We typically don’t do the literary thing here at Fire Everybody, but this is one book that deserves a bit of time.
A few weeks ago I received a copy of Marc Trestman’s book from esteemed commenter Astro as pay for the “work of the Lord” we do here at Fire Everybody. I had a flight to take to DC so I decided to take it along and read the book. In short, I encourage every single Bear fan to buy this book, read it and understand it. You can buy it here, and the best part is that a portion of the proceeds go toward Alzheimer’s research. That website is funny as it still shows Trestman as coach of the Montreal CFL team that won the Grey Cup a few years ago.
Before I review the subject matter of the book, a note on the writing style. To be blunt, it is a bit repetitive, and at times a bit boring. Some of the grammar isn’t perfect, and there are some obvious typos. In other words, I think Trestman could have hired a better production crew. It seems as if they took Trestman’s notes and copied them verbatim onto the pages of the book rather than employing a decent ghost writer to freshen it up a bit or ad a little glam to the story. But that is also part of the book’s charm. It is like having Trestman sitting across from you at a lunch counter, just telling you his life’s story. So expect while you are reading to feel the need to re-read a sentence or two, here and there.
Also in the book there are several block quotes with a black background and white print. This is terrible for me – it drives me crazy and my eyes instantly start bugging out. I skipped most of those parts. Again, I feel like this was a poor production choice.
All that aside, lets move on to the content.
The book just isn’t about Trestman’s life, which is interesting enough. It is a wonderfully interesting peek into the life of a football coach, one who has been at a very high level for a very long time. From coaching at the “U” under Howard Schnellenberger, to pro jobs all over the NFL, back to college at NC State and then up to Montreal to coach the Alouettes in the CFL, Trestman’s life has been one move after another, after another. I am amazed that his wife stuck with him. I equate it almost to a military family, always moving. It would literally drive me nuts, but would make it easier to toss anything that I didn’t deem absolutely necessary because you always know you will be moving again. So even if you don’t like Trestman, this book is a cool look into a life that very few of us know anything about.
Something else that struck me was how coaching trees of the legends filter down. Trestman originally worked for Bud Grant, the legendary coach of the Vikings. The Grant “tree” has produced tons of coaches all over the league. Some successful, some not. The same as the Walsh “tree”, and many others. A lot of the things that Trestman does stem from his original stint with Grant. That is a good thing, in my opinion.
Trestman’s life has been one of hard work and dedication not just to football, but to his players and family. He respects the game, his opposition, and the referees. He mentions that he will not allow any music played in the locker room that uses the “n” word, or demeans women. Which is to say, no music in the locker room. He eventually just told all players to go iPod and ear buds to avoid the conflict. He is an “all on board” guy and will not tolerate locker room bullshit. Because of this, I firmly believe that you will see some players let go from the Bears this year that you may not expect. This is the type of thing that you need to read the book for. When I see that player “x” got released, I will know that even if they had a good year that Trestman saw them as a distraction and a player not about the team. Above all, Trestman believes that everyone plays for the team and instructs his players to deflect all press questions about them personally to reflect a good team effort.
Trestman has been an offensive coordinator and qb coach forever. He knows offense inside and out and even studied the West Coast offense under the 49ers organization and under George Seifert. He spent time with Bill Walsh out there during those days since Walsh was a team advisor. Trestman’s offenses have led the league many times and he has coached many great quarterbacks. Our OC Aaron Kromer was with Trestman in Oakland when they went to the Super Bowl (I don’t believe Tim Brown when he says that they threw it). I firmly believe that we will have a fantastic new and innovative offense for the first time, well, since I have been alive. It is up to the players to pull it off.
Trestman also believes in respect for the country and family. No players will be spitting or drinking water during the national anthem. They will all have their helmets off and stand at attention on the sidelines. He will give time off to players to take care of personal business such as family deaths and births and the like. He will not tolerate any nonsense.
In short, the Trestman story is fantastic and the book will give all Bear fans understanding into who he is drafting, who they are signing, and who they are cutting. He wants full violence and commitment on EVERY PLAY and will not tolerate anyone that does not fully buy in. He wants intelligent players. He has been in the league forever and understands how owners work, and how to get things done.
I understand that the book to some might be construed as a resume of sorts and that everything might not be 100% true. Trestman admits his faults in the book, however and that was refreshing. That alone tells me that most of the book is probably true.
I am 100% behind our new coach after reading this. It may take a year or two to turn the organization around and move forward, but I think we are in very, very good hands. Get the book, and read it and you will understand the season and the new Bear organization a lot more than if you didn’t have this information.