Mike Price quotes classic Dumb and Dumber line; ‘You’re telling me we’ve got a chance?’
To paraphrase, it was something about how if UTEP played OU 10 times, the Sooners might win nine of them, but all they need is this one.
That line, of course, reminds me most of “Miracle,” the movie based on the United States hockey team’s shocking upset of the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Price, entering his ninth season as UTEP’s coach, is two wins shy of becoming the school’s all-time winningest football coach. He’s also one of just two coaches to ever lead the Miners to three bowl games, the last coming in the mid-1950s.
Price was kind enough to grant me a telephone interview last week, where we talked a lot about his well-known troubles during his brief stint as Alabama’s coach. The story ran in Monday’s newspaper.
But he also talked about how important changing the mindset at UTEP was when he arrived back in 2004. Then he started talking about the season opener against Oklahoma, and while doing so, he used a line from another movie.
“Dumb and Dumber” isn’t exactly an inspirational movie by any stretch, and I wonder if Price is the first coach to ever use this line to express confidence, even in impossible situations.
“If we have a one in 100 chance of winning, well, we have a chance,” Price said, before adding with a laugh, “I don’t want to quote the line from Dumb and Dumber, but, ‘You’re telling me we’ve got a chance?’”
Of course, the optimistic Lloyd Christmas, played by Jim Carrey, eagerly belts out the line when his dream girl, who he chased across the country in a dog van, tells him that his chances with her are not one in a hundred, but more like one in a million.
“In football, the best team doesn’t win every Saturday,” Price said. “The team that plays the best wins.
“They’re bigger, faster and are better football players than we are. But funny things happen in football. We’re just gonna play the best we can and wish them well in the rest of their games after we’re done.”
Oklahoma is just the first of a tough, three-game nonconference gaunlet the Miners will navigate through in 2012. After the Sooners, UTEP plays Mississippi and Wisconsin outside of its Conference USA slate.
“We’re taking a big challenge with our schedule the way it is, but it’s an awesome chance for our players,” Price said. “We just need to play as hard as we can and stay healthy.
“We’re just a bunch of skinny, pencil-necked kids from West Texas against the big boys. But we’ll play hard.”
Here is more of Price from our interview, on a variety of subjects:
On the jolt he thinks Oklahoma coming to El Paso will give the UTEP program:
“We’ve had our dips. We’ve been up and down, and we needed an injection of enthusiasm and mojo into our program. We had it going pretty good here, the first two or three years. We had Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas here. We just need to get people more excited about the football program, about coming to watch the Miners and coming to the Sun Bowl. Oklahoma has undoubtedly given us that additional spirit and boost for our fans, our city and our football program.”
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