We all have our own “pre-game” rituals we do before big moments in our lives.
Whether it’s listening to a particular song, wearing a lucky pair of underwear or eating a special meal – there is something that gets our blood flowing when we need it most.
Although athletic playing days are behind most of us, we commonly refer back to a moment when a coach had us ready to run through a brick wall to stir up even a glimmer of our feelings from that moment in time. If done properly, a speech from a coach can strike the right cord in riling up a team before a big game. A few fiery, inspirational words are enough to change players mindset’s enough to have them ready to do damn near anything asked of them.
In England, Billericay Town FC manager Glenn Tamplin took the notion of a rousing pre-game speech to a whole new level before his team’s championship match:
I’m not going to pretend to understand how professional soccer works over in Europe. I think it’s considered more a religion than a sport on that side of the pond. From what I gather from a quick little Google search, Billericay Town FC is considered a semi-professional team.
Nonetheless, tell Glenn Tamplin, who also serves as the team’s owner, that this match wasn’t a matter of life and death. I’d be lucky to run and kick a ball without tripping over my own two feet, but I’m ready to put my life on the line for this man out on the field. This guy needs to run for office one day. At the very least be in command of the British armed forces.
If Tamplin wasn’t enough to do it for you, he initiated a team sing along of R. Kelly’s “I’m The World’s Greatest.” I mean, if a team coming together as one to sing that in harmony before a championship match doesn’t give you all the feels then I don’t know what will. What’s better than guys being dudes in the locker room?
To top it all off, he closed it all out with an interactive preach in which the team responded in unison after each remark before they took the field. I fucking love this guy.
As if there was any doubt, Tamplin’s team went on to win the championship, 8-3.
Keep a look out for Billericay Town FC singing, and probably slurring, the words to “I’m The World’s Greatest” at a nearby pub.
Maybe I need to start watching more soccer. Then again, maybe not.
I will be listening to R. Kelly for the remainder of the day, though. .