“You Can’t Unsee That!”

It has often been said that a certain song can take you back to a precise moment in your life, immediately.   It happens all the time and usually, brings a smile or two to our faces. 

For some, it might be a cologne or a unique smell, perhaps your grandmother’s cooking, that brings you back to a part of your life you have longed since forgotten about.  

In my life, both apply but there is something, that is not a song, nor a smell, that takes me back 1978 through 1989 immediately.  

It is this:


Yes, the world famous Bike Coaching Shorts.  

Every single football coach in these United States of America wore them and I am confident, it was the law. 

I have not seen a pair of these in public in about 30 years so imagine my surprise when I saw a guy wearing this inside a grocery store.  (This is also why you need to carry your phone everywhere because my phone was in the car and this happened.  ALWAYS CARRY YOUR PHONE, JOE!) 

I stopped cold in my tracks and boom, was back in 9th grade at McGavock on the football field.  I was also back at the old Donelson-Hermitage Warriors football field as a 8 year old.  I was at Samford in college where the coaches, and most of the players, wore those Bike Coaches Shorts.  

Now I probably shouldn’t capitalize Bike Coaches Shorts but I have so much respect for those 3 words, that I have to.  

And, let me add, these shorts could and would survive a nuclear war with nary a scratch.  They were indestructible and I wish my car was made out of that and I would never worry about driving.  


I had a coach in junior college who wore Bike Coaches Shorts about two sizes too small.  He loved to run sprints with us and take part in the punt team practice and would flat out come at you, wearing those way too tight shorts.  We had a guy on the team who was very quiet, hardly ever spoke and one day, the coach was running towards us, with those shorts and he said in his Tennessee John Wayne accent, “Good God, you can’t unsee that.”

The entire team erupted in laughter and I had not thought about that moment in years, yet seeing those shorts at the grocery store, I was immediately taken back.  

And as you read this, I am positive a certain coach will come back to mind who wore those shorts ALL THE TIME.  Junior high, high school, doesn’t matter, we all had that one coach whose entire wardrobe was one dress suit, maybe a blazer, too, 20 white t-shirts and 37 Bike Coaches Shorts.  

If they ever add a 5th face to Mount Rushmore, let it be the man who came up with Bike Coaches Shorts. 

And, may the memory of that coach wearing those too tight shorts sprinting down the field, never be gone because it will forever make me laugh when I need to.

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