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Tom Pratt Coached Kansas City in Super Bowl I, Could Coach Arizona in Super Bowl 50
It’s not going to be easy to convince non-affiliated football fans to root against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs. They’re pretty damn likeable. However, if anybody can do it, it’s Arizona Cardinals “pass rushing specialist” Tom Pratt.
Never heard of an NFL coach with the title of “pass rush specialist”? That’s because the Cardinals made it up just for Pratt. At the age of 79, most people would expect Pratt to be sitting at home, whittling wood on his front porch or something. However, Pratt and his wife, Hope, are not your typical great grandparents.
After Bruce Arians was named AP Coach of the Year as interim coach of the Colts in 2012, Tom Pratt texted Arians to congratulate him. So Arians, who had just been named head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, texted him back.
“Bruce sent him a text saying, ‘You ready to get back into this full-time?’” Hope Pratt told the L.A. Times in 2014. “He turned the phone around and handed it to me. I turned the phone around and said, ‘Absolutely! I’m packed!’”
With that, Pratt became the oldest coach in the NFL, just barely ahead of the Titans’ “associate head coach” Dick LeBeau. Now, two years later, Pratt is on the verge of making some real history.
You see, Pratt’s first NFL gig was with the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. And he was a defensive line coach in January of 1967 when they played the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I. Now, with the Cardinals a stout 12-2, there’s a very good chance he could actually coach in Super Bowl 50. Which would be awesome.
How has Pratt managed to get through to today’s generation of selfie-loving prima donnas? By knowing what the hell he’s talking about. Plain and simple.
“Players want to be coached by people they have respect for, and they’ll play for them,” Pratt explained in the L.A. Times piece. “Doesn’t matter if those coaches are 20 years older or 40 years older.”
Like I said, it’s not going to be easy to root against this guy.
Hat Tip – [Los Angeles Times]