By Eric Wein
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Stanford coach Bill Walsh shot his mouth off about the Arizona football team when he was addressing the Cardinal before their game against the Wildcats in 1992. But unlike other coaches, Walsh had an author recording every comment while documenting Walsh's first year back in college football.
The recently published book by Lowell Cohn, "Rough Magic," now contains those bitter comments regarding the Wildcats.
While it may be good reading, his negative state-ments Ä including calling Arizona a "mercenary group" Ä create problems for the well-respected coach and NFL Hall of Famer. Walsh now has to cover for himself.
An excerpt from the book, in which he addresses his team in a pregame speech.
"'This is out of the college arena,' he said, his left hand on his hip. 'They hose off their players and clean them up and bring them in. It's a hatchet fight and you guys know it. Eight of them will be in front of the camera at once celebrating after each play. ... They'll be doing back flips. We leave college football for three hours when we play these guys. We're not backing down to them. You've got to hit them before they hit you. You want this experience once in your lives, this is it.'"
This week, Walsh has supposedly made only positive comments about the Wildcats.
UA coach Dick Tomey said at his press conference yesterday that he hasn't read the book and does not intend to. Tomey also said those comments haven't been posted on any bulletin boards in the locker room.
"We got so many reasons to play well, to win," Tomey said of the No. 8 Wildcats' game at Stanford this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. "Any comment of his or of the players is not in the Top 25 reasons why we want to win.
"I say things to our team all the time that I don't want repeated. There are certain things that are family matters and they're treated that way."
Contrary to Walsh, Tomey said he would never allow a writer the freedom to record such conversations with his team.
Two seasons ago is history in the world of college football, but Walsh's Wildcat bashing is on permanent record, and may follow him as long as he's at Stanford.
Walsh could be all apologies this week to the public, but still be privately putting down the Wildcats to his team Ä this time without writers nearby. And on that same token, Tomey could also be using those comments to put some fight in his team. Behind closed doors, it's anyone's guess.
Football is not chess Ä players often need inspiration, desire and a hatred to get them charged for opponents. If anything, the whole issue demonstrates the mind games involved in a teams' preparation.
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A stain on Stanford's 1993 season was its loss to the UA at Arizona Stadium.
With the scored tied 24-24, Stanford quarterback Steve Stenstrom fumbled in the closing minute near the Cardinal goal line and UA kicker Steve McLaughlin's field goal sealed the Wildcats 27-24 win.
"It was a breakdown in communication on the last play," Walsh said yesterday in his weekly teleconference. "It was a mistake in a call I made."
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