“They say girls are prettier here, air’s fresher and toilet paper is thicker.”
TJ Moe, former MU wide receiver, at last year’s SEC media days, Columbia Tribune
GH: Moe got everyone’s attention last year when Mizzou showed up as one of the new kids on the SEC block. His comments were fun, bold and fearless. Early in September Mizzou’s best defensive player, Sheldon Richardson, called Georgia’s style of play, “old-man football.” So MU might not be known for great football in the SEC but they have been a quotable bunch. James Franklin, MU’s quarterback, continued that tradition at yesterday’s SEC media days. Read on.
“Well actually, the rudest fans that I experienced were Mizzou, my own fans. I really don’t try to pay attention to that stuff, but … I’d say I heard some pretty not-so-nice comments from my own fans.”
James Franklin, MU senior quarterback, when asked at the SEC media days how fans in the SEC treated him last season, Kansas City Star
GH: As you can imagine, Franklin’s comments were big news with Mizzou’s fans and Mizzou’s non-fans. It was just not a smart thing to say in any setting let alone in front of 1,400 credentialed media members covering the SEC. You want your quarterback to be smart – especially your senior quarterback. This was not smart, James.
“(Franklin’s comment) predictably spread like wildfire on Twitter and message boards.”
Terez Paylor, MU beat writer, Kansas City Star
GH: The reaction to Franklin’s comments about Mizzou fans – and he said “fans,” not fan – was both visceral and supportive. Some fans took his comments as another sign he is just not their guy. Others understand that Franklin reads the TigerBoard.com comments just like every other MU fan and they understand why he would say what he said. But here is the thing, James. You play at Mizzou in the SEC. It’s big boy college football. You have to understand how your words will be interpreted before you state them.
“Just to clarify… I don’t know why everyone is freaking out haha I said the rudest fans I encountered last year were Mizzou fans because the comments they made at me. I was not complaining, I simply answered the question truthfully. I love Mizzou fans, they’re great! And I understand exactly why they said rude things towards me…I didn’t perform well and that’s frustrating! I’m sorry.”
James Franklin, @JFranTank1, in a tweet he sent out after his comments made news, Twitter
GH: If Franklin truly doesn’t know why his comments would cause some problems within the Mizzou fan base he is not nearly as bright as I know him to be. While all of this makes for a hot topic here in July – none of this will matter once the season starts. Win and Mizzou fans will love James Franklin. Lose and Maty Mauk will become the most loved person in the state of Missouri.
“Few teams, if any, bring backup players to preseason media days, and Franklin’s selection indicates he’s a strong favorite to be the starter when Missouri’s second SEC season kicks off Aug. 31 against Murray State.”
Dave Matter, writer, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: Franklin’s presence at the SEC media days says more about Maty Mauk than James Franklin. That should be more troubling to Mizzou fans than how their deportment to their own quarterback was attacked.
“James is the starter going in, and we’ll just see how it unfolds.”
Gary Pinkel, on the QB battle between Franklin and the redshirt freshman, Maty Mauk, Kansas City Star
“As Gary Pinkel made his way around the multimedia smorgasbord at SEC media days on Tuesday afternoon, there was a central theme the Mizzou football coach tried to deliver. ‘Just in case you have forgotten, we win at Mizzou.’ He said it in the crowded ballroom in front of a thousand print reporters. He said it again in the smaller room where the radio and Internet reporters gathered, then repeated it again and again in front of every national radio or TV microphone that was put in front of him. By my unscientific survey trailing behind him all afternoon, I counted no fewer than 10 references to various versions of the same quote: ‘We’re used to winning.’”
Bryan Burwell, writer, St. Louis
GH: I don’t understand Pinkel. He has the look of a made-for-TV college football coach. He carries himself with the confidence of a winner. But he’s changed since MU’s entrance to the SEC. He spends an inordinate amount of time reminding us how injured his team was last season. Burwell counted 10 times that he stated Mizzou is a winner under him. That’s not what I want from my CEO. The best way to remind people of your success is to repeat it – season after season after season.
“It’s a great league. I love being in the league – competing against the best. We did the right thing.”
Gary Pinkel, SEC Football Meetings
“Pinkel is a fighter. He’s a competitor. He’s a guy who seems to operate best when the world is pitted against him. And right now, a lot of people think he’s done all he can do for Mizzou, taken the program as far as he can. I still believe there’s more lofty territory for him to travel. I believe that he still has what it takes to get the program back to its winning ways again. I also believe that before you tell me that Mizzou ought to get rid of Pinkel, tell me who you have out there who is going to be better? But he has to win this year and he knows it.”
Bryan Burwell, writer, St. Louis Post Dispatch
GH: This could be a fascinating time for Pinkel and Mizzou football. Can you imagine the legacy Pinkel would leave if he takes the Tigers to multiple 10-win seasons over the next five years and a BCS bowl or two? That success is available to him. If Pinkel is a fighter, he needs to get up off the canvas and start throwing some punches. Now. Who doesn’t love a great comeback story?
“I love our fans with high expectation levels.”
Gary Pinkel, St. Louis Post Dispatch
“I love Joe @Buck. He’s one of the best broadcasters American sports TV has to offer. No one can convince me otherwise.”
Rich Eisen, @richeisen, Twitter
GH: I grew up listening to Harry Caray and Jack Buck broadcast Cardinals games – just like a lot of folks in the Midwest over the age of 50. Vin Scully, Ernie Harwell, Bob Prince, Red Barber, Jack Brickhouse, Chuck Thompson, Ray Scott, Mel Allen were all great baseball storytellers as well as broadcasters. They set a standard for baseball play-by-play that few broadcasters of this generation have matched. Jon Miller is one I would call great. I just don’t hear that in Joe Buck. He’s stale and sounds bored with his work. Even when he is emotional – like Tuesday night with Tim McCarver retiring – he comes off awkward and clumsy. If Buck is the standard for today’s baseball play-by-play guys, there is a lot of room for improvement.
“Something that makes the Mo-ment even cooler: The players swear it was spontaneous and they just held themselves back on a lark.”
Jeff Passan, @JeffPassan, on the AL players allowing Mariano Rivera to walk onto the field alone, Twitter
GH: The All-Star games of late have lacked drama. Rivera changed that with his eighth-inning entrance. That moment will be part of baseball’s great historic moments – just like Gehrig at the mic or Carlton Fisk waving his home run fair. All captured on video for the next generation and the next to marvel about.
“Bret Saberhagen won a Vette for being 85 WS MVP. Told Chevy to make it a 15 passenger van and donated it to a local charity. I remember that.”
Mike McCartney, @mikemccartneykc, Royals’ PA voice at The K, after Rivera was awarded a 2014 Corvette as the game’s MVP, Twitter
“Sacramento Kings rookie guard Ben McLemore struggled to find his shot through the first four days of the Las Vegas Summer League, but broke out with a 26-point performance against the Toronto Raptors. McLemore led all scorers with 26 points, but the Kings fell to the Raptors, 81-70. Assists are few and far between when it comes to Summer League, but it’s worth noting that the one blemish on his otherwise strong game was 5 turnovers and zero assists. As a scoring guard, however, finding his shot is more important at this point, and he did that as evidenced by his 8-for-14 shooting.”
GH: I understand McLemore’s decision to turn pro after just one year of eligibility at Kansas. I think he will eventually be fine in the NBA. But he is going to struggle like he’s never struggled before. Let’s hope he is built to handle that amount of failure.
and Twitter / @greghall24