Wade Phillips UFL Sideline Reporter Screengrab: UFL on ABC

The United Football League has presented its viewers with unprecedented access, including—but not limited to—head coaches being asked about their decisions in real-time. But that doesn’t mean you should anticipate that old-school head coaches — like San Antonio Brahmas head coach Wade Phillips — want to be second-guessed in real-time.

In fact, it’s about the opposite.

ESPN’s Cole Cubelic asked the 76-year-old Phillips about his decision not to attempt the league’s alternative to an onside kick in which a team can retain possession in the fourth quarter by converting a 4th-and-12 from its own 28-yard line.

The Brahmas were down 31-24 at this point, with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Phillips looked extremely bothered that he was being second-guessed, even if Cubelic’s intention was to ask the veteran head coach about his process. Phillips didn’t see it that way and even had to ask what was being asked of him. He looked bothered to be asked a question about his process and was flippant about his answer that his team had three timeouts.

Despite a late comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, the Brahmas fell short as the St. Louis Battlehawks held on for the win. But San Antonio got the football back while holding on to two of its timeouts. So, Phillips’ decision not to go for it worked — well, sort of.

Not one to mince words, Phillips took to social media to share his blunt opinion that the question was off-base.

Without naming Cubelic, Phillips continued to express his frustration with being questioned about his in-game decisions. Five days later, he took to X (formerly Twitter) to voice his disapproval. He clarified that he disliked being second-guessed but, more importantly, that he believed the reporter’s question was ultimately incorrect.

With increased sideline access comes more frequent instances of coaches bristling at reporter questions. This attempt at expanded access is intended to satisfy viewers’ curiosity about in-game decisions and draw more interest to a spring football league, but coaches may not always appreciate the scrutiny.

In this case, however, it seems like Phillips’ response went beyond a simple dislike of being questioned. He implied that Cubelic was wrong, which wasn’t necessarily the focus. And the longtime ESPN college football analyst was simply seeking an explanation for the decision to kick off, not necessarily second-guessing it. Phillips, however, interpreted it that way.

Nonetheless, it made for a moment of great entertainment, and so did his subsequent response on social media nearly a week later.

[Wade Phillips on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.