He's A Hard Guy To Hate

ASU's Coach Edwards Is Almost Too Good To Be True

Chris Ello
September 14, 2018 - 5:57 am

I'm mad at me because I can't get mad at Herm Edwards.

No matter how hard I try to work up a dislike for the guy who's going to patrol the Arizona State sideline Saturday night, I just can't seem to do it. I don't like to like my opponent. And this weekend, Herm Edwards and his team are squarely in the crosshairs of my alma mater and college football love San Diego State.

But instead of no love lost, there's nothing but respect. What's happening to me, anyway? 

Here's what: first of all, Herm Edwards, though now coaching Arizona State, is an Aztec through and through. He played his college football on the very same field he'll be coaching on Saturday night. He's such an Aztec that when you arrive at the elevator to go up to the SDSU football offices on campus, it's Edwards' picture that you see. Can't miss it. 

It's a shot of a fiery Edwards, on the sidelines when he coached the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, and the caption is a famous Edwards postgame news conference quote that has resonated through the years: "You Play To Win The Game!"

Perhaps no former player, college or pro, can back up that statement any more than Edwards can. For proof, the next time you're surfing the web, head on over to Wikipedia. In the search field there, put in the title, "Miracle In the Meadowlands." Read the stories. Nobody ever played a game out to its almost impossible conclusion the way Herm Edwards did.

Nobody was much better at putting sports in its proper perspective, either. For proof of that, all you need to do is go back to the horrifying events of one of this country's greatest disasters. On the infamous day, 9/11, Herm Edwards was the head coach of the New York Jets.

The following day, after the Twin Towers had been reduced to rubble, and amidst all the horror and death and disaster, Edwards was trying to run a simple football practice with his team. He couldn't do it. He called his players off the field. He told them that this was not a time for football. It was a time to be with loved ones.

Edwards told his team they could choose not to play their upcoming scheduled game that weekend across the country in Oakland. Then he informed the NFL that his Jets would simply forfeit. Only then, did the league seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. And the league canceled all the games.

Herm Edwards was as responsible for that important -- and without question, correct -- decision as anyone. And he has been responsible for a whole lot more than that. On the field. Off the field. At San Diego State. At, well, just about every place he has ever gone.

So, let's go Aztecs. Beat the Sun Devils. But after you do, make sure at the very least, you shake the hand of Herm Edwards.