Many things have changed in the last 16 years, and among those is the way that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy goes about interacting with the media.
Yes, today marks the 16-year anniversary of Gundy’s infamous “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant in Stillwater.
On September 22, 2007, Mike Gundy went to bat for quarterback Bobby Reid after a change was made at the position leading to Zac Robinson becoming the starter. Then, following the change, the Oklahoman, a local newspaper, published an article that Reid was benched for being soft, not playing through some pain, and being coddled by his mother.
The article sent Gundy into a fit of rage, and after an emotional 49-45 win over Texas Tech, Gundy hit the postgame press conference doors with a point to prove.
Gundy started by saying that “three-fourths” of the article was “inaccurate,” which sparked the question of what part of the article in question was inaccurate. Gundy had no time for those kind of questions, as he then went on one of the most unforgettable rants in sports history.
“Here’s all that kid did: Go to class, he’s respectful to the media, he’s respectful to the public, and he’s a good kid,” Gundy said. “He’s not a professional athlete and he doesn’t deserve to be kicked when he’s down. If you want to go after one of my athletes, you go after one that doesn’t do the right things. You don’t downgrade him because he does everything right and may not play as well on Saturday. … That’s why I don’t read the newspaper. Because it’s garbage. And the editor that let it out is garbage.”
“Come after me,” Gundy, irate, yelled. “I’m a man, I’m 40! I’m not a kid. Write something about me, or our coaches.”
If there is ever a question about whether Gundy cares about his players, just take a moment and give this a watch.
That is the fire and passion of a father-figure at work.
It’s hard to believe that was 16 years ago, and since then Mike Gundy has led Oklahoma State through its most successful and decorated era of football in school history, also becoming the schools all-time winningest football coach. While he might be in hot water right now, folks in Stillwater won’t soon forget what he’s done for the program there.
The now 56-year-old head coach has also found his way into headlines for press conferences plenty since this rant, but lately is has been for much more reserved acts.