The bruhaha over OSU coach Mike Gundy’s rant against Daily Oklahoman sports columnist, Jenni Carlson has finally begun to wind down, and I have to say that the entire media circus that ensued after Mike’s initial tyrade proved to be very interesting indeed.

For those of you living in another country or those who avoid the news altogether and don’t know the story, OSU has had a horrible season this year. They haveJenny Carlson from her video blog on lost every Smart, caring and cute, Mike Gundy is an awesome coach. game except for their latest game, where they enjoyed an amazing win against one of the most talented teams in the country, Texas Tech.  From what I can gather (Sorry, I’m an OU gal, and I don’t know the details that led up to this, so I can only paint with a broad brush.), at some point before or during the Texas Tech game, Coach Gundy chose to replace his quarterback with another man, hoping to improve their results. (It obviously worked, by the way. OSU won 49-45 after an amazing comeback in the second half.) 

Also, at some point prior to the Texas Tech game, the 21 year old quarterback who was eventually replaced was visibly upset after a particularly bad loss, and at some point, maybe his mother fed him chicken. Jenni Carlson then put in her Saturday column that he had been replaced because he had no grit, and she sited the chicken feeding and the crying. The ex quarterback’s mother then took the article to Coach Gundy who became enraged. Soon after, during his weekly press conference, rather than talking about the amazing win over Texas Tech, Gundy went on a tyrade against the article, the author and the media in general. Since then, the radio and television media has gone nuts for the story. And, now, the mother is suing Ms. Carlson and the Oklahoman, saying she did not feed her son chicken (as ludicrous as that sounds). Now, you’re almost caught up.

Here’s Coach Gundy’s lecture to finish the story:

First, let me say that I respect Gundy for what he said and for the way he said it. The media edited what he said to show him in the worst light possible, but if you watch it in its entirety, as I have it here, you’ll see that he was calm during most of his talk. (If you want to see how badly it was edited, check out the YouTube video from Good Morning America.) True, there were times when he raised his voice, but that’s just coach speak.  He’s a passionate man, Stoops is a passionate man, Switzer is a passionate man — any good coach is. That’s how they rally teams and win games.  He also can’t be faulted for having his player’s back. It makes me respect him even more to know that he would get that upset about a personal attack on a player by the media.

The interesting thing about this entire episode, though, is the blatant polarization among the coaches, the media and the fans. Never have I seen an issue galvanize the media against someone the way this one has.  The talk radio pundits have vilified Gundy, resorting to ad hominem attacks against him. The television sports news has played the edited version of the press conference over and over, all the while making subtle digs at Gundy. Even more interestingly, only Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer saw through all the hype to see the serious question, “What does this say about amateur athletics and the media?” 

The answer is that the media is made up of hungry, man-eating sharks who will do anything for a story. Thanks to the popularity of tabloid television, they have become so zealous in the past 20 years that yellow journalism is no longer saved for the tabloids alone but instead permiates the “serious news.” Because of that, their coverage of amateur athletics has become more rabid than ever before.

I knew this already, but the thing that really surprised me was how viscious the opinion pundits were about the whole deal. I haven’t heard a single one of them say a nice thing about Gundy, and all of them defend Carlson. All of them. What are the odds?

As for the fans and other coaches, I haven’t heard one of them say thatOriginally from: they weren’t on Gundy’s side in this matter.  I have heard a few say they thought Gundy was right but went too far, but all of these people had only seen the news stations’ edited version, and after seeing the entire unedited press conference, changed their minds. Even Coach Stoops, in his weekly press conference, refered to Ms. Carlson as “the drive-by media,” which puts her with the dregs of journalism.

Such polarization makes one wonder why. Why was this incedent such a big deal that it made national news? Here’s a hint: Gundy was attacking a member of the media, and the fourth estate didn’t like it and attempted to slam him down. Luckily for Gundy, those of us who aren’t members of the media have his back.

As for Carlson, maybe it’s time for her to start giving her opinions on high school sports. Then she can scar players during their formative years and kill two birds with one stone. Sounds like a career right down her alley.

Disclaimer: As an OU alumnus, Maggy is a fan of OSU whenever they aren’t playing OU. She also beleives that both Cale and Mike Gundy are fine gentlemen, terrific football players and just all around great guys.