Coach’s Diary: Dana Altman’s undefeated correspondence with himself


The Coach’s Diary series takes us past the interviews, the fake smiles and the rehearsed responses, and delves deep into the things Pac-12 coaches don’t say to the media.

After Oregon’s win over Washington on Saturday, head coach Dana Altman sat down in his metal folding chair at his folding table desk inside his intrepidly spartan apartment, opened up his grade-school-ruled notebook (he likes the wider lines, we’ve been told) and opened up to his trusty Diary about the 2013 Pac-12 season.

We at QuackTownUSA, through rigorous investigative work, consistent neglect of trespassing laws and little regard for the validity of our sources, have obtained the diary entries from the past two weeks. In this installment, we give you the entries leading up to and following the Washington game.

Friday, January 19th: UCLA looms

Dear Diary,

This morning I had three strawberries, three orange slices, three Eggo waffles of the French Toast variety and three grapes.

You know how important balance is to me, Diary. That’s why I write to you no less than three times a week, but no more than four times a week. Consistency is key, and so is habit. And right now, we’ve developed a habit of winning.

Tomorrow, we play UCLA in Los Angeles. I’ve heard plenty about this Shabazz kid, but from what I hear, he’s not even the best Shabazz in the country, and my sources are good. I’ve planted street youths resembling the youngest Newsie in every gym in the Pac-12, and these arcanely dressed individuals are the very best at snooping. I’ve learned my tricks from Sam Spade, Diary, and the P.I. has yet to lead me astray.

I like our chances, Diary, I really do.



Sunday, January 21st: UCLA doomed

Dear Diary,

We beat UCLA at Pauly Pavillion. It was never in doubt after the first half.


That’s me getting excited.

I show plenty of emotion when things go the other way, but when things are going well, Brad Stevens and I have a totally illegal side bet dedicated to emotionless celebrations. That twerp is winning, at the moment, but if we keep winning, I can promise one thing: I’ll retake the lead with the most stunning display of emotionless victory this world has ever seen.

But I have competition.

Oh, and Diary, I’ve recently learned how to make .gif’s. Be warned.



Wednesday, January 23rd: Enjoying the little things

Dear Diary,

This morning I had three strawberries, three orange slices, three regular Eggo waffles and three grapes (I ran out of the French Toast variety of Eggo’s last week).

We beat Washington State, too, but I wouldn’t be writing this to you had we lost.

Not much in the news here. I keep reminding people that we do play basketball in college before March, but no one is listening. People still care about this Manti Te’o thing.

I don’t see what the big deal is. I used to make up girlfriends all the time, it kept things simpler, especially when I was younger, and you know I’m into simple, Diary.

How, you might ask? I’ll give you a hypothetical taste, Diary, but only because I have no one else to share these things with. Here’s a situation where it was nice to have a pretend girlfriend taking care of younger me:

“Hey Dana, what are you up to tonight?”

“I dunno, probably not much. You?”

“Me and a bunch of the guys are planning on participating in an activity that you have little to no interest in. Want to join?”

“Not really, I have little to no interest in your plans.”

“Come on, Dana. Stop being such a loser. You never want to go jump off water towers or ride mountain bikes or do other unsafe things. Loser!”

“No I’m not, guys. I have to hang out with girlfriend tonight, Laura-Sarah, or L.S. for short.”

“Oh, your girlfriend?”

“Yeah, my girlfriend.”

“Oh, you’re not all that lame, Dana. We’ll talk to you tomorrow because you aren’t bailing on us for no reason, you’re bailing on us to hang out with your girlfriend.”

“Talk to you tomorrow, guys!”

And there it would be, an evening alone with Gary Shandling on the tube, saved by an imaginary girlfriend. I didn’t even need Twitter or Facebook to confirm these things, Diary. I just would dump them one day and be allowed to hang out with my buddies the next.

In fact, I might have even dated Lennay Kekua’s imaginary mother, Elizabeth, when I was a more spry lad if things had been different. She was a sweetheart. I miss those days.

T.T.F.N., Diary.



Saturday, January 26th: Washington on the horizon

Dear Diary,

We have lost Dominic Artis for a little while. The injury appears to be a mildly sprained foot, but I’m going to mess with the media (those precious few that still care) on this one.

At first, I’m going to say it was a laceration that occurred during filming while Dominic was guest starring on an episode of MTV’s BUCKWILD. Then, I’m going to contradict those rumors by starting a different one on various message boards (under the alias of NobleNutBall) stating that the injury occurred in a local Market of Choice under dubious circumstances when baggers failed to wrangle in a rogue Rascal.

I feel like this is a good plan, one that needs no revision.

Talk to you soon, Diary.



Sunday, January 27th: 7-0 in conference play

Dear Diary,

Back to my meal of threes. I wish my team feasted on three’s as much as I do, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Even without Dominic, we held off the Huskies late surge. I like where this team is going, but I’d like it even more if they were as into bunches of three as I was.

7-0, Diary. A top-ten team. Who’d a thunk it.



Categories: Basketball, Best of..., Coach's Diary, Just for fun

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