"I motivate with my enthusiasm," says McVie, who has been living at a Holiday Inn since taking over the team. He arrives at his office at 7 a.m. and stays as late as 1:30 a.m. on game days to review the tapes. Before practices he hands out inspirational poems with titles like Don't Quit, The Battle of Life and Think Like a Winner, as well as Rudyard Kipling's If.
McVie would certainly like to be rehired next season, but he probably will be asked to return to Maine. "I say I'll give everything I have 24 hours a day, and if that's not good enough, I'll hop in my car like Paladin and ride away," he says. "I don't buy houses anymore. I can be out of town in 20 minutes, 30 if I have stuff at the cleaners.
"I'm not a golfer, but I'm told that even if you shoot a hundred and you're in the woods all day, back and forth, in and out of the sand, that it's the 40-foot putt you sank on the seventh green that brings you back. That hope—no, I don't like the word hope—that chance of winning is what keeps you going. The chance of winning. Every time you lose, it's like dying a little bit. But every time you win, it's sort of like you're reborn."
A child again, racing down to his Christmas stocking to see if, at last....