There are a lot of funny sports books out there, but Mark Titus's "Don't Put Me in Coach" is up there with my all-time sports comedy favorites including "Slow Getting Up" by Nate Jackson and also Matt McCarthy's "Odd Man Out". In each of these books I've had to physically stop reading to collect myself for a few seconds before marching on. Titus's unbelievable inability to learn from his digestive tract mistakes were oddly the butt of many jokes. No pun intended...wait yes, pun intended. I want to count it.
Full disclosure, I got this book for half-price at a book sale for $1.50. Let me explain to you why this is amazing. First off, many young college sports fans are very aware of this book and appreciate it. Secondly, the book was on the campus of Penn State University when I bought it. Lastly, Titus had a good following of fans and I figured this would get scooped up before day three of the annual book sale at Penn State. I'm pretty sure the only reason I got this was because it was hidden under a like 1997 Baseball Prospectus book.
What made me laugh further is that Titus would had to have ridden past the building where I bought it between the airport and the Bryce Jordan Center. He has a couple of Penn State stories, but I won't spoil those for you.
What Did I Learn?
1. I'm not really sure this is the type of book built to teach lessons, but I'll give it the old college try. It is super beneficial to be in the right place at the right time. This dates back to Mark Titus essentially being a man child in middle school and coming across Greg Oden, Mike Conley and crew at a AAU tournament. AAU ball being AAU ball Titus was recruited from his previous team to the elite team.
2. If there is one thing I know from being a Penn State Basketball fan from about 2004-2010 it was being bitter. This book made me dislike those Ohio State teams less...I'm talking from like an 8 down to a 5. Evan "The Villain" Turner was definitely a candidate for least liked player nationally by the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of students that were season ticket holders.
3. I think it is possible to have fun, work hard, not take life too seriously and find success all in one. This book is a pretty good testament to that belief. How Titus lived through his four years without being murdered by his teammates might be as big a mystery as the legends of Sasquatch, Atlantis or Area 51.
4. Lastly, I would be sorely lacking if I didn't post his Mr. Rainmaker video in this article.
About the Author
Andy Rupert is a Penn State (B.A. John Curley Center for Sports Journalism 08') and a Southern Miss (M.S. Sport Management 09'). He has spent his whole career working in sports and tourism digital marketing and metrics.