Game #9-534: Missouri State Bears vs. Wichita State ShockersMarch 8, 2013 7:05 pm
St. Louis, MO
Gregg Marshall appears to keep himself in reasonable physical shape.
He is not overweight at all. In fact, he looks like he could play a pick-up game against his managers and not be absolutely terrible at basketball.
However, I have a major concern about his health. Marshall has a drinking problem, but not the kind that Denzel Washington has in "Flight" or the kind that homeless bums showcase on the streets by using flasks and paper bags.
Marshall's drinking problem revolves around Gatorade. You know, the "Quench Your Thirst" stuff that has confusing flavor names but is often just referred to as the red Gatorade, the blue Gatorade, the orange Gatorade, that weird low-calorie Gatorade or some other off-brand. Gregg Marshall drinks so much Gatorade that I'm afraid his veins are going to turn into Gatorade and he's going to bleed the flavor he was drinking out onto the basketball court.
Coach Marshall has a pre-game routine. I've seen this for years now at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, and I saw it again in this quarterfinal game against Missouri State. Right before tip-off, he claims a full bottle of Gatorade and places it on the scorer's table, right next to his seat on the bench. He then takes a white cup and pours part of the Gatorade into it. He repeats this throughout the game until his bottle is gone.
Then, he gets a new one.
Pretty standard, right? It's not always such a safe practice, though. Last year, when a player scrambled for a loose ball near the sideline, he got knocked into the scorer's table and spilled Gatorade all over the radio crew. We're pretty sure the radio guys went off air for a little while as they attempted to clean up all the gooey muck all over their $80,000 equipment. So this year, Marshall decided to place his white cup of liquid in a ring of duck tape, as if that would help anything.
The Gatorade did not spill against Missouri State. Nobody was harmed. Marshall drank three Gatorades throughout the duration of the game (I counted, yeah), and he lived to tell about it. Does he know how much sugar is in just one of those things? Does he know he'd need to run like 6 miles to burn off all the calories from that stuff? Maybe he does. Just saying, he's got a problem, and I'm not sure he even knows it.
All kidding aside, Marshall's Gatorade habit is a part of his personality. He is one of college basketball's brightest coaches, and it is a pleasure to sit behind him on press row during a tournament setting. He prances up and down the sideline, sweating profusely at every moment as if the outcome of each in-game decision would alter the course of the entire universe. The funny thing is, even though he's terrific of a game manager, I have to give credit to his assistants as well. Marshall defers a lot of decisions to his right-hand men, and he seems to have no problem trusting his colleagues. He'll often ask for their advice on substitutions, and he always listens.
Gregg Marshall is wild. He acts like a madman. He never stops talking. He drinks a lot of Gatorade. But that's what makes him great. That's what makes him, well, him.
If he has a drinking problem, I'm sure as heck not going to be the one to stop him. Gatorade seems to work for him. Excess sugar be damned.