- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mike Gundy is the sniffling, whiny face of the Oklahoma State football program.

His intellectually inept diatribe against a Daily Oklahoman columnist is wrong on so many levels that you wonder if he is mentally fit to be a head coach.

Here is the thing: Gundy could be correct in his assessment that three-fourths of the facts in Jenni Carlsons column were inaccurate. And Gundy clearly felt compelled to defend the quarterback who was the object of Carlsons story.

But you do not go about it in the unhinged manner that he did. You do not refer to the 21-year-old quarterback as “a kid” or respond as a parent who is being protective of his child.

News flash, coach: Your quarterback is not “a kid,” and he is not your child. He is a grown man who could be dodging bullets in Iraq.

If he is criticized because of his physical and mental failings as a quarterback, so be it. He will face far harsher truths in the decades ahead, and if he has any inner strength about him at all, he will deal with them and move forward.

In our hyper-sensitive, grievance-filled culture today, we seem to have forgotten the benefit of developing thick skin.

Gundy certainly has forgotten that.

“If your child goes down the street and somebody makes fun of him because he drops a pass in a pickup game or says hes fat and he comes home crying to his mom, youll understand,” Gundy says at one point in his three-plus-minute rant.

No, I do not understand, coach.

If your child comes home crying because of a disappointment or being called a name, then, coach, you need to start the process of helping him grow up.

You do not coddle the child, as so many parents do today. You let the child know that life is fraught with disappointments and the comments of the insensitive. That is just the way it is and the way it always will be.

The 40-year-old Gundy must have missed that lesson plan in his development.

This is not intended as a defense of the print industry. Ours is often an intellectually dishonest industry, which a good portion of the public recognizes, thanks to the explosion of alternative news choices.

Gundy is a quasi-national celebrity this week because of YouTube.com.

He lamely says at one point that he is embarrassed to be part of athletics because of Carlsons column.

I am certain Gundy will continue to cash his fat checks, no matter how embarrassed he is to be part of the big business of college football.

Being a cog in the NCAAs hypocrisy machine is embarrassing, all right, although Gundy undoubtedly does not see it that way.

No, he is embarrassed because of a columnist who makes her living outside the NCAA umbrella, which merely exposes his lame reasoning ability.

“Come after me,” Gundy says. “Im a man. Im 40. Im not a kid.”

You are not a man, coach. You are a bully who could use a good smackdown.

You could have requested to meet the columnist in your office. You could have sat down in a private setting and articulated your case in an even-handed way. And you know what? The columnist would have taken notes and probably addressed your concerns in a favorable manner in a subsequent column.

But, no, you are the self-esteem police. You are a bad man in Stillwater, Okla.

You are above the customary rules that cover interpersonal relationships.

You can be a lout or boor because you are defending your “kid.”

Coach, you are an imbecile. You have an incurable infection of the brain.

By the way, coach, if a kid is a fatso, then he is a fatso.

You do not give a fat kid a hug. You introduce him to a proper diet and exercise. It works every time.

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