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Here's An Oregon Coach's Embarrassing Story About Marcus Mariota

Illustration for article titled Here's An Oregon Coach's Embarrassing Story About Marcus Mariota

Scott Frost's address at the Frank Broyles Award ceremony, where he was a finalist, had an obviously high bullshit content, proving anew that the Oregon offensive coordinator is indeed head-coaching material. Thing is, it was also pretty funny. He warmed up the Little Rock crowd with some boilerplate humility, then segued into a gag about football coaches your grandpa probably heard on the radio when he was in junior high. (Somewhere, Jim Haslett is wondering what joke the cabbie intended to tell.) Then he launched into a maybe-true, borderline offensive anecdote about his star quarterback, Marcus Mariota.

Gotta watch the video to appreciate Frost's deadpan delivery (which he then steers into further comedic fabrication — really, it was a humdinger of a speech). Cue it up and skip to 2:38 if you just want the comedy highlights. Here's a quick transcript of the allegedly true tale of Mariota tap-dancing his way out of a jam:

We're here because our teams had great years. … I'm here because of the rest of the staff at Oregon, the great players we have. I'm here because of Marcus Mariota, honestly. Quick story about Marcus Mariota. People ask me about him all the time, and he's such a great player, but his best attribute is how quick-witted he is.

People don't know this, but his freshman year he worked at a grocery store in town to pay the extra bills. He was at the register one day and this great big woman comes in. And she said, "I'd like to buy a half a head of lettuce." He kinda looked at her funny and said, "We don't sell half heads — only whole heads." And she got all mad. So he walked back to ask the manager what he should do. He said, "Hey, I've got this great, big, fat woman out here who wants to buy a half a head of lettuce. What should I do?"

He didn't know it, but the woman had followed him back there. He looks over his shoulder and he sees her standing there. And he said, "And this lady wants to buy the other half."


Frost didn't win the award as the top assistant in college football; Tom Herman, Ohio State's offensive coordinator, pulled it out. But Frost displayed several of the fundamental laws of public speaking. Talk slowly. Speak off the cuff. Sprinkle a few compliments around, tell jokes, tell more jokes, say goodbye before anyone tries to guess how long you've been speaking. And if necessary, make women and heavy people uncomfortable while lovingly shoving a Heisman finalist under the bus.

h/t Amy