Thursday, August 06, 2015

UConn's Diaco addresses "national champion" quote with fire and brimstone

I have to say this much for UConn football coach Bob Diaco, he does not lack for passion.

By the time I made my way through the mass of humanity at American Athletic Conference football media day, he was already a little riled up and was giving his "we are going to win every game, be in the national playoff and win the national championship" to various waves of media in attendance at the Hyatt Regency in Newport. R.I.

He also threw out the "I've been at this longer than many of you have been at your job" which was a little more heated of a reply than he usually gives to the media when he gets annoyed (and trust me, I have the ability to annoy him and other people I cover as well as anybody).

Well it turned out that shortly after being told that UConn was picked to finish last in the AAC East Division, one of the first questions he was asked was something along the line of "how many games do you think you will win?"

Even more than two days later, the question still irked him. I had seven different quote files on my phone from Diaco addressing a variety of topics and but none were delivered with more fire and brimstone than when he was asked to clarify his remarks predicting a national title this season.

"It either goes over some people's heads or I didn't deliver it properly or it comes off as inauthentic so I am going try to give (an answer)," Diaco said in a Thursday press conference. "I got asked a question that 'how do you want me to answer that?' I didn't ask that back because that was confrontational but in my mind you are asking a competitor, you are asking somebody who devoted their whole life to football since (he was) a small child, you are asking me after investment of hours and time and blood, sweat and tears, of all the things I missed with my own kids, with my wife and everything I invested into this 'how many games do you think you are going to win?' How am I going to answer it. How do you want me to answer it. How do you want our team to hear it? So that was some of the answer. Some of the other part of the piece is we are incredibly excited about these guys. Part two is we are jacked about our football family, we are jacked about our football team. we've got players that have a massive amount of reps under their belt, they are veterans, they are ready to go, they are ready to compete. The third tier is the world is round, we can sail that way and we can not fall off the end. It is round, trust me. Let's go. We can accomplish this.

"I am not a glass is half empty kind of guy. I am a realist. Sometimes that plays out and it should. Sometimes maybe that should just be a day to day work instead of being verbalized but I am also an optimist. I also don't think there is anything I personally can't do. You asked the question, we just got picked to finish last. I just walked out of a meeting where we were picked to finish last. Then I tried to answer a question, I got pressed again and tried to answer it. I got pressed again and tried to answer it, I got pressed again so here you go. The team that is going to finish last in the conference, no that is not true. We are going to go the playoffs and win a national championship, yeah, that was the answer."


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