The Coach book: redefining unnecessary for us all


By Justin Rybinski
4/10/03


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Remember the TV show "Coach"? No? Then you're either too young, too old or too stupid to be reading this website. I mean, come on, it was a huge show that lasted nine seasons. Nine bile-inducing, completely unfunny seasons. It was one of those shows where I hated every character. For the record, I hated the main character, Hayden Fox the least, almost-adequately played by Craig T. Nelson. According to my sources, the "T" stands for Tamale.

You'd think that a show as popular and long-running as Coach would have flooded the internet and our lives with constant information, even today. You'd of course be wrong, and I mock you for it. There is a surprisingly low amount of Coach fan sites out there, at least when compared to other shows of the same era, like Family Matters and Who's the Boss. Hell, even the tvtome.com guide is lacking in serious info and appreciation.

Never fear, though, as your good friends at Hyperion Publishing released a book all about your favorite coach in 1993. If you're expecting a book that covers all aspects of the show, be warned, as this book was released barely halfway through the show's lifespan (1989-1997). I picked this up when I went to Miami last summer in one of those super-ultra-discount grocery stores in the 2/$1.00 bin. It's the first edition printing, which makes it equally as valuable as Dickens and Vonnegut first editions. Here is what the cover looks like:

Judging this book solely on its cover (which is always the smart thing to do; don't listen to people who say otherwise), this doesn't appear to be that terrible of a book. It's in color, the photo is clear and crisp, all the words are spelled correctly, etc... However, things don't remain this kosher for long.

This book is supposedly about the completely fake, made-for-TV life of Tamale's character, as the title is "My World and Get the Hell Out of It: The Wit and Wisdom of Hayden Fox." Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, the book is Not At All About the Life of Hayden Fox. It's essentially a series of random blurry, black-and-white photos from the show with 100% Certified Retarded captions. See for yourself:

For those who don't know, this is a picture of Coach dancing with his horrible man-goblin girlfriend Christine. Not only is she quite possibly the most freakish woman to appear on any major network, she couldn't act her way out of a dog carrier. You probably can't tell, but they superimposed the page with an OBVIOUSLY FAKE RECORD. If these pics appear to be of terrible quality, rest assured they really look this bad in the book. Another pic:

Here, Mr. Fox sprays Jerry Van Dyke's character, Luther, with a fire extinguisher. Apparently, the writers of this show were trapped in a bubble, as Every Other Sitcom Ever On TV has used the fire-extinguisher spray joke at least once. It's not funny, and probably never will be. Unless The Simpsons do it, which then will be hilarious. Note how the caption has to actually say "funny," or else we wouldn't know if this was one of the shows touching, poignant moments. I think more photo books like this should make use of this procedure. I remember once I was laughing hysterically to a book of World War I infirmary photos when someone had to stop me by writing "sad" in the margins.

This book also makes use of several football jokes. Here, it appears "Hayden" is playing a game against "Life" and is losing "974-14" in the "Mid-Life" period with only "Running Out" time left. Apparently, Life has scored 128 touchdowns with extra points and 26 field goals. If Life is so good, how did they allow Hayden to score two touchdowns? Did they feel sorry for him? Here is a pic that will stay will you the rest of your life:

Yes, that is a topless pic of Jerry Van Dyke. I think I'll submit this one to www.manboobs.com/. Mr. Van Dyke is not an attractive specimen, and just to hammer this point in, here is that pic again, cropped and blown up:

This book originally retailed for $7.95. I can't possibly imagine anyone paying that much for this.

The jackass on the left is probably the character I hated more than anything on Coach. His name is Dauber Dybinski, which is ONE LETTER AWAY from "Rybinski." That notwithstanding, this guy was a tool. He was supposed to be the "dumb guy" on the show, which I guess he did well enough. I'm just sick of every sitcom needing to have a dumb guy who can say witty lines like "Duhhhhh which way is south again coach?" and "Uhhhhhh what do you mean I can't eat metal?" and "Ummmmm coach, I think I killed your girlfriend." For a good example of a dumb guy with clever lines from that era, see Bull from "Night Court." Dauber's real name is William Fagerbakke, which is an extremely fun name to say.

This is the worst page of the book, which was a hard title to hand out, as all the pages looked alike in their suckiness. Not only is this a terrible, blurry photo, it also looks like it was cut out of the National Enquirer by Billy (age 8) and pasted to a white sheet of paper. Seriously, this book has some serious design issues. I'd be able to design a better page on an Apple IIe in the dark at 5am, immediately after my girlfriend's cats jump on my face, claws first, to wake me up, sending me to an Incredible Hulk-like fit of rage.

The really sad part is that it took THREE PEOPLE to write this atrocity: Barry Kemp, Judd Pilot and John Peaslee. The book is about 100 pages, most of which are filled up with seemingly bootleg photos that were taken two football fields away. How in the hell did it take three writers to do this?

Kemp: Oh man, I simply cannot think of a caption to this hilarious picture of Hayden Fox I found in the trash.

Peaslee: How about "Hayden Fox is constantly losing his marbles"?

Pilot: No, no, no. It needs to have a football reference. I like this: "Once again, Hayden Fox hits the goalpost on the field goal that is life"

Kemp: Fuck no, that's terrible. I think I'll just go with my gut and caption it "Hayden Fox: All-American Loser"

Pilot: If my name's going to be on this book, you have to let me write SOME of the captions.

Peaslee: Christ, if it were up to us, you wouldn't be working on this project at all with us. You're just lucky the publisher decided to send another writer down because it was taking us eight months to finish this. How about "If you're down on your luck, think about how much worse it could be. You could be head football coach at the University of Minnesota with a steady, however mannish, girlfriend, while making a hundred grand a year and earning the respect of all your peers."

Pilot: You're an idiot.

Kemp: Perfect. We'll go with "You're an idiot, Hayden Fox." Thirty pages down, 70 to go.

BONUS COACH PIC BELOW!!

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Yes! More manboobs!

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