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Gundy, Gundy, Gundy…

By Dr. Burt Smith September 24th, 2007

Let me start by saying that I’m not a huge fan of Mike Gundy. I was in school with him and just never much cared for him or his style of play, and I haven’t exactly been wowed with his coaching. His little blow-up at the press conference was something I know he wishes he could take back, and I think I speak for ‘Pokes everywhere when I say I wish he could too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoMmbUmKN0E Yikes!

On the other hand, it may have just helped reinforce why I’m proud to be a ‘Poke! You see, what ole Mike was doing was taking up for one of his players. Granted, he should have dialed it down a few notches, but he sincerely had that player’s and his/our program’s best interests in mind when he did it. Frankly, I appreciate his passion and I look for this to be one of the stories that makes its way into Cowboy Lore! Pistol Pete_1.jpg

That’s all branding really is, anyway – story telling. We just hope the marketplace tells the story we intended! The media will focus upon the tirade, and unfortunately, that may be the lasting impression the rest of the world has about our beloved program, but I’m going to use it as a chance to give Gundy a break and be proud that we ‘Pokes look out for our own. That’s the story I’ll tell, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s why O-State is the brand I’ll invest in! Go ‘Pokes!

Brian Blake said -

You’re spot on, Dr. Burt!

Not being an OSU grad, I’ve never had incredibly strong ties to the school (or the ‘brand’). However, I do have extended family members who are dedicated to the Pokes, so I have been a casual fan for many years. Mike Gundy’s ‘tyrade’ could be the thing to completely win me over, though.

Rarely do we see a coach step out of character at a press conference to defend one of his players. Whether he was accurate with what he said, the passion with which he addressed the reporters spoke volumes about his character and his concern for his players. Frankly, I was impressed. I want to be associated with that kind of passion, too.

Granted, the next time he is in the spotlight I hope it is for a different reason, but this episode will surely be remembered by many for years to come… And I think that is a good thing.

September 26, 2007 @ 7:29 am

G. R. Canady said -

Dr. Burt –

You have hit the nail on the head. Gundy didn’t actually achieve widespread support from many OSU fans or alums, old or new, with his lackadaisical and stoic approach during a one-sided loss on the road to Troy State, and similar uninspired play vs. Georgia prior to that. However, he reached the pinnacle of his coaching stint at OSU when he took the microphone during the press conference following a dramatic 49-45 victory over offensive powerhouse Texas Tech last weekend. He rightly and emotionally defended the recently demoted QB Bobby Reid in front of the rest of the press corps, and took the author Jenny Carlson of the Oklahoman to task for her shoddy and underhanded swipe as his student-athlete. I, like you, have not been a staunch member of the pro-Gundy camp, but I’ll have to reassess my position in light of last Saturday evening’s events – AFTER THE GAME. I could have no more respect or admiration for a young coach than when he stands up and berates a “journalist” many have defended as merely doing her job, when in fact, she was engaging in yellow journalism, substituting suggestion and speculation for real investigation and background fact-finding for the piece she wrote. Having had first-hand experience with Ms. Carlson several years ago, she impressed me as a reporter who gathered and sifted through material to finish with a piece about 30-40% factually accurate. Some things, regrettably, never change. Now if Coach Gundy can translate some of that pride and mental energy into motivation for the rest of the season, all will be well in Cowboyland.

September 26, 2007 @ 1:30 pm