- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 7, 2002

My favorite part of Esquire magazine other than the ads for $595 cotton-moleskin peacoats, I mean is the feature called "What I've Learned." It's a page in which a celebrity shares the wisdom of his or her experience and generally just muses about life. Some examples:

Homer Simpson: "There is no such thing as a bad doughnut."

Rodney Dangerfield: "He who laughs last didn't get it in the first place."

Lucinda Williams: "It's easier to write songs when you're single."

Conrad Dobler: "My definition of an oxymoron is a defensive lineman who gets a perfect score on the SAT."

Get the picture? Anyway, the boss wanted me to do a piece on the Education of Steve Spurrier in his first half-season as the Redskins' coach, so I thought it only appropriate that I follow Esquire's lead. Without further ado, then, I give you:

Steve Spurrier: What I've Learned (or, at least, what I think he should have learned by now).

•Wearing shorts during a March minicamp is something no coach should do more than once.

•The same goes for trying to pick up a first down against the Eagles on fourth and 10 at the Philadelphia 40 in the second quarter of a 20-7 game.

•The day before training camp opens in Carlisle, Pa., you shouldn't dis the entire community by grousing, "I don't understand the importance of getting away, to tell you the truth."

•The preseason isn't the regular season.

•The preseason isn't even close to the regular season.

•The expression "the more the merrier" doesn't necessarily apply to former University of Florida receivers.

•Or to former University of Florida quarterbacks, for that matter.

•You have to be careful what you say about your fellow coaches, because they might turn around and beat you, 43-27, like Jim Haslett did to me.

•The worst team in the NFL is still light years better than Vanderbilt.

•These helmet radios are great. The QBs have no choice but to listen to you, and they can't talk back.

•They don't have many Shoney's up here, do they?

•Developmental squadders are kinda like redshirts except that another club can sign 'em.

•Setting a bunch of Southeastern Conference records doesn't mean diddley in the NFL.

•Neither does being selected NFC offensive player of the week in Week 1.

•If you ever slip out for a haircut during a short work week, don't make it worse for yourself by telling the media.

•It's harder to coach a player who makes as much money as you do.

•A crowd of 85,000 can be awfully quiet when you're getting your butt whipped, 37-7.

•But not nearly as quiet as a crowd of 26,119 in Osaka, Japan even when you're ahead by four touchdowns.

•In college ball, the 13th-best team goes to the Peach Bowl or Citrus. In pro ball, the 13th-best team goes home.

•Plays work a lot better when all-pros are running them.

•Eight home games and eight away games is way too fair.

•So many first-rate golf courses in D.C., so little time.

•Winning 14-3 and completing only 10 passes really bites.

•If you want to throw the ball all over the lot, it helps to have a running back that opponents respect.

•And Derrius Thompson ain't that back.

•It's probably a good idea to learn the names of all your players even the defensive ones and the rookies. Referring to Rashad Bauman as "Rasheed" and "Bowman" isn't apt to breed undying loyalty.

•Starting three different quarterbacks in three games tends to affect your offensive continuity.

•Maybe I should have held out for the Tampa Bay job.

•Next year, I make the draft picks.

•It's what you learn after you know it all that counts or did somebody already say that?

•This Daly guy sure loves to give me a hard time, doesn't he?

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