Oklahoma State–Thank You Coach Gundy

A member of the media took cheap shots at a college athlete. Like a father protecting a son that he may scold in private, Oklahoma State Football Coach Mike Gundy fiercely defended his recently benched quarterback Bobby Reid.

Oklahoma sports reporter Jenni Carlson may think twice before she writes her column. This is not a chilling day for free speech. It is a victory for responsible journalism. The media is despised because it gets the stories wrong, hits below the belt, engages in character assassination, does not verify its sources, and refuses to issue mea culpas in a manner that leads to being respected.

Ms. Carlson’s bile is attached below.


It may seem harmless, but why attack a young man because his mother is feeding him chicken in the parking lot? Does this make him a momma’s boy, and therefore less of a man? Pro Bowl Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb appears in Chunky Soup commercials with his mom feeding him soup. Should we berate him?

Coach Gundy benched his quarterback. The only issue about this story should be whether Bobby Reid needs to be play better. Questioning a young man’s heart after it has just been broken is simply beyond decency.

I will let Coach Gundy’s press conference speak for itself. He was looking right at Jenni Carlson when speaking.


Finally somebody has said enough is enough. There are young men, many of them athletes, committing robberies, rapes, drug crimes, and murders. Why castigate a guy for loving his mother? Shall we ban crying after winning championships?

Before going further, a fascinating political angle on this story can be found at http://briantdavis.townhall.com/g/e42dc567-0689-45be-a6b7-5d16bb046086

As for me, I have never been to Oklahoma. I have never watched an Oklahoma State game. I had never heard of any of the people in this story until yesterday. However, if I were a player in Coach Gundy’s locker room, I would go through a brick wall for him.

This was not an attempt to distract from other issues. The Cowboys won the game 49-45, and the backup quarterback that was promoted seemed to justify making the switch. So why bother canceling a victory celebration of a press conference and get angry because a player that the coach himself benched got attacked in the press?

Because the player is a human being, and football is a team sport. Every member of the team counts. Many players that knew that their football career was ending were sent into the game for one final series, even one final play. Some players sign one day contracts…that’s right, one day…so they can retire with the team they love. Some players use that one day to put on the uniform, go on the field, salute the crowd one final time, and walk off with dignity.

Dignity. That is what this is about. Yes, winning and losing matters, but for once a coach put human decency over the final score. The player that was deemed not good enough to play in a game the team won mattered just as much as the players on the field.

Dignity means treating waiters and waitresses, shoe shine people, and building maintenance people like they matter…because they do matter. A million dollar salesperson might not close a sale if the potential customer sees his shoes are scuffed. The shoe shine person receives $4, but provides a service that helps the salesperson earn those millions.

Coach Gundy closed ranks. People do that. Families do this. I can say my cousin is an imbecile, but you will not mock them. Religions do it. Jews, Christians and Muslims argue fiercely within themselves, but tread lightly when criticizing other religions. Politicians have vicious primaries, but back the nominees to the hilt in the general election. Nations do it. Many Americans mock their leaders, but would not accept that mocking from Europe or anywhere else.

I have had employers take me in their office and ask me how I could have been so (insert bad word here). Yet when somebody else would try to pile on, that same boss would defend me to the hilt and let the criticizer know what a (worse word here) they were.

Dignity matters. So does loyalty. Coach Gundy gave it, and will get it back in spades.

Bobby Reid failed. He did not do his job well enough, and he was demoted. However, failing does not make one a failure. Bobby Reid is not a failure. Failing makes people human. Coach Gundy has a responsibility to help mold this man. Coaches, teaches and fathers matter. The boss was not happy, and he took steps that hurt. Yet Bobby Reid knows how the coach feels about him.

Some say this is not a life and death matter, but people commit suicide. They feel despair, feel like failures, and give up on life. I am not saying Bobby Reid was at that stage, but Jenni Clark kicked a man who was down. Mike Gundy lifted him back up. Saving a life does not mean stopping someone from jumping off a bridge. That is extreme. Saving a life can be as simple as finding somebody who let you and themselves down, and patting them on the shoulder. Sometimes my favorite word in the English language comes when somebody I have great respect for says, “atta boy!” Atta boys matter.

I have no idea what Oklahoma State’s record is on the football field is. What I do know is that Bobby Reid being benched does not make him a loser. Mike Gundy pointing that out makes him a winner.

Thank you Coach Gundy. If I am ever in Oklahoma, I might be talented enough to be the team’s waterboy for a day. It would be an honor.


3 Responses to “Oklahoma State–Thank You Coach Gundy”

  1. Jersey McJones says:

    That was some tirade, huh? He’s a good guy and a good coach.


  2. deaconblue says:

    Anyone who has played organized sports was cheering coach Gundy. I know I was. Did he go too far? Probably. Could it have been handled better? Probably. But it was refreshing to see that kind of support for a player, more so for a player you just benched. Coach Gundy just got the admiration of nearly every player, current, former, and future in just about every sport. This is a guy you want to play for, not because he could launch your career or showcase your talents, but because you know he is with you, and not just a baby sitter for you.

  3. ms says:

    I loved seeing someone stand up to those media bullies who think they are untouchable and above reproach. You should have heard the sports guys in Dallas talking like Coach Gundy “going off the deep end”. It just showed what a bunch of wussies these talking heads are. They like to criticize those willing to stand up to their cheap attacks and not afraid to take them head on. I guess these talk show hosts are bitter because they never had the talent or passion to actually be good at playing sports. I always heard the phrase that “those that can’t do coach”. I think that is not correct. I think it should be those who can’t do report on it.


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