If the late great Tom Landry never were born, Jimmy Johnson would, by far, be my favorite coach. He demanded nothing less than excellence and was rewarded with two Super Bowl wins. (Should have been three, had it not been for the fued with Jerry Jones.)
Jimmy had a seat right next to Jerry at a country concert, opening Cowboys Stadium. Speculation would have to be that Jimmy would be discussed along with Mike Holmgren and Mike Shannahan to take over coaching duties, should God forbid, the Cowboys have another disappointing year. According to Sheil Kapadia, a contributing writer on Mike Florio’s ProFootballTalk.com, Jimmy misses nothing about his coaching days.
”I’ve programmed myself to never look back,” he told Dan Le Betard of the Miami Herald. “I’ve blocked out the past. Every dream or nightmare I had for 20 years was dealing with a football game. Stupid stuff. A nightmare that our uniforms weren’t ready or something like that. I haven’t had a football dream for six or seven years. You know the last dream I had? That I couldn’t get through airport security because I was carrying a monkey.”
That last line nearly made me pee my pants. I could just see Jimmy saying that. He’s super serious when it comes to work, and as laid back and fun loving as anyone you’ll ever meet. Just a great guy. Period.
He then went on to explain how coaching further complicated his life and possibly made him be someone he wasn’t.
“I was happy in my accomplishments — fulfilled, satisfied, proud, very proud — but I didn’t have true joy,” he said. “I had a responsibility when I was coaching. And that was overriding everything. Family. Friends. Not just friends but even the idea of friendship. I didn’t care whether I had friends or not. I was responsible if it didn’t work. And when things would go wrong, I’d get upset to no end. I’d replay it in my mind all day and night. At the end, winning was just OK but a loss just crushed me. What kind of way to live is that?”
He then goes on to explain how some of the most successful coaches in the league have such a hard time leaving the game.
”Praise is the trap. The way people tell Belichick he’s a genius and the best ever, the more he wants to become it,” Johnson said. “The way everyone says [Bill] Parcells is the master of rebuilding, the more he works to rebuild. I used to care about that stuff.”
I always love a good Jimmy Johnson interview and also look forward to seeing him on Fox Sports where he now gives us his views on Sunday games. Long live a happy and healthy Jimmy Johnson!