HE MAY FREAK THE ROWING ARISTOCRACY, BUT SOUTH PHILLY TOUGH GUY MIKE TETI JUST COULD BE THE COACH TO GET THE U.S. THE GOLD
In ESPN Magazine
The boat is humming. Four bodies are reaching and rowing in unison on an early New Jersey morning. Beneath them, the boat appears to fly. Four oars swinging and slicing a rhythmic 28 strokes a minute. Perfect. Except to the coach. He sees a tiny hitch after each stroke, a millisecond of hesitation. And its killing him. It burns his insides, rips a hole in his heart. He steers his launch until its nearly on top of the rowers. He peers at Chris Ahrens, the strongman in the stroke seat, then at Jamie Koven, Tom Welsh and Bryan Volpenhein, all sucking air in cadence. The coach brings his boat left for a side view. Then he explodes.
Its not brain surgery! he bellows through his megaphone. You lock the oar in the water and you push it. Lock it and push it. Its pretty simple. Like everything that comes out of his mouth, the rant is punctuated with a word road crews hear more often than rowing crews. The four pull on. Youre making this Vchopping it in and yanking it out. Theres no sweep, he continues, demonstrating by cutting the air with his gloved hand. Youre not helping me out here. I want to put you in the boat. I want to put you on the team but, dammit, why cant you just do this?
To read more, go to ESPN archives.