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Sport Fleck won't compromise his unique style as he leads Minnesota to rare heights

02:25  08 november  2019
02:25  08 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Sooner than he hangs up the telephone, Minnesota trainer P.J. Fleck desires to ensure I perceive one thing So after I recommended to Fleck that, from afar, it felt a bit other this time round and that the tale with Eight-Zero and 13th-ranked Minnesota used to be extra concerning the excellent soccer his

Arthur Fleck : [written in notebook] The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don't. Arthur Fleck : I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it's a fucking comedy. That we won ' t werewolf and go wild!

Before he hangs up the phone, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck wants to make sure I understand something going into the most highly-anticipated game of his coaching career.

“Row The Boat is alive and well,” he says, pushing back one last time on the compliment I had spent the past few minutes trying to pay him.

Here’s the thing you have to understand about the 38-year old Fleck, who rose to national prominence three years ago on a raft of slogans and buzzwords while leading Western Michigan to a 13-0 regular season: He’s exactly who he is and doesn't want to be portrayed any other way.

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So when I suggested to Fleck that, from afar, it felt a little different this time around and that the story with 8-0 and 13th-ranked Minnesota was more about the good football his team is playing before its showdown this Saturday against No. 5 Penn State and less about Fleck’ personality quirks and catch phrases, he politely set me straight. In the end, it's all part of the package.

“I think we have really talented people on and off the field,” Fleck explained. “When we recruit academically, athletically, socially and spiritually and it’s all about the right fit. I’m not for everybody and I know that. I don’t know what coach is for everybody. I'm just willing to say it. Every coach and program has their own slogans and inside culture, I’m just willing to share it with the outside world. I'm not worried about all of that. But I do know our culture is the exact same type of culture, it's just better than it used to be because of all the things we’ve learned and what we can do, how we can apply it.”

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He rarely talks to the media. He doesn’ t attend industry events. He has lived outside of NYC in Omaha, Nebraska for almost his entire career. He proactively removes potential distractions from his environment rather than depending on willpower. Here’s How To Apply Buffett’s Core Mental Model.

There’s never any doubt or questioning the integrity of an authentic individual. Their behavior, in terms of ethics and morals, is as predictable as snow during wintertime in Minnesota . You know what you’re going to get. Authenticity has faced something of a public relations crisis in recent times.

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Let's be honest here. To a certain type of football observer, the way Fleck explains his own success — and, by this point, there's quite a bit of success to explain — comes with a distinct scent of fabulism and gimmickery. And it’s why, even after Fleck took Western Michigan from 1-11 to the Cotton Bowl in just four years, a lot of programs with more cachet than Minnesota passed on him.

But at some point, don’t we have to start taking Fleck seriously? Don't we have to admit that “Row The Boat” isn’t a gimmick if it works?

Though beating Penn State in Minneapolis on Saturday would drive Fleck-mania into a new stratosphere, he’s already sort of proven his point. In 2017, there were undeniably some programs with job openings — Oregon, for one — who took a look at Fleck and wondered if he was too immature for a high-profile program. There were questions about how all the branding and the catch phrases would play on a bigger stage. How much of what happened at Western Michigan was smoke and mirrors?

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He looked very much like his mother. The boy had a charming face with chiseled features but he was depressed. Then he began to stamp his feet and shout. The rest of us in line were beginning to get fidgety. We bunched a little closer together and several folks began mumbling under their breath.

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But when you do it twice, and especially at a place like Minnesota that has only been in the Amway Coaches Poll Top 25 at the end of a season twice in the last 50 years, even the biggest Fleck skeptics have to admit it’s real.

“I think first of all, people are always going to doubt you no matter what you do, and you have to believe in yourself, your culture and your program more than anyone else,” Fleck said. “One thing I’ve always loved to do is take jobs and take challenges that people say you can’t do something and then apply our culture, apply our people, apply our talent and do things that either haven't been done or haven't been done in a long time.

“I remember when I was listening to people about different jobs, they said, ‘Coach you can get a better job. I love to take when people say ‘that’s not a great job’ and make them one of the best jobs. That’s what drives me.”

Fleck said that a few days before agreeing to a new contract this week that raises his guaranteed compensation to $4.6 million next year with increases for his staff and a $10 million buyout if he were to leave after this season. Though that figure may not be in direct response to Florida State and Southern California, which are expected to be the two best coaching jobs on the market this year, it's a strong statement that Fleck is all in on Minnesota for at least one more year. The buyout drops to $4.5 million on Jan. 1, 2021 and $3 million in each of the two calendar years after that, and if Fleck keeps Minnesota on this trajectory, more and more of those blue blood type of programs are going to be interested.

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'Tell me if I am boring you,' he says, as he leads me round his apartment showing me his work. There is a fine line between being a bore and being an enthusiast, but Cooke need not worry: he fits into the latter category, helped both by his charm and by the beauty of the things he makes.

When he gets into college, Finger Von Frings is. Grade A. Which is the highest level of talent that can be activated? Saturday, Sunday. Luminous gives 1/4 of his life to Ming-Z Lu for the first time to. Save NoNo. Who wrote a real poet suffers involuntarily as he himself burns and he burns other. Tolystoy.

Regardless, there will be more eyeballs on Fleck this weekend than ever before as only the hardest of hardcore fans have spent much time watching his teams to this point at Western Michigan and Minnesota. And even then, most of the coverage of Fleck up until now has feed into the caricature rather than the quality of football his team has played.

But it gets a lot more real when you’re playing undefeated Penn State at noon on ABC where a win can vault you up the College Football Playoff standings and put you in position to win the Big Ten West.

And nobody embraces that more than Fleck. In fact, he said, part of his philosophy is to embrace what a big game it is and address the hype head-on while “letting our culture spit it back out.” It’s something he’s planned for all offseason, and now it's here.

“We talk about this word pressure and pressure’s earned,” Fleck said. “Our players have earned the right to play in huge games in November. There’s a lot of people who play in November for nothing. We're playing for something really big and also bigger than ourselves. We've been talking about this word pressure for so long with this group, I’m not saying pressure doesn't affect them because it really makes it worthwhile, but at the end of the day, November is about championship football and they’ve earned the right for these next games to really matter.”

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Whether you like Fleck's presentation or not, he has indeed earned that pressure. And every step of the way, the players on his team seem to respond to it with wins. There's nothing gimmicky about that.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: P.J. Fleck won't compromise his unique style as he leads Minnesota to rare heights

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usr: 1
This is interesting!