A coach receives total loyalty from his players if they would “run through a brick wall” for him—that is, accept any command, no matter how difficult. “I’d run through a brick wall for Adair” was cited in print in 1949. “I’d go through a brick wall for Clancy” was cited in print in 1953.
The “go/run through a brick wall” expression is somewhat dated, but it’s still used infrequently.
12 March 1949, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “The Sport Broadcast” by George White, sec. 1, pg. 11, col. 1:
Players in training here find in Mgr. Jimmy Adair some of the traits that helped make Southworth successful. They’re all wild about him and respect his baseball judgment.
“I’d run through a brick wall for Adair,” Jerry White told Newcomer Ben Guintini.
21 December 1953, Lebanon (PA) Daily News, “Only American Born Player Is Roughest,” pg. 27, col. 4:
And he played the game in the same tradition. Irwin says “I’d go through a brick wall for Clancy.”
(Ivan Irwin of the New York Rangers hockey team.—ed.)
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
5 February 1954, Daily Sentinel (Rome, NY), “Coach Will Do His Best” by jerry Liska (AP), pg. 10, col. 6:
They say at Chicago’s Mount Carmel High School that if Brennan told his kids to run through a brick wall, they would. Neither Rockne nor Leahy could get their men to do more.
29 October 1960, Boston (MA) Evening American, “‘Stilt’Invades Garden Tonight” by Hugh Wheelwright, pg. 16, col. 4:
Auerbach has always admired Conlin. Last year when Ed was in-and-out like a revolving door, Auerbach commented:
“I’d like to get him. He’s the type of player who would run through a brick wall for you.”
9 April 1962, Seattle (WA) Times, “Bosox Coach Lauds Rainiers” by Hy Zimmerman, pg. 20, col. 6:
‘You know, this gang would run through a brick wall for you.”
(Harry Dorish, former major league pitcher.—ed.)
6 January 1966, San Diego (CA) Union, Jack Murphy sports column, pg. A-43, col. 1:
The report that Buffalo athletes are actively campaigning for Joe Collier as Lou Saban’s successor seems a trifle exaggerated. “We love Collier,” says Jack Kemo, “most of the guys would run through a brick wall for him. But we have a high regard for the other coaches, too.”
11 September 1962,
“Conley will play both center and forward for us,” said Coach Eddie Donovan of the Knicks. “He’s a strong rebounder, tough under the boards and very fast for his size. Gene’s also a great competitor. He’d run through a brick wall for you.”
Power at Play:
Sports and the Problem of Masculinity
By Michael A. Messner
Boston, MA: Beacon Press
Such descriptions of coaches as being “like gods” or “like fathers” — and of athletes’ willingness to “run through a brick wall” for them — can be seen largely as a function of the coach’s social role in the development of masculinity.
100 Things Texas A&M Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die
By Rusty Burson
CHicago, IL: Triumph Books LLC
“We would have run through a brick wall for Coach Sherrill,” said former quarterback Kevin Murray, who became known in A&M circles as Murray the Magician.
Alton D. Clark
Pop’s coaching style is the epitome of Coach Knight’s old adage, “If your players love you, they will run through a brick wall for you.”
10:46 PM - 12 Jun 2014
Not breaking news that Dempsey has a broken nose. He’d run through a brick wall for the US. He’ll play. You’d have to kill him first.
8:08 AM - 17 Jun 2014