This week’s Preamble Ramble: “Come after me, Mike Gundy! I’m 60, I can take it. I am the Egg Man, I am a Rankman!” You think you can intimidate your local beat writers and TV affiliates by cutting off Oklahoma State player access, leveraging bedrock journalism principles against your selfish, internal, mullet-haired, small-town protectionism? You know reporters have kids and mortgage payments, of course you do. And then you relay your dictate\threats through your sports information director? What kind of man is that? Come after me, Gundy, a national (Hollywood elite) writer from Los Angeles and a former president of Football Writers Assn. of America. Those local writers you’re trying to threaten, bully and extort, well, they’re MY writers, men and women alike, regardless of circulation or the population density remoteness of your imagined Big 12, Banana-Republic stronghold. Somebody needs to read the First Amendment to our finest college football coaches and remind them WE are not (at least most of us are not) sycophants or surrogates of your organization. WE are not written into the fine print of your million-dollar contracts and private-jet access stipulations.  WE get to ask the questions and you get to either answer them, yell at us, or not answer them. “No comment” is very popular. WE are not paid to protect your players, your practices, your police departments, your program secrets or, in the case of Urban Meyer, your lies. WE can be pompous, petulant, presumptuous, persnickety and pains in your asses…But we are not, or should not be, your puppets. WE make mistakes but most of us, because we’re predominantly professional men and women, admit to them and then accept the shame of the coming retractions.  YOU can lead us on, like Meyer did at Big Ten media day. And then WE can turn your lies into the best version of a truth that leads to a three-game suspension. You can not, Gundy, ban reporters for asking questions about a player who transferred. Not on my FWAA watch. Even Alabama Coach Nick Saban, trying to play nice, got it wrong this week when he asked the media to help him out with the nagging problem of his team being so good he fears a letdown this week against Louisiana. “I’d appreciate, if you would sort of look at some of the things we didn’t do so well and write about that,” Saban said at his weekly press conference. “So maybe I can show it to some of the players and say ‘Look, here, man, here’s something you can do better.’” It’s discouraging to think Saban thinks the media would not do that anyway, but this is where we are in this mixed up, coercive, double-down, you or me, tribal world. For more thoughts on Mike Gundy and the media please read Rankman’s comments on Oklahoma State this week. Oh, wait, like there’s a chance in hell Gundy’s team is ranked.

 

1: Alabama (4-0): “Oh, Susanna, don’t you cry for me. We’re the Ragin’ Cajuns from Louisiana, we hope they take a knee.”  (1)

2: Ohio State (4-0): Urban says he has no recollection of his wife ever telling him this week’s Penn State trip is the “White Out” game. (3)

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