I’m reading this book by Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers. In a nutshell, it focuses on the factors that determine individual success. One such factor discussed is what’s called the “10,000-Hour Rule.” The 10,000-Hour Rule essentially states that in order to become an expert at any given task, one must perform that task for at least 10,000 hours. Through practice, repetition, and the honing of a craft over that time period, one can became a savant in any field they so choose.
So what does this all mean, anyway? Good question. First off, it means I need to get laid about a million more times before I’ll ever be anything more than a novice (boom, roasted). Second, it means that Paul Wulff — yes, THE Paul Wulff — is likely an expert head college football coach. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Whoa, hold on, crazy guy…how do you figure that ridiculousness? Allow me to explain.
Here are the facts. Fact No. 1: Wulff has been a head college football coach for 12 seasons, dating back to 2000. Fact No. 2: He spent eight of those seasons as the skipper of the Eastern Washington Eagles, taking his squad to the Division I-AA playoffs three times during his tenure. Fact No. 3: The last four years of Wulff’s career have been spent in Pullman, leading the Washington State Cougars to perennial mediocrity. Over that span, Wulff has compiled a 9-40 win-loss record and finished no better than 9th overall in the conference. These are concrete pieces of evidence which you cannot deny.
This is where things get a little speculative, but please bear with me. I wager that, on average, a head college football coach spends eight hours a day, 350 days a year tending to his work. Most head college football coaches probably put in 10-to-12 hours of work each day, but let’s assume a little less, just to be safe.
If this estimate holds true, then we can reasonably fathom that Wulff — or any head college football coach, for that matter — puts in about 2,800 hours a year perfecting his trade. Over the course of 12 years, in Wulff’s case, that rounds out to a whopping 33,600 total hours. Think about that. If 10,000 hours equals expert status, then 33,600 hours must turn you into a freakish all-star-caliber genius or something. What does that mean, ultimately? It means that Paul Wulff is an expert. A motherf**king expert.
Now, let me ask you this. Would you fire an expert? Would you terminate his contract? Would you say, “Hey, expert, hit the road, pal. We don’t need you”? Hell no! That would be downright insane. Experts are not easy to come by. I would guess that most of us aren’t experts. At anything. So when we find an expert, we should hold onto him or her at all costs.
Sure, there are other experts out there that can be had. But consider this. Under the terms of the 10,000-Hour Rule, Wulff isn’t just an expert head college football coach. Oh no. Having coached the Cougars for four years now, he’s tallied 11,200 hours leading WSU down a path towards…success. So, yes, Cougar fans. Paul Wulff is, in fact, an expert at coaching the Washington State University football team, as well. That’s something that very few men can lay claim to.
You can’t do it. You can’t fire Paul Wulff. He has dual expertship. If that isn’t reason enough to keep him around, please consider the fact that he was born in Woodland, Calif. I’ve been to Woodland, Calif. It’s a beautiful town. But I imagine there aren’t too many people who make it out of Woodland and have the level of…success…that Wulff has had. Do you really want to axe the pride of Woodland, Calif.? Do you want to be responsible for letting down all the Woodlandites (Woodlandians?) who look up to Coach Wulff? That’s a heavy burden to shoulder. I sure wouldn’t want to be the guy who crushed the hopes and dreams of an entire city. That would suck. And being labeled as sucky is something I try to avoid.
Keep him. Keep Paul Wulff. Just do it. You know you want to. Lock him up for life. Give him that security. The guy has earned it kind of. If nothing else, it would make him happy. He loves being a Coug. Now go on and love him back. Don’t deny the affection. Embrace it.
Paul Wulff forever. The movement starts now.