When I first heard about Coach K’s new iPhone app — via our own Twitter page no less — I fully expected the shortened url accompanying the tweet to take me to some parody site or article. One perhaps hosted/written by a Heels fan, or actually anyone unaffiliated with Duke University for that matter. It didn’t.
Instead I was directed to Coach K’s official website, and an entry announcing the March 23rd release of Coach K’s first foray into the iPhone’s app store. Wow.
Needless to say, I still thought this was some sort of joke. April Fools’ come early? Had to be. But then I wanted to be certain.
Next step, whip out the trusty iPhone, tap into the app store, and do a quick search for “Coach K.” Lo and behold, there she was.
Simple icon, glossy blue. “Coach K” written in white. Calm, cool, somewhat collected. Somewhat like Coach K.
Was I satisfied? Absolutely not. Did I drop the $2.99 to download the app just to make sure? I did. Will I be writing this expenditure off as a necessary business expense come April 2011? Most likely.
Make the jump with us for Frumpzilla’s hands on look at Coach K’s latest step towards global media domination in his post-basketball years.
To be clear, “global media domination” may or may not entail opening up a travel agency, because, in all honesty, that’s pretty much the only thing that could logically follow from the release of this app. Seriously, it’s all quite bizarre.
You start out here, where, before Coach K allows you to visit any of his favorite destinations (New York, China and, of course, Durham), you have to create an avatar.
Not bad, really. I mean, that’s a lovely pic of Coach K working his magic in front of some relevant landmarks. The menu buttons actually worked, too, so that was nice.
The real highlight, though, is the music. Man, I really wish I was a bit more tech savvy, Frumpsters, ’cause this is really something you’d need to hear to appreciate.
Doing my futile best to put it into words, it’s a polyrhythmic beat consisting of drums, congas and one of those triangle things from elementary school music class.
Now, all this would be fairly standard if not for the backing vocals — a sonic experience that almost defies any form of non-audial description. Imagine Chewbacca hitting, like, a really big bubbler, or something…over and over again, in a loop. Seriously, it’s something else.
After that track’s over you get a dish of some classic 80′s guitar rock that could very well be an outtake from the Top Gun soundtrack’s cutting room floor. Think “Danger Zone: Reprise.”
Naturally, I’m really, really confused at this point, so let’s just go ahead and complete our avatar.
Starting off with a name and simple “male or female” options, you then get a screen where further details can be added to your Coach K iPhone app persona. In an effort to be as inclusive as possible, I guess, the developers included some rather interesting skin tone options.
There’s what I’d describe as “white” and “dark white,” of course, but the inclusion of green, burnt orange, pink and, remarkably, Carolina Blue is something I’m still trying to wrap my mind around.
Curiously enough, there didn’t appear to be a “Black” or “African-American” equivalent option. Quite strange given the inclusion of green, but I’m gonna give Coach K the benefit of the doubt on this one.
The next screen allows you to customize clothes, hairstyles, eye color, and so on, but I kinda just breezed through it. I mean, let’s face it: Was I virtually salivating at the thought of checking out these “trend-setting graphics” I’d just paid three bucks for? Absolutely.
So, after a long pep talk from Coach K in which he seamlessly weaved highlights of his world travels into lessons on the importance of watching your step around dragons, pandas and Cameron Crazies (you can see the speech at the bottom of this post), here I am down on the streets of New York City.
Why I’m standing next to a giant, tranny busker, I’m not sure. Nevertheless, since the entire tutorial literally consisted of “Use the thumb pad on the left to control your runner. Use the jump button on the right to jump over obstacles,” I figured I’d explore the space a bit.
Okay, I admit it. I was lost. Lost in New York, green as can be, and, worst of all, the controls were sluggish as hell. It basically felt like I was running around aimlessly in search of some random finish line to which there was no direction, no guide, no help menu.
Fortunately, I didn’t come across too many of what one would exactly call “obstacles.” I did, however, fall into a couple of manholes. This was exciting at first, because it triggered the following screen:
Alas, however, just as quickly as Coach K and his magic stardust had appeared to seemingly beckon me home, he was gone (and I was back with the the giant tranny busker, being solicited (for tips)).
In the end, I guess my overall impression of Coach K’s iPhone app can be summed up quite succinctly. Won’t need three paragraphs, three sentences, even three words. Three letters will more than suffice. WTF?
To be completely fair, that damn Chewbacca track at the beginning, assuming it can be ripped/extracted, may be worth the $2.99 in and of itself