clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mike Singletary and the power/burden of emotion

There are a variety of reasons to enjoy having Mike Singletary as head coach of the 49ers.  You might like his take no bull attitude, you might like his motivational nature, or maybe you just love the fact that he does what's right and is settin the style.  Generally people seem to like Mike Singletary but one criticism that has come up is his abilities to contain his emotions.

This past Sunday, his emotions got a bit of the best of him when he found himself verbally getting into it with former 49er Harvey Dahl.  Initially it was hard to figure out what was going on, but things slowly got out.  Tim Kawakami had a column shortly after the game discussing the incident (among other things) and there were some intriguing points made.  Normally I don't read Kawakami all that much, but one of the sites I regularly visit, The Big Lead, linked to the post-game column.

In regards to the incident, Singletary said he shouldn't have been jawing with Dahl even in the heat of the moment.  Kawakami, however, learned of some interesting additional details:

By the way, Singletary’s players totally had his back on the Dahl incident–Manny Lawson said there were a lot of Falcons’ late-hitting and the 49ers players know that Singletary was standing up for them.

Whatever the case may be, the emotions of Mike Singletary have always been lingering out there.  Dating back to his first game as head coach, a big chunk of the spotlight surrounding Samurai Mike has been because of his emotional "outbursts."  You can go back to the pants dropping and the post-game press conference.  Good or bad, it will likely follow him through his coaching career.  Clearly the emotion has been an important aspect of getting this team turned around, or at least working towards getting turned around depending on how you look at it.  It's certainly not the only aspect and maybe not even the "key" aspect, but it is certainly a valuable one.

The question becomes will this potentially burn him out?  Will it burn the players out?  I ask these questions because there were some interesting comments raised in the comments section of the post from The Big Lead I linked to above.  Someone actually brought up Ray Rhodes and how fired up he would sometimes get when he was coaching the Eagles.  Somebody basically talked about how it wore thin with the players at some point.  A later comment in response made the point that "[p]layers won’t lose respect for intensity as long as it’s rational and consistent."

I'm certainly not saying Ray Rhodes and Mike Singletary are cut from the same cloth.  Rather, I'm just trying to get a better idea of Coach Singletary from the mental and/or emotional level.  None of us interacts with him on a daily basis (or really at all I suppose), so this will certainly be a whole lot of speculation.  Nonetheless, I think it's a useful topic to consider.