McCollum’s Column: Why is the Hendrix football coach talking about Van Halen and M&M’s?

When Hendrix coach Buck Buchanan makes his yearly appearance before the Conway Kiwanis Club, folks are going to be entertained and learn something.

 

This time, it was about the strange bedfellows of horseshoes, a hard rock group and M&M’s.

Somehow, in about 20 minutes, Buchanan tied them to a review of last year’s 7-3 season, the challenge of having 48 freshman and a 108-player roster plus some simple advice for any business or organization.

The three games the Warriors lost last year in the fourth season of the program revival cost them a championship and a second straight NCAA Division III playoff berth. Two of those losses were by one point, another by one possession. One defeat was punctuated when the Warriors fumbled away on the 1 going in for the winning touchdown.

Little things.

So we move to horseshoes and ancient times.

He actually gave his team this history lesson.

“In those days, wars were won by heavy cavalry,” he said. “Horses were the key element. The most important part of the effectiveness of the horses was the shoes. … Wars could be lost because of what might be considered the most insignificant thing, like the guy who put the nails in the horseshoe. The little things you do or don’t do correctly every day may come back to haunt you.”

Now, jump ahead centuries to Van Halen, one of Buchanan’s favorite bands.

“Van Halen was one of the first rock groups to play in big arenas, and as a result, they would put a whole lot of special requests in their contracts to appear in those arenas,” Buchanan said.

Van Halen was the first major band to implement those detailed contracts (or riders) that had requirements ranging from stage construction, technical arrangements and power availability.

“Those contracts could be 18 pages long,” Buchanan said. “Requirement No. 148, the last one, was there would be no brown M&M’s in the dressing room,” he said.

Huh?

“When they walked into that dressing room and found no brown M&M’s in the bowl of M&M’s, they knew that the organizers had read the complete contract and the fine print and they didn’t have to worry about the other parts being fulfilled,” Buchanan said. “But if they saw brown M&M’s, it meant they had to check everything else in the contract because the other things might not have been taken care of, either.”

It went back to earlier tours by the band in which equipment had been damaged and some members of the crew had almost been electrocuted because of safety measures being passed over.

“There are no insignificant tasks,” he reminded club members before they headed back to work for their daily tasks.

 

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