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Tribal Warfare
08-25-2012, 11:26 PM
Crennel, Weis are buddies in job where true friendship is rare (http://www.kansascity.com/2012/08/25/3779203/crennel-weis-are-buddies-in-job.html)
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
Romeo Crennel doesn’t feel right sitting behind his desk for this. Not today. He worked hard for this office, for the big leather executive’s chair and the oak desk and the windows overlooking the practice facility and the assistant outside ready to do whatever he needs and he is proud of all of it. But he doesn’t want to sit behind his desk for this.

Not when his best friend in football is here to see him.

“My man,” Romeo, 65, calls Charlie Weis.

“My brother,” Charlie, 56, calls Romeo.

This meeting of two of the area’s most influential sports figures is possible because the fickle winds of big-time football made it so. Again. Romeo is in his first full season as Chiefs head coach, and Charlie is taking over the Kansas program 45 minutes away.

Theirs is a friendship that goes back more than two decades, when Charlie was just a cocky New Jersey kid with a nothing job for the Giants and Romeo was the gentle country man from the South. Charlie got used to being ignored, or worse. Romeo treated Charlie with respect.

Romeo jokes he was “just happy to see another big guy around,” but the reason isn’t as important as what turned into one of each man’s most valued friendships. They won Super Bowls together and lost one, too, worked a total of 15 years together in four places, five times making essentially the same career move, and even the years apart gave them more in common: they left New England simultaneously to take their first head coaching jobs in places where they would soon be fired.

When Charlie took the job at Kansas late last year, one of his first phone calls was to his old friend Romeo. They laughed. Talked about catching a basketball game together. Made fun of each other. Finished each other’s sentences.

These men are fundamentally different. White, black; offense, defense. City, country; admittedly brash, famously gentle. One’s a screamer, the other a hugger. How do you explain this friendship? Football only goes so far.

“We have similar kinds of wives,” Romeo says. “High maintenance.”

Charlie looks at me. Laughs. Puts his palm on his chest.

“I didn’t say that,” he says.

Romeo is still giggling.

“I said it,” he says. “You can say I said it.”

Romeo slaps Charlie’s arm, in that way that old buddies like to punctuate jokes.

At the highest levels, football is a lonely world. Especially for coaches. Friendships are for normal people. Football coaches have game plans to obsess over. You hear this often in the context of families, of course, with wives that must grow used to falling asleep alone and kids who come to expect their fathers will miss their plays and games and even birthday parties.

So by comparison, the fact that football coaches tend to have fewer real friendships than you or me is a relative misdemeanor. But it does bother the men involved. They end up with lots of “friends” by, say, the Facebook standard — but precious few true friendships.

“There just aren’t that many people you’re really close with,” Charlie says.

“It’s always work, work, work, and you’re always moving, moving, moving,” Romeo says. “It’s tough to keep up with guys.”

Romeo and Charlie got around the isolating rules of the football business in a few ways. These men spent 15 years coaching for the same team, living in the same city, answering to the same head coach and general manager. They shared the same professional peak of winning Super Bowls, and the same failures in the other years.

The other thing that helps is that neither man was ever a threat to the other. They were up for the same head coaching job a few times, but never the final two candidates. Neither took a job the other desperately wanted. When Charlie got hired at Notre Dame after the 2004 season, Romeo was hired to lead the Browns. Each man was happy for the other.

Being on opposite sides of the ball means not spending hours in meetings arguing over where a linebacker should play or what route will best fool the safety. It also means the other guy’s face is a relief, not a bore. With the Patriots, the offices were laid out in a way that when Romeo came out of his office to get coffee or go to the bathroom he could look down and see Charlie’s office. If the light was on, Romeo would head down to talk. Usually about football, often about other stuff. Sometimes until 2 in the morning.

One of the tenets of Bill Parcells’ system — and, by extension, Bill Belichick’s — is teamwork. That goes for the coaches as much as the players. Nobody ever had to worry about Charlie and Romeo, and in five seasons together as coordinators their teams went a combined 58-22 with four playoff appearances and three Super Bowl titles.

There are a million other factors, of course, but the Patriots won six fewer games the year before Romeo and Charlie became coordinators and four fewer the year after they left. The Chiefs jumped up six wins in the pair’s only season together. No wonder Charlie talked Romeo into joining him twice — the second tour with the Patriots and in Kansas City.

The closest they came to a fight really wasn’t all that close, and has become the basis for a running joke. In training camp, you see, their teams have always done practice scripts day by day. Charlie is famously thorough with everything that involves football, and these scripts are no different. Since Charlie had to finish the offense’s scripts before Romeo could start the defense’s, this created a waiting game that Romeo hated playing.

“He’d be banging on my door, ‘All I need is the personnel!’ ” Charlie says.

“I never banged on his door,” Romeo says. “But I would walk by, maybe peek in, ‘How’s it going Charlie?’ ”

They laugh. Charlie slaps Romeo’s arm, in that way that old buddies like to punctuate jokes.

These men are happy to be closer to each other again but also too busy to make it matter much. Romeo went to Lawrence to watch a basketball game in February. Charlie came over from Lawrence to see Romeo twice — once to catch a practice, the other for this interview.

If anything, it’s a plus that the coaches are at different levels and so can better keep up with the other’s team. Romeo will try to watch KU games in between final preparations on Saturdays, and Charlie will try to watch Chiefs games as he’s taking the week’s inventory on Sundays.

