You would be wise to nail down or hide all inanimate objects after a Red Bulls loss if Head Coach Mike Petke is in the room.
Following a similar episode after a deflating draw in Toronto where he cracked and disposed of a CD containing the recording of his team’s performance, the irate coach took out his anger on a chair in Columbus during the team’s lackluster 2-0 loss in Ohio.
“I can neither confirm or deny a cheap seat I was sitting on might be unusable right now,” Petke told media members in his weekly press call. “I wont confirm that but I wont deny it.”
The team’s performance coupled with his first suspension as a coach had the rookie boss boiling over with rage and helplessness. Petke’s chair felt the brunt of his anger.
“That tells you right there,” Petke said of his actions.
“Prior to the game, I had a moment and said maybe this is good for me,” he said. “Maybe I needed to get detached for a game, be up top, looking down and seeing a bigger picture – a very different view from being on the sidelines.”
That moment of clarity did not last very long.
“I hated every second of it,” he explained. “Not being able to influence anything, not being able to communicate. It was terrible.”
Adding to that unbearable set of circumstances were the Crew supporters whom, thanks to the configurations at Crew Stadium, made sure Petke’s stay in Ohio was as uncomfortable as possible.
“It is a very interesting place, Columbus, where they put you in there,” he began. “It is an open window, a foot and a half above the fans that are sitting right below you. All it took was five minutes in for one fan to turn around and say ‘Hey it’s Mike Petke!’ and the whole section was five feet away and entertaining me, I guess you can say. It was an interesting dynamic and very unenjoyable.”
While it was a moment in time he would probably like to forget, it is undoubtedly a harsh lesson for the fiery rookie coach to take in. Petke, a man who has always been a slave to his emotions, has struggled to keep his composure in these nascent stages of his coaching career. Will this deter him from crossing the line in the future? It is a question even he struggles to answer.
“Robin (Fraser) asked me if that was enough for me to learn my lesson and I said I hope so,” Petke explained. “I can’t control who I am at the sideline at times. I am a young, inexperienced coach in aspects like that. Maybe as I get older and if my career does continue for years and years and years, maybe I will become better at that.
“I hope it was enough for me to learn my lesson because I don’t want to be in that position again.”