Like many others, I was raised to be humble. Even when I get drunk at a bar, I refrain from embellishing stories and trying to convince strangers that I'm skilled in anything other than drinking beer. The thought of me trying to convince someone else how awesome I am makes me queasy and uncomfortable, no matter the content of the conversation or the actual underlying skill I have. It's just who I am. Ironically enough, one of those moments where I knew my girlfriend-turned-wife was a keeper was at a bar. Unbeknownst to me, a drunk guy came up and cupped her butt while she was waiting to order her drink. My friend came up and rehashed the chain of events with me:
Friend: "Dude, I gotta tell you something. Holy (expletive) (expletive), dude. Dude, this was crazy." (He was never serious about anything, so I knew something legit happened.)
Me: "What happened?"
Friend: "I was gonna go beat this dude's ass, but your girlfriend already did it."
He proceeded to tell me that the drunk cupped her butt, and then went back to his table of 6 to 7 male friends and sat back down in his chair. My friend John took one step towards them (and he played collegiate football at DE, so he was a big dude), and my wife extended her arm and held him back, as if to say "I got this." She walked over to the drunk while he was laughing and sharing a story with his friends. My wife went up to him, he's still seated, and Bruce Lee kicked him in the center of his chest, sending his chair and him along with it backwards onto the pavement. Drinks spilled everywhere. The table rocked back and forth from the sheer force of the kick. Covered in beer, the dude stands up dumbfounded, and when the bouncer came over and asked of the situation, he escorted the gentleman out at my wife's request. That's what you call swagger.
A job interview asks you to do something a little uncomfortable for a humble person: talk about yourself and be able to sell to others that you're worth the investment. Imagine you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interview for a career you've been dreaming about throughout your formative years as a human being. What would you say? How would you portray yourself? I found what Adam Gase said during one of his interviews to be incredibly interesting.
This quote was taken from a recently-published ESPN.com article. Here is the direct quote from Ian O'Connor:
In one of his many job interviews over the past two years, Gase was asked by one executive if he knew his personal record against Dan Quinn, the Seattle defensive coordinator who became the head coach in Atlanta. "It's 0-2," Gase responded, "and I'm going to tell you something right now: He's never going to f---ing beat me again."
Players and coaches consistently walk that fine line of confidence/swagger and being full of themselves, and to be fair, we have different interpretations of what constitutes swagger and what is downright self-absorption. I found his quote to be refreshing and changed my perspective of him just a tad. His introductory press conference portrayed a humble, soft-spoken, thankful team player who will bust his butt getting the Miami Dolphins to achieve. That may all be the case, but it's nice to see behind closed doors that he has some swagger.
I could very well be wrong, but I just couldn't see Cam Cameron or Joe Philbin or Tony Sparano saying something like that. Hopefully Gase's hidden swagger is what separates him from his predecessors, not to mention that swagger and confidence can be contagious. Bruce Arians and Mike Tomlin immediately come to mind. Whether Adam Gase's swagger is founded or unfounded will be decided on the field, but I felt uplifted getting this glimpse into his personae...
Here's to a successful 2016 season Miami Dolphins fans! And don't you dare touch my wife's butt (here's looking at you Alpha), because your xiphoid process is about to come detached from your sternum.