Blood in the Water

I don’t know when or how I stumbled on this article but it’s a great one. It was published in 1999 and briefly chronicles the selection process of Mike Teti’s heavyweight 8+ for the ’99 world championships and the 2000 Olympic team.

As the thin fog lifts over the pine trees and off the lake, Teti begins today’s practice session with his version of a pep talk. “For the past two weeks, I’ve been really flexible with your work hours,” he announces, his voice scratchy from weeks of shouting through a bullhorn. His face is tan and windburned from 18 years of flying up and down narrow channels of water with a clock in his hand. “I’ve been really flexible with your relationships. I have been really flexible with your academics. Well, I’m through being flexible. I’m going to the World Championships to win. Anyone who requires maintenance, you are not welcome here. I will provide the coaching, the equipment, and the expertise to those who want to go to the Olympic Games and win a fucking gold medal. Anything that gets in the way of that, I’m gonna run it the fuck over. Some of you guys are severely on the bubble, and most of you here will not make the Olympic Team.”

And this one…

“I don’t have all fucking day!” Teti screams. “Line up.”

And this one…

Teti never simply shouts, “Pull!” He yells things such as, “Pull like you’re the biggest, baddest motherfucker in a bar, and everybody in the bar knows it!”

Coxswains, remember that one – you never know when it might come in handy.

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