Given his archaic views on the times we live in, his lack of empathy for those less fortunate than himself and the insecurity required to threaten reporters covering his team, Mike Gundy must be a whale of a football coach.
Given the personal deficits he so clearly must overcome to even put a 5-5 team — 2-5 in the Big 12 Conference — on the field, to say nothing of an 8-4 bowl record and six 10-win-or-better seasons since 2010, the Oklahoma State coach must be an absolute gridiron savant.
Nothing else makes sense.
Nothing else could be the case.
This season alone, three different instances, he’s made it abundantly clear how at odds he is with … oh, let’s just go with common sense.
Following a 41-17 loss to Texas Tech on Sept. 22, as well as starting receiver Jalen McCleskey’s decision to transfer out of Stillwater, Gundy sent his media relations guy, Gavin Lang, out the following Tuesday to tell reporters there would be no questions about McCleskey’s transfer if those reporters wanted to have access to OSU’s players the rest of the season.
There were no such questions.
Then, after the media session, those same journalists were told if they even reported Gundy’s threat, it would be carried out. Of course, that bluff got called, and the only loser of the little drama was the 51-year-old man-baby who created it.
However, Gundy was only getting started.
After beating Texas, the high point of the Pokes’ season, he was asked how he dealt with outside noise, on the radio, on Twitter, being critical of Cowboy quarterback Taylor Cornelius.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass about Twitter … It’s a platform for people that are sitting at home drawing an unemployment check, sitting in front of a keyboard,” he said. “Trust me, I get it in my own house … Twitter’s what’s destroying this country … It gives people a platform to bitch and moan and then other people are, like, needling it and they’re sitting at home and they’re late on a payment, so that’s how it feels.”
Of course, believing Twitter to be destroying the country, Gundy is nonetheless on Twitter and has 112,000 followers. Thus, A) he’s a hypocrite and B) that’s a lot of unemployed people, or late-on-a-payment people, that have chosen to be alerted to what what the OSU coach has to say on a platform that’s destroying the country.
Also, funny, sarcastic and biting lines aside — and they’re just so easy to write because Gundy walks right into them — what he really exposed with his little rant is himself.
Twitter may be the bane of our existence, having brought us closer together only to make it easier for would-be demagogues and trolls, alike, to divide, conquer and tear us back apart.
Yet, even if Gundy was trying to make a fair point about the culture, he destroyed the entirety of his credibility by making those “drawing an employment check” or “late on a payment” the punchline of his own out-of-touch-ness, as though that description were a social slur when the truth is, people who have ever been unemployed or late on a payment pretty much covers every single person we know.
So, you know, to think that and still manage to be paid millions of dollars a year to coach young men of diverse backgrounds and somehow not alienate every single one of them, as Gundy apparently hasn’t, is some sort of magic act. Perhaps he should go by "Houdini" Gundy.
But he didn’t stop there.
Monday he decided college football players taking advantage of just a hint of the freedom of movement allowed coaches isn’t the case of young men attempting to take advantage of opportunity, but the fallout of snowflake liberalism run amok. Well, except in the cases of players leaving his football program.
“We allow liberalism to say, ‘Hey, I can just do what I want and I don’t have to really be tough and fight through it,'” Gundy said. “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.”
Come to think of it, it would seem the OSU football coach is actually coming out against freedom. What are options if not that? Gee, maybe he’s the liberal snowflake.
“And that doesn’t have anything to do with [transferring safety] Thabo [Mwaniki] or McCluskey or anybody that’s been on the portal here. That’s just in general in society, even if you’re working down here at Wal-Mart,” Gundy said. “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 … Don’t get me on politics.”
Why not Mike?
You seem to have it all figured out.
He is a man in charge of young people who has taken it upon himself to impugn young people. He is a man, like many men, who knows only enough to be dangerous on myriad topics. He is a man, like many men, who does not know what he does not know.
He is no longer 40.
More like 10 or 11.
So, to even win as many games as he’s lost this season, to even have won twice in the conference, to command the respect of the athletes he directs, well, you have it hand it to him. He must be Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Pop Warner all rolled into one.
Really, it's about time Gundy gets the credit he’s due. It couldn’t come to a more deserving guy.