McCarthy's multi-colored game plan papers produce Packers works of art
Packers coach Mike McCarthy's game plans. Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
If you ask Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy what are the most important things in his life that he can hold in his hands, he'd probably say his family when he embraces them, his wedding ring and some pieces of laminated, really colorful paper.
His gameday game plan.
If you buried it in a time capsule, our descendants could put it in a museum as an ode to American can-do know-how and pastel color schemes.
It's immersed in masters-degree level football information, well-boxed organization and enough bright colors to make Monet, an 80's fashion designer or Digger Phelps' tie collection jealous.
It is the main reference point that McCarthy trusts in the most critical of decision-making situations for the Green Bay Packers.
"I like to have everything in front of me," said McCarthy about his game-plan-at-his-disposal on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"It used to be just a couple sheets. Now, it's a number of sheets. I have things for special teams. I have the defensive game plan on there and some game management on there. It's grown with my job responsibility."
McCarthy said he never used to have such intricate, colorful plans on the field when he was a position coach.
But when you run the whole show, more information has to be at your fingertips, and you almost never see McCarthy without the laminated football artwork.
Early in the game, it tends to be more flattened out. But often, it becomes a little bit more curved in its shape - particularly late in closer games.
McCarthy says he isn't the Monet, Picasso or Renoir of the game plan papers - just the architect of the plans on them.
"The information that goes on it, I put it together. I've been very blessed that I've been able to push away from the typewriter (computer) the past 15 years. Thank goodness. Some people like to type their own things. I prefer someone else types them and I correct them and highlight them."
We're not going to highlight what's on those papers, but someday, maybe you'll see their highlighter hues and crazy code words hanging in one of the world's great art museums.
Or perhaps the Pro Football Hall of Fame.