When the Montreal Canadiens appointed Randy Cunneyworth interim head coach last season, Quebec media exploded with incredulity after finding out a new face of the province’s flagship franchise didn’t speak the language.
Randy ne parle pas francais. (Neither do I.)
Impact head coach Jesse Marsch doesn’t really speak French either, but he’s working on it. In the video below, we see how far the Wisconsin-born former U.S. international’s come with Quebec’s native tongue, his assimilation effort apparently appreciated by the club’s fans.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlmlhIdA55g]
His French isn’t great, but it’s an admirable start. More importantly, it’s an admirable attitude. I’m only slightly younger than Marsch and am losing what little I used to know of my second language. Now he’s having to pick up a completely new one? Makes me feel self-conscious for not having better command of English.
Presumably, communication with his team is not the goal here. This is a fan-centic effort. It’s a community-centric effort. While you’d like to think all coaches are as conscious of the ancillary responsibilities of their job (their role as a spokesperson to the team’s fan base), they’re usually not.
In the attitude he’s conveying, Marsch’s effort seems more then mere obligation. That kind of stuff goes a long way.
(gotta H/T on this one to Joe Prince-Wright at MLSSoccer.com)