Monday, June 08, 2009

PFT: Jimmy Johnson Misses Nothing About Coaching

Posted by Sheil Kapadia on June 7, 2009, 3:57 p.m.

Jimmy Johnson last roamed the sidelines in 1999, and the former Cowboys and Dolphins coach spends no time these days basking in the glory of winning two Super Bowls.

Instead, he’s blocking it all out.

“I’ve programmed myself to never look back,” he told Dan Le Betard of the Miami Herald. “I’ve blocked out the past. Every dream or nightmare I had for 20 years was dealing with a football game. Stupid stuff. A nightmare that our uniforms weren’t ready or something like that. I haven’t had a football dream for six or seven years. You know the last dream I had? That I couldn’t get through airport security because I was carrying a monkey.”

Johnson still gets his football fix as an analyst with Fox. He keeps in touch with coaches like Bill Belichick and is proud of his achievements, but doesn’t miss the process involved with trying to lead a winning football team.

“I was happy in my accomplishments — fulfilled, satisfied, proud, very proud — but I didn’t have true joy,” he said. “I had a responsibility when I was coaching. And that was overriding everything. Family. Friends. Not just friends but even the idea of friendship. I didn’t care whether I had friends or not. I was responsible if it didn’t work. And when things would go wrong, I’d get upset to no end. I’d replay it in my mind all day and night. At the end, winning was just OK but a loss just crushed me. What kind of way to live is that?”

Johnson tried to fulfill his need for competition by applying to be on the show Survivor, but blocked arteries in his heart prevented him from participating.

When he looks at the league from his current perspective, Johnson notices that the successful coaches and personnel men have the most difficult time leaving the game behind.

“Praise is the trap. The way people tell Belichick he’s a genius and the best ever, the more he wants to become it,” Johnson said. “The way everyone says [Bill] Parcells is the master of rebuilding, the more he works to rebuild. I used to care about that stuff.”