It has been nearly 15 years since Mike Myers played Linda Richman on “Saturday Night Live,” but a recurring theme in the character’s fictitious television call-in program “Coffee Talk,” was on display on the UC Irvine men’s volleyball team’s bench during the Anteaters’ Mountain Pacific Sports Federation home win over UCLA Friday.
UCI Coach John Speraw didn’t reprise Richman’s request for viewers to “tawk amongst yourselves,” but when he and his staff didn’t budge to engage the players coming off the court late in a Game 1 setback, the Anteaters immediately began handling their own tutorial.
“I’m very analytical about what we do tactically on the court,” said Speraw, whose team rallied for a four-game triumph. “But I’m also trying to teach these guys to be responsible, independent young men, and part of that lesson needs to start on the volleyball court with how they strategize and how they communicate with one another. So I’ve started saying less and asking more questions, instead of telling them what to do. And that time, in particular, I told my staff to sit down. I wanted [the players] to talk among themselves. I’ve done that periodically and with some good results. I like it.”