JOHN GRANATO

My apology to the people of Houston

Jimbo Fisher appeared on The Bench with John and Lance. Bob Levey/Getty Images

It has come to my attention that I have disappointed some of you out there and for that I would like to apologize. On Tuesday we had Jimbo Fisher on the program like we do every Tuesday at 7:15 AM.

I made the decision to not ask him about the facemask incident. That was my decision. Not Lance’s. Not Del’s. Their credibility should remain intact. It is my credibility that should be in question here because I was the one who they asked to not mention the issue.

Make no mistake this was not a Mike Gundy situation either. For those of you that missed it, the Oklahoma State coach threatened the media that they would lose their player interview privileges if they asked them about a player who was transfering. That was a bully move. I abhor coaches who bully the media. That was not the case with Jimbo.

This was a simple statement by someone on his staff who said that the coach answered the question about the facemask incident and is moving on.

One more question about it certainly wouldn’t have hurt but by the same token what would have been added to what he had just said the day before? It was asked and answered.

Maybe I could have uncovered some pearl that would have shed new light on the issue but I didn’t. Maybe that one question would have changed the player-coach relationship and made the world a better place for them to coexist in love and harmony. Maybe. I don’t know. That will haunt me now until I die.

Trust me I’m not afraid to ask the tough question. When I was in Green Bay I asked head coach Lindy Infante about death threats to his family one particularly bad Packer season. I had the Green Bay police department in my office that afternoon trying to figure out where I’d heard that and how they could prevent it.

At the opening of Enron Field (now Minute Maid Park) I asked manager Larry Dierker if his pitchers might be afraid to pitch inside because of that short porch in left. He literally fell to the ground screaming that I asked unanswerable questions. (By the way, about midway through the season he was quoted as saying that his pitchers were probably afraid to pitch inside because of the short porch in left).

Gary Kubiak was so sick of my badgering him about who was his starting offensive line that he told Steve McKinney to tell me to get off his back.

If this was the Urban Meyer situation I would have asked about it. If this was the Penn St. or Baylor situation I would have asked about it. This was not. In my opinion this is a non-story. Your opinion may be different than mine. I appreciate that but I don’t think it’s a big deal.

I have a son playing college football. If he’s acting the fool and a coach grabs him by the facemask to get his attention I would have absolutely no problem with that. I’d encourage it.

I know this is a different world than the one I grew up in but I don’t think that world was all that bad. My high school defensive line coach, Coach Conrath, would walk around with a baseball bat and hit any of his guys that were misaligned. I guarantee you they paid attention to where they were lined up every snap.

Our basketball coach was also our P.E. instructor and he had a giant wooden paddle with holes in it that would make nice indentation marks on your butt when you caught a fresh one. Guess who didn’t fool around during gym? This guy.

But I digress. The real issue here is my credibility as a journalist now. It’s gone forever. You can no longer trust me when I call myself dark meat or when I tell you that I dreamed about Gary Pettis sending the runner. I’ve lost your trust and that hurts.

I will tell you that I should never have had that trust in the first place. I do not consider myself a journalist. As Del’s dad once so eloquently told him “The man is a clown, and you are his court jester.” It is who I am: morning radio clown and I’m OK with that.

I did the journalist thing back in the day. I was once the sports director at the NBC affiliate in Green Bay. I remember standing outside the Packers locker room on cut day. All of us huddled there like vultures waiting to pounce on guys coming out one by one after they’d been released by the team. I’d never felt so scummy. Here are these guys whose hopes and dreams had just been shattered and all we could worry about was getting some five second sound bite on the six o’clock news.

No thanks. If that’s journalism I don’t want any part of it.

So once again I apologize for losing your trust, as misguided as that trust was. We have had more coaches and will continue to have more coaches on our show than any show I know of. One of the reasons is that we are civil, another is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We like to  have fun with them which is something that’s rare these days. It seems to me that the media-coach relationship in this country is at an all time low.

Maybe we’ll ask Jimbo about that next Tuesday.







