of situation that helped label Texas as "soft".
I was listening to Jordan Shipley and David Thomas talk about the game yesterday, and they both agreed that it's going to take a while for the culture to change and to get the program back where it was. It's going to take more than one person to tear down a sign. We know Quandre Diggs isn't happy, but the other seniors need to step up as vocal leaders, as well. I think slowly it will get better, but this is the issue at its root - and it takes more than putting up signs to fix it.
Gabe Brooks’s take
If I put myself in the situation as a player under this new regime, I'm not sure that I would have ripped down the signs or done anything else to them. Chances are I would have left them alone.
There are a couple reasons for that. First, if I know the coaches have put those signs up there, I would figure they've done so for a reason. They want us to see that. Now, if the signs are indeed a mind game that are attempts to get a rise out of us players, I guess ripping down one of them is justified.
However, my second reason for not touching them is a tangent from the first reason: If somebody, especially an authority figure such as a coach, has put something somewhere that isn't my property, I'm not touching it. Mind games be damned. I'm not gonna mess with anything anywhere that is somebody else's property, even if it's solely presented as a motivational tool and/or something to prompt a reaction.
As a player, I wouldn't begrudge somebody if he did rip down one of the signs. But I wouldn't do it myself. Ultimately, if you don't want the signs in the locker room, don't allow 500 rushing yards in a game.
William Wilkerson’s take
We’ve heard Texas players say it a few times already that trying to get a read on Strong can be really tough because he does like to play mind games.
It would be hard for me to step up and rip the signs down if I weren’t a leader on this team but there’s no way in hell I could see these coaches getting mad at anyone for ripping those signs down if there reasoning was pure motivation.
Strong was practically begging for someone take this team by the horns and lead them during Monday’s press conference. He’s called out his senior class before for not stepping up during a practice that he wasn’t happy with.
There’s no way a coach like Strong, who is as real a head coach as there is in the country, would have gotten mad at his players for ripping those down.
Would I have done it? Well, no, because I’m just a lowly walk-on in this make-believe situation. But if I were a senior, the thought would have at least crossed my mind.
Nick Castillo’s take
If I was a Longhorn player, I wouldn't have needed any extra motivation for last week's game. We all witnessed the beat down in Provo and I would have been motivated by the score and perception of that loss alone.
I wouldn’t have needed to see the score and amount of yards BYU gained to be pissed off.
That being said, this team is still adjusting to Strong’s motivational ways. The players didn’t want to go to ‘the pit’ for tearing down those posters.
In the end, it was a bad motivational tactic. Strong admitted that the team wasn’t prepared for Saturday’s game and that falls on Strong for not properly motivating the players.
But anybody who was on the team last year should have been ready to get revenge and shouldn’t have needed to see the score and yards given up.
Chip Brown’s take
The last time I ripped things off a wall with any intensity was my freshman year at SMU when I realized just how out of touch I really was.
It took way too long and a drunk, naked co-ed for me to realize that hanging posters of Prince, Sheila E and the movie Krush Groove were going to leave me looking for dates at SMU on the Island of Misfit Toys.
A freshman on my dorm floor from Little Rock from a super wealthy family who ultimately pulled me aside and saved my social life was named "Putt." I kid you not. (Insert SMU rich-kid stereotype jokes here!!!!)
Anyway, Putt was such a playa that he brought a different, hot girl back to the dorm seemingly every night.
One late night, I was studying in my dorm room with my door open and my cheesy 80s posters on the wall when Putt appeared in my doorway in a robe.
"There's a naked girl in my room. When she wakes up, tell her I'm out in the lobby watching TV," he said.
He left. I rolled my eyes. Then, about 30 minutes later, one of the hottest girls I'd ever seen walked by my room, obviously trying to sober up.
I figured that must be Putt's girl, so I followed her into the lobby, where she proceeded to call Putt every four-letter word she could think of for leaving her in his room after an obvious hit-and-run. She made a total scene, and all he'd say is, "Bye."
More four-letter words.
"Bye," he said.
She finally left, still cussing at Putt on the way out of the dorm.
Then he looked at me and said, "She'll be back."
I said, "Doubt that."
"You'll see," he said smiling.
Two weeks later, she was back. I admitted to him I never thought that would happen.
Putt said, "You and I are going to go hit the bars together as soon as you quit acting like a member of the Revolution and rip down those f***ing Prince posters in your room."
In desperate need of a Jedi master to keep me out of the co-ed "friend zone" on the unbelievably superficial, yet target-rich SMU campus, I've never ripped posters off a wall faster.
(Sorry for that utter waste of your time. .... But it brought back some great memories ... from the time after I ripped down those posters.)