Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Cant, Teach.

There’s a home game I play in a couple times per year. It’s all Silicon Valley software/computer/programmer/designer/digitally-hard-wired-since-birth geniuses. And they play poker good too. And the way they see the world and analyze things, it’s just a joy to be around. I feel myself becoming smarter just being near them.

A couple months ago I went to my first home game with these guys since my book came out. They were asking me some questions about the coaching I do, and I was telling some stories, and I got a hint from one of them that he was on the verge of saying – with a smile of course – the famous jibe, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

I preempted him. I said, “Y’know, right from the start of opening my coaching business, I knew I was going to want to have a snappy reply for when someone said, ‘Those who can, do. And those who can’t, teach.’ The first few years, I couldn’t think of anything. Then, finally, I thought of the perfect comeback.”

At this moment, I had everyone’s attention. One of them said, “Okay, so let’s hear it!”

I said, “I just say – ‘Go fuck yourself.’”

We all had a very big laugh.


  • Short-Stacked Shamus Posted November 30, 2008 7:21 pm

    I like it.

  • krantz Posted December 1, 2008 2:09 am

    haha made me laugh tommy

  • Robban Posted December 2, 2008 6:56 am


  • Faybarpio Posted December 2, 2008 4:27 pm

    Interesting coincidence, Mr. T: I use the same phrase as my snappy comeback when people say to me “Hey, buddy, got a light?”

  • Asahi Man Posted December 11, 2008 12:32 am

    I’m a teacher, so naturally I found this post to be quite offensive…to those who knock teachers! HILARIOUS!

    Here’s one for ya: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can neither teach nor do are constantly spitting out seemingly witty remarks in order to mask their own uselessness and retain some semblance of self-esteem.”

    “When you dis your sensei, you only dis yourself.”

    Asahi Man

  • Conneaut Brad Posted January 10, 2009 10:49 pm

    Clssic Tommy! I can picture your sly grin and laugh on delivery.

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