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Move, Coach! Get out the way!

Did you know that Spotters have moved beyond Gymnastics and Cheerleading and into the world of Football? Meet Ted Rath, Sean McVay’s “Get Back Coach”.

(U.S. Air Force photo/Dave Armer)

Move, Coach! Get out the way!


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Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Surely you’ve heard of spotters in cheerleading and gymnastics and even weightlifting. Makes perfect sense right? If I were getting thrown sky high in the air or balancing along a 4 inch wooden beam or lifting hundreds of pounds over any part of my body I would want someone nearby to make sure I don’t break myself into pieces. Believe me, I’m good enough at that when I have both feet on the ground. Well now you can add football to the list of sports with official spotters.

Both of Sunday’s Superbowl head coaches have been noted for their intense level of focus during games. For Patriots coach Bill Belichick it usually means standing in one spot with arms crossed and giving a penetrating stare that strikes fear to the opposing sideline. McVay’s style is wildly different. During offensive drives he can be found wandering the sidelines like a hyper puppy searching for a snack.

2018 Nfl Football GIF by NFL - Find & Share on GIPHY
“Treat?!” – Sean McVay says with his soulful eyes [giphy]

Enter Ted Rath

Ted Rath, who serves as the LA Rams strength training and performance director has the official task of keeping head coach Sean McVay from stepping “out of bounds” so to speak during games. You can always find Rath looking eerily like one of those parents whose kid wears a backpack with a leash attached because the kid wanders too far in public places.


Literally, Rath is the shade to McBay’s Peter Pan after being sewn back on.

Is this new?

While Rath and McVay are likely the most visible example of this, every NFL team has someone assigned to handle the task of the coaches and players staying back off the sidelines and out of the officials way during the game. Although I’m sure there are a few head coaches in the league right now that wouldn’t mind giving refs a piece of their minds while lowering their shoulders.

Though it may be more common on offensive drives the get-back coach isn’t limited to just potential scoring drives. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables has also been publicly been seen being physically pulled back off the line by his “spotter.”

Game Time Fan Fun

In preparation and celebration of Sunday’s festivities fans have gotten on board with all of this and even created their own version of “The Sean McVay Challenge“.

A brief snapshot of the rules

Not to be outdone by the Rams, McVay, and Rath’s recent publicity the Patriots fans have also gotten in on the “Helpful Handler” trend. In fact, Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald (a Pats fan and friend of Ned Donovan’s) took to the streets of Atlanta to prove just how handy they can come in.

As a self-proclaimed clumsy person who has had a fair amount of stumbles recently, this makes me think that maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have my own personal spotter? What would that be called?

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