With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jerry Glanville Chats With Sad City

Sad City did a collective double take when we saw the news that Jerry Glanville had been hired as coach and general manager of the UFL’s Hartford Colonials.  Glanville had been a high profile NFL coach in the late 1980’s and early 90’s and then did television work covering the NFL.  His hiring was especially notable to Hakaan, who became an Atlanta Falcons fan when Glanville was coaching the team.  Immediately we requested an interview and were excited when Mr. Glanville asked if we could call him and conduct a phone interview.
We learned that Mr. Glanville had never been to Hartford or even Connecticut for that matter but that he has worked in both New York and Boston.  While telling us that he had never been to Connecticut, Glanville said, “they have a saying in Texas; I wasn’t born there but I got here as soon as I could.”  Glanville also said he had become a UConn basketball fan since taking the Colonials job, something we can attest to from his Twitter.

Since we had noticed that Glanville was an active Twitter user, we asked the 69 year old about social media.  Glanville was very enthusiastic about Facebook and Twitter saying that they had changed the world while citing the recent uprisings in Egypt and Libya.  Glanville said his only Twitter policy for players is that they wouldn’t be allowed to Tweet during the game but that once the games were over “all bets were off.”  When we asked if social media had changed football he replied that it had “changed everything” and that he thought it was for the best.  Glanville said of those who pined for the ways things used to be “used to is dead.”

Interested in the Falcons we asked Jerry if Deion Sanders was the most talented athlete he had ever coached.  Glanville said Deion and another Hall of Fame cornerback, Lem Barney were the two best.  He noted that both were similar in that “they would do something that makes a coach crazy” occasionally letting wide receivers get open to bait quarterbacks into throwing the ball their way.  He said that Deion would call this “getting some work in.”

When Glanville was an NFL head coach of the Houston Oilers and the Atlanta Falcons he was famous for leaving two tickets at the will-call each game for Elvis.  When we asked him about this and if the tradition would continue in Hartford he surprised us by telling us that that story was actually a myth and that the only time he had ever left tickets for Elvis at will-call was for a pre-season game played in Memphis while he was coaching the Oilers.  Glanville said the media took the story and ran with it and he just let the myth grow. 

Glanville said the UFL reminds him of where the NFL was in the 1970’s.  He drew a parallel to the fact that the UFL markets selling tickets to families instead of corporations much like the NFL did when he started coaching.  When Glanville promised that the Colonials would play an entertaining brand of football, we asked if he intended to bring back the high-flying Run-N-Shoot offense of the early 1990’s.  Glanville said he would have to see what kind of personnel he had on the roster first.  The Coach said that while he hopes to run four wide receiver sets, he tries to build his strategy around the strengths of his players.

We told Jerry that we had always been wondered what coaches say to quarterbacks during the game through the headsets and asked if we could listen in during the game.  Glanville replied that he would do one better; that if the Colonials were up big in a game he would put us IN for a couple plays at quarterback.  Knowing this would surely lead to our demise, we declined but volunteered to instead call a few plays from the sideline and cited our abilities at Madden on Xbox.  Glanville seemed receptive to the idea but did say he would have to see our Madden scores as proof first.  While Sad City may or not be involved in any play calling this season, we certainly will be in attendance to check out the Colonials when the new season starts in September.  One thing no one can ever accuse Glanville of is being boring and we look forward to him bringing his exciting brand of football to Hartford.

Sad City would like to thank both Jerry Glanville and the Hartford Colonials for their time.

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