They will watch more as fans than coaches, because by now, they’ve picked each other’s brains a few times over. Charlie knows Romeo’s defensive tendencies as well as anyone. Romeo can say the same thing about Charlie.

They have taken so much from each other. Given so much to each other. Neither is exactly the coach he’d otherwise be. Most of their differences are subtle, immaterial, like Romeo saying Charlie’s better at the horses. One sticks out, and it will forever mark each man.

“In all my years of coaching, I don’t think I ever saw an assistant coach who was respected as much by the players,” Charlie says. “You just see it. Young guys would go to him like a dad, and the older guys, even when we were with the Giants, like Lawrence Taylor, he was always looking for Romeo. … That’s an unusual sight to see in the NFL.

“I’d say Romeo is not only respected, but he’s very well-liked in addition. A lot of times, at least over the years, I rub people a little differently outside of our own building. For some reason — maybe it’s my New Jersey obnoxiousness — people don’t look at me the same. Him, he’s well-liked. I don’t think everybody has me on their Christmas list.”

Charlie looks at his friend, who brushes it off with a smile and headshake.

“If you say so,” Romeo says.

I ask Charlie if he wishes he had some of that.

“No,” he says, and both men nod their heads, two friends comfortable in themselves and with each other.

BigMeatballDave
08-25-2012, 11:33 PM
No homo

milkman
08-25-2012, 11:35 PM
Well, that was.....


It was.........

I just.........


What a fucking waste of fucking keystrokes.

JFC, is this all these dumbasses have to write about.

Bowser
08-25-2012, 11:37 PM
I saw the thread title and literally thought to myself that I'd wait for Milkman's response.

I chose wisely not to read.

SNR
08-25-2012, 11:45 PM
Mellinger used the "the way old buddies like to punctuate jokes" line at least twice in this article.

The funny thing is I don't know what the fuck he's talking about. If I ever punched my friends on the arm, I'd probably get kicked in the stomach.

milkman
08-25-2012, 11:48 PM
Mellinger used the "the way old buddies like to punctuate jokes" line at least twice in this article.

The funny thing is I don't know what the **** he's talking about. If I ever punched my friends on the arm, I'd probably get kicked in the stomach.

It would just be a friendly roundhouse kick.

el borracho
08-26-2012, 12:02 AM
http://http://www.google.com/imgres?q=brokeback+mountain&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1045&bih=653&tbm=isch&tbnid=wKBpbyVO2IVVBM:&imgrefurl=http://www.fanpop.com/spots/brokeback-mountain/images/4727112/title&imgurl=http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/4700000/Ennis-Jack-brokeback-mountain-4727112-1008-630.jpg&w=1008&h=630&ei=hrs5ULKNHeejiAKHjICoAQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=78&vpy=332&dur=682&hovh=177&hovw=284&tx=174&ty=84&sig=100723712367574901886&page=1&tbnh=123&tbnw=163&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:0,i:157

bevischief
08-26-2012, 04:27 AM
Well, that was.....


It was.........

I just.........


What a ****ing waste of ****ing keystrokes.

JFC, is this all these dumbasses have to write about.

I agree.

threebag02
08-26-2012, 05:55 AM
Pioli was on grounds control looking for candy wrappers after Weis left.

rad
08-26-2012, 06:15 AM
Mellinger used the "the way old buddies like to punctuate jokes" line at least twice in this article.

The funny thing is I don't know what the **** he's talking about. If I ever punched my friends on the arm, I'd probably get kicked in the stomach.

He didn't punch, he slapped. You never slapped a buddy on the arm while talkin' shit back and forth?

BoneKrusher
08-26-2012, 06:48 AM
Pioli was on grounds control looking for candy wrappers after Weis left.

he should be looking for a Quarterback.

Spongeblack Bobtard
08-26-2012, 08:25 AM
Pioli was on grounds control looking for candy wrappers after Weis left.

HALEY was on grounds control looking for candy wrappers after Weis left.

Big Smoke
08-26-2012, 08:29 AM
Mellinger used the "the way old buddies like to punctuate jokes" line at least twice in this article.

The funny thing is I don't know what the **** he's talking about. If I ever punched my friends on the arm, I'd probably get kicked in the stomach.

He did indeed use the phrase twice. Which also seems odd to me because I don't ever hit friend on the arm when I tell them jokes. That just seems kinda... well you know. Dumb.

Mr_Tomahawk
08-26-2012, 09:00 AM
Brady Quinn.

Big Smoke
08-26-2012, 09:05 AM
Should start over Matt Casshole?

Buehler445
08-26-2012, 09:42 AM
Mellinger used the "the way old buddies like to punctuate jokes" line at least twice in this article.

The funny thing is I don't know what the fuck he's talking about. If I ever punched my friends on the arm, I'd probably get kicked in the stomach.

It was intentional, I think to show that the friendship goes both ways.

It was awful. But intentional.

A Salt Weapon
08-26-2012, 11:34 AM
Not a bad article, not really a point to it, but a feel good story that is better than reading something else about us getting embarrassed at home by the seahawks.
Posted via Mobile Device

Chief_in_Commander
08-26-2012, 11:40 AM
Mellinger chose instead of ripping us to write......this? I thought the article was copied twice over because I skipped half the lame thing from one quote to the exact same quote 5 paragraphs later

Deberg_1990
08-26-2012, 11:46 AM
Touching story....