It’s time to ditch the coat-and-tie coach press conferences


It’s business suit season in the NFL. It shouldn’t be.

When coaches are hired to run NFL teams, they show up for their introductory press conferences in suits. That’s the way it is, because that’s the way it’s always been.

But why does it have to keep being that way? Coaches don’t wear suits on the sideline, not anymore. Coaches (like most of the population) wear suits to court, to weddings, and to funerals.

So why do teams keep jamming their new coaches into suits and ties? Quite often, they’re nearly as miserable as Ralphie in his pink nightmare bunny costume. They’re usually incredibly uncomfortable, even when the suit fits.

Sometimes, the suit doesn’t fit. Sometimes, the suit is 10 sizes too big. Sometimes, the tight collar can cause all sorts of unusual facial expressions. Sometimes, the guy in the suit starts talking about biting off kneecaps.

Regardless, at a time when the first impression made by the coach should be natural and authentic, the moment all too often comes off as forced and fake.

In the current business suit season cycle, progress has been made. Chargers coach Brandon Staley showed up for his press conference without a tie. Urban Meyer ditched the jacket and dress shirt for a polo and a Jaguars half-zip pullover. And no one has complained about it.

Eventually, some team will realize that it’s an opportunity to unveil a new officially-licensed hoodie or polo shirt or whatever it it that carries the team’s logos and colors. That’s what he’s going to be wearing when he’s working; why shouldn’t he wear it the first day he shows up for his new job?

22 responses to “It’s time to ditch the coat-and-tie coach press conferences

  1. I agree. I don’t think any press conference should be made available. Most business’s don’t when they add to their staff…..

  2. Where’s old Tom Landry when you need him. He’d tell you about how to dress properly when coming into a new job.

  3. at a time when the first impression made by the coach should be natural and authentic, the moment all too often comes off as forced and fake.

    You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think the stuff 90% of the coaches say at the podium to the media isn’t just coachspeak. Especially when they’re talking about players they’ve yet to evaluate and building a new culture. Vague is vogue.

  4. Trying to bite someone’s kneecap is a surefire way to get your teeth smashed out. Not really a legitimate street fighting tactic. It’s like trying to hurt someone’s fist with your eye.

  5. Thanks for saying that Mike. I couldn’t agree more. But I’ll go one further…why do the guys on these pre-game shows and announcers for the actual games have to wear suits and ties? Grown men, most of them athletes or athlete worshippers don’t need to wear a suit to talk about football. I’ve been saying this for years. Terry Bradshaw is admittedly a buffoon…he may as well be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Makes no sense and it actually looks ridiculous.

  6. My company allows us to wear nice looking jeans with polo shirts and sneakers in good condition if you have to go to an office. When we have meetings people still put on khakis / dress pants and leather shoes, and you best believe people wear suits when they have to interview for an internal promotion.

  7. They should wear a coat and tie as its a privilege to coach in the NFL. Only 32 at a time are NFL coaches. For those that want to see a professional look the jacket and tie is for them. Those that don’t think the job is special could care less whether the new head coach wore a t shirt, hoodie, or track suit. So wear the tie and jacket.

  8. I have spent decades in hi-tech engineering and management. Hands down the most incompetent employees that I’ve managed wear suits and ties everyday. They’re at the office from 5AM to 6PM because they believe that if they’re at the office all day it’ll at least LOOK like they’re doing real work. It’s like they know they’re lazy, semi-ignorant buffoons but hey, as long as they wear a fancy designer suit and tie someone will give them another job, and another and another and another. And hands down the most competent, innovative, and successful engineers I ever managed show up at noon in sweatpants, sandals and t-shirts. And before they go home around 9PM they email a status update that I read at 6AM the next morning when I arrive, which is typically used to clear up roadblocks in the morning so my star designers can hit the ground running when they return (some time around noon).

  9. I’m youngish and I still believe in wearing a coat and tie in most settings. The person at the top needs to look professional. Also, too many people look like absolute slobs these days. It reflects in their attitudes to each other and in general

  10. I can feel Hank Stram & Tom Landry rolling over and sitting straight up after reading this article.

  11. Not a fan of the suit and tie look. It’s just looks silly and outdated. They may as well wear kilts to the pressers. I’m stunned suits are even still popular, in any setting. They’re so uncomfortable!

  12. My guess is on the day they are introduced, coaches meet with ownership, sponsors, business partners and wearing sweats wouldn’t be appropriate.

  13. I’m reminded of a statement made a Raiders DE, about teams who made their players wear suits and ties while flying. It’s kinda like putting a bowtie on a pig.It doesn’t change anything and it annoys the pig.

  14. In just here to say that you are definitely not the new Andy Rooney. I don’t know what you’ve been trying to do lately but geez is it coming off as grating and forced.

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