Since my grandmother poured my that first cup of delicious mud-colored coffee into my little mug when I was nine years old, that’s been the only “energy drink” I’ve ever needed in my life.
Nowadays, the options of increased energy come in all forms. Coffee, cocaine and testosterone are a few options, but the reason why we’re here today are because of energy drinks.
Drinking a Red Bull or a Monster Energy Drink never tickled my fancy, nor did the thought of paying anything north of $4 for something that simply didn’t taste good at all. Why would I spend that money on sugary windshield wiper fluid when I could have a delicious soy vanilla latte from the cute barista around the corner? But I digress.
Your boy Dana Holgorsen, head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, is evidently another one of these football coaches (like LSU’s Ed Orgeron, who puts down 8-10 a day) who love to pound energy drinks before going FULLY HYPE DAD BRO as the leader of young men on his football team. Holgorsen had a refined taste, as his loyalty and affinity for his Red Bull consumption had reached absurd levels.
“So we’re talking around 185 days…I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000.” — Holgorsen
Oh, and if those Red Bull girls show up to give you a complimentary can? He’s bucking the system and going for two.
— Nate Feken (@TheGreat_Nate) July 20, 2015
However, those days of selling his liver and kidneys to Red Bull are over. Per Mountaineers beat writer Sean Manning of The Dominion Post, Holgorsen’s now sold the loyalty of said kidneys to a new contract with Monster.
RIP Dana Holgorsen Red Bull jokes: 2010-2017. He is now contractually a Monster guy.
— Sean Manning (@SeanManning_DP) July 19, 2017
So, you’re telling me that this man is going to be getting paid to consume liquid cocaine for nearly 200 days of the year while coaching a college football team? My crack research here on the internet tells me that one can sixteen ounce can of Monster has 54 grams of sugar and 89 milligrams of caffeine in it. (Mind you, an average cup of coffee has 95 milligrams.) I might be high, but drinking six cans of that stuff seems dangerous, and THAT GUY is the highest-paid employee in the state of West Virginia, teaching 18-22 year old young men how to get to the next level via the game of football.
That’s not even the disgusting part.
What’s wild is that this man is capable of signing an endorsement deal for an energy drink because he’s a decent college football coach, while our boy Donald De La Haye aka the kicker for Central Florida aka the student-athlete marketing major is being told to choose between making a few dollars on YouTube and become ineligible or staying on the team and ending his “side hustle” as a content creator.
One of these people is “legendary” because he can down a six-pack of energy drinks while being a football coach and get paid for it. The other is “notorious” because he can create viral videos while NOT being on a football field and is being prosecuted for being paid for it.
The NCAA and the University of Central Florida has essentially told De La Haye to stop being a student-athlete because you’re a student-athlete. Mike Piellucci from Vice hammers the point home way better than I ever could.
This is an academic success story, an American success story, and also great advertising for UCF. Beyond De La Haye and the school, it also speaks wonders for the NCAA, which has spent lots of money on television ads assuring you that most of its athletes will go pro in something other than sports.
Or it would speak wonders, were the NCAA something other than a cartel whose greatest and most insidious reason for existence is to both fuck over and generally siphon capital from its endlessly renewable labor force, and were universities anything other than willing and well-paid accomplices.
The constant berating of the NCAA and its shamocracy that is the non-payment of players has been forever beat into the ground. Moreover, I don’t begrudge Holgorsen for getting his money because a brand decided to pay a guy who loves to drink energy drinks around easily influenced kids and hook him up with their drinks. What’s infuriating is how brazen these acts of flaunting their ability to dole out bread are – doing so in front of the very people who trade on their bodies just to have institutions that aren’t committed to educating them, but will cry broke when it comes to reciprocated compensation back to the student-athlete.
If I were De La Haye, I’d ask Dana Holgorsen if he’d take the time to have a cup of coffee with him. Maybe then he could sit down and ask him how to leverage his unique situation into a “legitimate” opportunity to make money by doing the thing one loves. You know, while being a student-athlete who wants to go pro in something other than sports.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”