 

 


 

Tim Warner/Getty Images

Texas punishes Rice with a blowout and Houston can't find its mojo. Here's a look at what happened in the Lone Star State and with LSU:

Washington State 31, Houston 24

In similar fashion to last week, Houston struck early, but failed to secure the win in the second half. Houston's wonder kid quarterback, D'Eriq King has been a shell of himself since Dana Holgorsen took over the program. "I thought our kids played hard and gave ourselves a chance," Holgerson said of his team. "Just came up a little short." King threw for 128 yards passing and 94 yards rushing and two touchdowns to put Houston up 14-7 at the half. Unfortunately, the offensive momentum from the first half did not carry into the second, which was riddled with unforced turnovers and costly errors, contributing to Houston's loss. Houston struggled to move the ball in the second half, lost two fumbles and only scored once after halftime. King seemed to have scored on a 72-yard run late in the third quarter but it was stymied by a textbook holding call on sophomore receiver Jeremy Singleton. While WSU beat Houston 31-24 on Friday night, both teams had a combined 209 yards of penalties on Friday night, something they'll need to address before conference play begins next week. Aside from the sloppy second half, possibly the most frustrating part of this loss is Holgorsen's soft reaction to it. "We don't want moral victories or any of that ... we didn't play good enough to win," Holgorsen said. "Didn't make enough plays and the ball didn't bounce our way enough for us to come out of here with a win and that needs to happen next week." Senior WSU receiver Brandon Arconado finished with 308 yards on 23 receptions and a score to help WSU to victory. Anthony Gordon led WSU's charge over Houston, finishing 36-of-48 with 440 yards and three touchdowns. Houston opens AAC play at Tulane on Thursday.

Texas A&M 62, Lamar 3

Quarterback Kellen Mond did his part to help the 16th ranked Aggies to a lopsided win 62-3 win over Lamar on Saturday, throwing for 317 yards, a touchdown, and a scoring run. Sophomore running back Isiah Spiller ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns for the Aggies, ensuring there was no drop-off after taking over for Jashaun Corbin who sustained a season-ending hamstring injury last week. A&M coach Jimbo Fisher recognizes enormous growth in Spiller, despite the new featured back only playing in three games. "There's a lot put on him and the expectations for what he's doing," said Fisher. "He's having to fill some big shoes for us and what we lost and the way things are going. He's a very smart, talented young man and he's doing a really good job. Very mature for his age." Expect A&M to hold their poll position after taking care of business against an un-ranked opponent. A&M opens SEC play against No. 8 Auburn next Saturday.

LSU 65, Northwestern State 14

At first glance it appears No. 4 LSU easily handled Northwestern State but coach Ed Orgeron was forced to leave quarterback Joe Burrow in longer than planned after a more competitive first half from NWST than expected. Burrow capitalized on the highlight reel opportunity, completing 21 of 24 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns as LSU put away NWST 65-14 on Saturday. This is the second time Burrow has been subbed out early due to a lopsided score this season. The star quarterback is now 75-of-90 passing for 1,122 yards and 11 touchdowns in LSU's first three games. Look for LSU to remain within the top five based on the Tigers final margin of victory. LSU opens SEC play next Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Texas 48, Rice 13

Sam Ehlinger threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns, leading the 12th ranked Longhorns to an easy 48-13 rebound victory over Rice. The Longhorns started fast and clicked in every phase of the game after losing at home to LSU last week. "Any type of game where you win after a loss is huge," Ehlinger said. "For us to come out and play to our standard, continue to prove to ourselves that when we work really hard and play to our standard, it is hard for people to beat us is great." Keaontay Ingrahm rushed for 74 yards and two scored for Texas after being held to just 29 yards on 10 carries last week. Expect Texas to hold its position after a blowout win over Rice. Texas hosts Oklahoma next Saturday to open Big 12 play.

TCU 34, Purdue 13

The Horned Frogs boasted an unstoppable running game, racking up 346 rushing yards on 58 carries as TCU beat Purdue 34-13 on Saturday night. Darius Anderson was in peak form, rushing for 179 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. "Darius is running better now than I've seen him since he was a sophomore," TCU coach Gary Patterson of the senior running back. TCU had 160 yards rushing on 28 attempts in the first half while Purdue was held to minus-1 on 12 attempts. The Horned Frogs host SMU on Saturday.

Arizona 28, Texas Tech 14

Arizona ran the ball right down the Red Raider's throat 13 straight times during a 99-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ended with Gary Brightwell barreling into the end zone for his second touchdown, sealing the Wildcat's 28-14 win over Texas Tech Saturday night. Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate threw for 185 yards, one touchdown, and carried it in for another score. Texas Tech opens its conference play at Oklahoma on 9/28.

Sam Houston 47, Texas State 17

The Mustangs bolted out of the gate against and never let up in SMU's 47-17 victory over Texas State on Saturday. Mustang quarterback Shane Buechele was 14-of-18 passing with two touchdowns on 219 yards. Texas State hosts Georgia State next Saturday night.

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