Georgia Tech's men's basketball team entered this season knowing it was capable of something special. After a promising set of non-conference performances, the team has dropped their first four games against conference opponents amidst poor shooting and lack of focus. The following is my speech to these guys to get them fired up and ready to play against a North Carolina team that is statistically impressive but very beatable.
"Where are my seniors at? Mfon and Pierre, come on up. Gentlemen, when's the last time you played in and won an NCAA Tournament Game?"
"Never, sir." (Ed. Note: These guys were freshmen and didn't see the court the last time Tech won a tournament game -- 2010's opening round against Oklahoma State -- though Mfon saw 6 minutes in the second-round loss to Ohio State.)
"Ah. Now take a look at your teammates -- all of 'em. You think these guys are capable of helping you to have the opportunity to play a little March Madness before your illustrious careers here at Georgia Tech come to a close?"
"Thanks guys.They're right, you know. You guys are an incredibly gifted, blessed, and inspiring bunch. Every day I'm so proud to wake up in the morning, knowing that I get to work with each and every one of you knuckleheads. There isn't another set of 15 guys on Earth I'd rather be coaching here at Georgia Tech.
But guys, we've come to a point in our season where we have to decide what kind of season this is going to be. We have 14 conference games to go, and tonight is the first of those 14. Tonight, we walk into the iconic Dean Smith center to play a North Carolina team that's historically one of the best of all time. We'll be under the lights, playing on ESPN in front of thousands of screaming fans. Anyone know how many fans attend each game here in Chapel Hill? Over 21,000 -- 21,000 screaming Tar Heel fans showed up to watch us play them tonight. Guess what? If you guys do what you're capable of tonight, at the end of the game -- they won't be screaming in joy. If we focus, play with energy and intensity for a full 40 minutes, and make good decisions, at the end of the game, you're going to hear the most deafening silence you've ever heard from an arena that full of people. Play up to the level that you all know you can, and you're going to see yourselves on SportsCenter because of what a huge victory it was for this program.
Gentlemen, our team is good enough to play in the NCAA Tournament, whether or not we've shown it to date. But here's the deal -- tonight is the first night of the rest of our season. Tonight, we show the world what we're capable of. The country is watching, boys, as you play one of the most storied programs in the country on ESPN -- as you BEAT one of the most storied programs in the country on ESPN. Play your game and seize the moment, boys.
Opportunity awaits, gentlemen. Let's whip some ass."
Are you inspired? Are you cracking jokes in the back and laughing at how corny this guy is? Are you extremely pumped for a day at the office now? Let me know how I did in the comments.
FOOTNOTE: Remember that your favorite idiot (Nate) will be LIVE on WREK 91.1 tonight at 6 on the Ramblin Wreck Report! Listen on a real radio or here!