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For Dave Doeren, we present a guide to the appropriate use of apology doughnuts

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of NC State's disappointing loss to East Carolina, Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren was spotted on campus Thursday handing out apology doughnuts. This is a pro move, as I will endeavor to explain, though it is apparent that Doeren is somewhat over-using the apology doughnut in this case. You can't just haphazardly saturate a campus' student center and/or your arteries with apology doughnuts. That's no way to a sane world or an efficient apology.

.@StateCoachD hanging out with students at Talley today. #donutswithdoeren

A photo posted by NC State Wolfpack Football (@packfootball) on

(They're little footballs.)

Doeren's gesture naturally leads one to wonder: can, for example, a loss to East Carolina in football be smoothed away by apology doughnuts? I am an expert in the field of apology doughnuts***, and so you can trust me when I say that in fact yes it can. The issue isn't the tactic but the scale.

(Sorry about the arm, Bill. I did not expect my skateboard to hit a rock as I was rolling through the neighborhood while testing my new shotgun. Obviously, I was aiming for your mailbox, but mistakes happen.)

This is no simple thing. Long have academics and leading industry consultants such as myself attempted to define the correct proportional doughnut response to a negative event. The Doughnut Reparation Condition is by definition fluid, and certainly the technical nuances will escape your grasp, so I will offer some NC State football analogies.

We begin with DONREPCON 5--a football world more or less at peace, with some localized unrest.


Crisis Event: Lead FSU or Clemson at halftime, lose by double-digits anyway.

Minimum apology-doughnut level:


Crisis Event: Lose to East Carolina.

Minimum apology-doughnut level:


Crisis Event: Lose to Wake Forest, Syracuse, or Boston College.

Minimum apology-doughnut level:


Crisis Event: Lose to UNC.

Minimum apology-doughnut level:


Crisis Event: Get blown out by UNC, which has been so decimated by injury it is starting a kicker at linebacker and a linebacker at kicker; Ryan Switzer at legs for Legless Todd, the team's last remaining tailback; and long time area mechanic Jerry-Terry Barry-Jeff Johnson--who has seen some things in this town, boy I can tell you what, but nothin' quite like this'n here--at quarterback.

Minimum apology-doughnut level:

I'm sorry, Dave, but there's just some things for which a doughnut cannot compensate.