When you talk about the Chicago Bliss, it all starts with Coach Keith Hac. I liked the man from our first phone conversation early last season.
The Legends Football League and the Chicago Bliss are not like most pro leagues and teams. Their is no real front office or organizational chart. The teams are owned by the league and the Coach pretty much runs the show for the teams.
Coaching a team is tough enough. Add to that running a team and imagine the headaches. Yet, Coach Hac does all of that and still has a sense of humor and a light mood. I have seen Coach Hac knee deep in practice, yet dealing with issues ordinarily handled by a staff of many.
Coach Hac is "hands on" because he has to be. He has several top notch people around him, but this is Hac's show to run and he runs it well.
Last season Coach Hac put me on the map by guaranteeing a win in an interview. Then he furthered my reputation by calling me "the Guru." I am quite sure he has many important things to do, but he always gives me a few minutes when I ask him. As a reporter, I can ask for no better treatment.
I really respect Hac's straight up approach. Hac isn't like every coach out there. He tells you what he thinks. Scratch that. He tells you what he knows and he knows a lot. It is honest and refreshing.
Hac is also a master at adjustments. He has a solid game plan, but at halftime, he evaluates the first half and alters the plan accordingly for the second half. At halftime of the first game, another coach (who shall remain nameless) declared the game over, despite the Bliss trailing only by 2. I knew better. Hac did what he always does and the Bliss responded like they always do. The end result was a 25-21 win.
Even after the win, Hac did not receive the praise he deserves. None other than the LFL owner himself called the Bliss "one-dimensional" and LA "the better team." I could not agree less, but still it did not seem to fluster Hac. He rose above it.
I have a lot of respect for Coach Hac. The man is a proven winner. This season, he is proving it again. I highly encourage everyone to check out the Bliss in person Friday at the Sears Center. Seattle is next on Hac's hit list. The Bliss will not be denied.
Coach Keith Hac and me in Hoffman Estates, IL-May 2014.