Ten years ago, Mike Gundy was a mere three years into his tenure as Oklahoma State’s head football coach. Coming off of a shocking loss against Troy the previous week, a motivated Cowboys team won a shootout against Texas Tech 49-45. While most of the fireworks occurred on the field, Mike Gundy had some leftover for the postgame press conference.
For those that need context, a news article came out in The Oklahoman making claims and guesses as to why Bobby Reid (former Oklahoma State starting quarterback) was demoted to backup, making the way for Zac Robinson to become the starter. If you want to get Mike Gundy mad (see above), critique his players for off-field things irrelevant to their character.
Alright, here are a couple thoughts here on the rant itself.
- This was after a win! I can only imagine what was going through Gundy’s mind during the game against Texas Tech. He knew about the article before the game started, was he thinking about this as Brandon Pettigrew scored the game winning touchdown? Did he know he was going to go into the postgame press conference and scream? Was he planning his words at halftime? Was he able to enjoy the win?
- I love how he specified that the article was given to him by a “mother of children.” Easily one of the more redundant statements I have ever heard, but it makes the rant itself that much better.
- At the beginning of the tirade, Gundy mentions that 3⁄4 of the article is inaccurate (in-ack-uh-rut). So, is this Gundy trying to tell us about fake news before we knew what fake news was? Our head ball coach is ahead of his time.
- “I’m a man! I’m 40” is still a legendary quote.
- “And I hope someday you have a child and somebody downgrades him, and belittles him and you have to look him in the eye and say, ‘You know what? It's okay. They're supposed to be mature adults, but they're really not.’” Well, that got dark quick...
- The gold mine of the video is after Gundy walks away from the podium, in the background you can hear clapping. I don’t know who is clapping, but I commend whoever was.
As crazy and insane a 40 year old Mike Gundy looked that day, it was a turning point for the Oklahoma State football program. The rant got a lot of backlash initially, but it got people talking about Oklahoma State football. It put the program on the map, and the shift towards becoming a football school began.
Better recruits started walking in the door, building a program that wins game. Since that 2007-2008 season when the Cowboys went 7-6, the Cowboys have won less than 9 games only twice (2012, 2014). This could be attributed to players wanting to play for Mike Gundy. That rant showed that he would stand up for any player that the media criticized if they are doing all the right things. That’s the kind of coach a player would run through a brick wall for, and that’s the type of players Coach Gundy has been getting to Stillwater.
We’re currently in the best era of Oklahoma State in program history, and that rant was the start of it. If the rant never occurred, who knows where the program would be right now. We may have never seen players like Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, Jordan Sterns, Mason Rudolph, James Washington and many others that have helped shape Oklahoma State football into a nationally prominent team. It may have been an unorthodox rise, but it happened, and it can be attributed to one of the most quotable sports rants that happened 10 years ago today. So thank you, Coach Gundy!!