Roy Exum: When Coach Mike Gundy Went Off

Friday, November 16, 2018 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Back in late September of 2007, a gutsy Oklahoma State football team had just won a wild 49-46 slugfest against previously unbeaten Texas Tech in Stillwater. In the loser’s locker room, this after OSU’s Zac Peterson drilled a 54-yard TD pass in the waning minute to come from behind, the soon-to-be legend Mike Leach tore his Red Raiders apart. I mean, the man with the lifelong obsession for Caribbean pirates went off!

“The entire first half we got hit in the mouth and acted like somebody took our lunch money,” Leach raged. “All we wanted to do was have pouty expressions on our face until somebody dabbed our little tears off and made us (expletive) feel better. And then we'd go out there and try harder once our mommies told us we were O.K.”

Boom! The writers from Texas had the hottest story of the day … but only for less than four minutes. That’s when Mike Gundy delivered what is generally acknowledged as the greatest locker room throw-down in the history of college sports. Any true sports aficionado who hasn’t seen it can safely be said to not yet have a driver’s license.

Wait! Be calm, I’m going to include the video in a minute but first I need to set today’s table. The greatest tirade of the century placed Gundy into a sports Valhalla that other warriors can only dream about. As my old pressbox chum Andy Staples recalled 10 years later, “The rant includes 471 words and lasts 200 seconds. It reaches its crescendo two minutes and 23 seconds in when Gundy reveals his age and his gender -- with extreme prejudice (!)”

Earlier this week the 51-year-old Gundy once again won men’s hearts all over the world when somebody asked him about today’s players and why they seem to be transferring from one college program to the next. Buckle up!

* * *


I think we live in a world where people are non-committal. We allow liberalism to say, “Hey, I can really just do what I want and I don’t have to be really tough and fight through it.” You see that with young people because it’s an option they’re given. We weren’t given that option when we were growing up. In the world today, there’s a lot of entitlement.

I’m a firm believer in the snowflake. I think it’s setting there. And I’m not talking about Thabo.

(NOTE: Cowboy safety Thabo Mwaniki, a sophomore from Denton, Texas, who started the season, has since had his spot taken by a tougher player and last weekend requested a transfer.)

Thabo and I have had multiple good talks. I’m talking about every millennial young person. Generation Z, I think is what they call ’em. It’s the world we live in because if they say, “Well, it’s a little bit hard,” we say, “Okay, well, let’s go try something else.” versus “Hey, let’s bear down and let’s fight through this.” So you see a lot of that nowadays, and that doesn’t have anything to do with Thabo or (Jalen) McCleskey or anybody that’s been on the portal here.

That’s just general in society even if you’re working down here at Walmart. Your boss gets after you and tells you that you’re not doing a good job, you may go home and cry and tell your mom, but your mom may say it’s okay. That’s just kind of the facts of life, the world we live in today.

Don’t get me going on politics.

CLICK HERE: Mike Gundy on Twitter

* * *

I believe Mike Gundy is as right as rain. And its becoming prevalent in our society. I was terribly concerned that the White House has just lifted a reporter’s press pass until I saw the evidence of CNN’s Jim Acosta coming across as a bully and jerk. Nowhere in the Constitution does it decree you or I or Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi should be forced to endure some pompous rube.

I lived the press credentials for 50 years and, when they are extended, your part of the deal is to accept them with the understanding they are a courtesy. Acosta has no “right” to demand anything and a pox on CNN to allow such behavior to become a birthmark. CNN is doing a great job of killing itself. Between its fake news and horribly-slanted reporting, it won’t be long until Americans will prefer another’s opinion rather than Acosta’s sleaze.

I’ll go one more as I get back to Coach Gundy. The American public is already beginning to fight back against this new-found craze that “I can do whatever I please.” The short answer is, “Yes, you most certainly can.”

The longer answer is the flash never lasts long. Soon you’ll notice the highway you’ve chosen is pretty barren, lonely and with no end in sight. Once you start playing with no rules, no self-standards and no regard for others despite what their beliefs may well be, all I can tell you before you crash is that in a world where you can do whatever you want, you most certainly did that when you picked the tragic course you have followed.

* * *


Minutes after the rousing Cowboys’ win over Texas Tech, you are going to notice the thrilling game itself is never mentioned by the winning coach. Gundy had meticulously planned his attack and, when he points his finger time and time again, it is at the female sports writer who horribly disgraced a player but who, obviously, never stood in the breach herself when her best efforts came short in a 60-minute game among teenagers.

Get this: the reporter has, to date, never thrown a pass, bobbled a snap, scored a touchdown, or cried over an interception yet on this game-day she wrote:

“There’s something to be said for not being a malcontent, but you can almost see Reid shrugging his shoulders as he says those words. Does he have the fire in his belly?

“Or does he want to be coddled, babied, perhaps even fed chicken?

“That scene in the parking lot last week had no bearing on the Cowboys changing quarterbacks, and yet, it said so much about Reid. A 21-year-old letting his mother feed him in public? Most college kids, much less college football players, would just as soon be seen running naked across campus.”

Can you imagine how much Gundy wanted to protect Bobby Reid! To be fair, Zac Robinson was a better athlete, more savvy as a player, the first big-time player of Gundy’s era. He had three touchdowns that very afternoon but this was solely about Reid. And at its end, every person in the press conference – save one – gave Gundy a standing ovation.

That aftermath? Several year later Gundy would admit, “It was really kind of a turning point for us at Oklahoma State in recruiting. It opened up so many doors for us with parents and young people who appreciated that.”

In South Carolina that night, a 13-year-old Mason Rudolph vividly remembers Gundy’s defense of his player. That’s why Rudolph signed with Gundy, went on an All-American tear, and set 50 – fifty – school records before signing with the Steelers.

Please enjoy the classic: “I’m a man. I’m 40.” Over 4 million people already have. CLICK HERE


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