The postgame interview is bothersome, necessary drudgery for NFL head coaches. The goal is to give the appearance of answering a question while at the same time saying absolutely nothing about anything whatsoever. And, really, it has to be that way. Approximately 90% of America treats life as a contest to see who can be the most offended by whatever trivial utterance somehow manages to insert itself into that 3-second window which suffices for personal attention span. Or makes the "Trending on Twitter" section of your local newscast, right in there between the 13th iteration of the day's weather and the recap of last night's reality show on the network.
Happily, most coaches have mastered the interview task: listen to the question, draw a random card from the canned response stack, and recite. The interviewer nods sagely, the hypersensitive fan switches off, and the coach is free to return to the relative privacy of his office, where he will pound Budweisers until the memory of yet another double-digit loss fades into sweet oblivion.
But what do those canned answers mean?
1. "We've got to clean that up."
Used to address any fundamental flaw which make your team the grease fire that it is. Also used to imply that five minutes with a whisk broom will fix everything. "Well, Jim, the eight turnovers really hurt us; we'll have to clean that up before Green Bay gets in here next week".
2. "We really made a statement today."
We covered the spread for the first time in three seasons.
3. "We're taking it one game at a time."
We have another week before we're mathematically eliminated.
4. "We're just trying to get better every week."
Good teams use this to explain why they only beat the Raiders by 13. Bad teams use this to excuse the fact that the game was over by halftime. Most effective when your previous game was over by the end of the first quarter.
5. "We're going to get things turned around."
A special favorite of new coaches who have started 0-3 and who know full well that a 3-13 season is an absolute best-case scenario. Translation: "I just bought an expensive house with a big down payment; please don't fire me until the middle of next season".
6. "It is what it is."
The Jōshū's "Mu" of interview responses; also used to fill a blank void with content, much like the old-fashioned television test pattern card. "Look, Pam, I can't tell you to fuck off with the cameras rolling, so have some words instead".