OTC: Should KSHB TV 41’s Mad Jack Get Sacked? Did He Say Gayhawks? Has His Buffoonery Expired?

“You don’t think they’re overrated – these Jayhawks, Gayhawks!”
Jack Harry, while discussing the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team’s recent loss at Colorado with Frank Boal Sunday night, KSHB 41 Link
GH: This was an unscripted casual conversation between Harry and Boal and Harry looked to me to be having some fun with it. He smirked when he said what sure sounded like “Gayhawks” to emphasize that he thought Bill Self’s team is overrated. Gayhawk Gate has ensued. Read on.

“It was clearly a slip up. It sounds like he may or may not have used a homophobic term to describe the Kansas Jayhawks. … They need to suspend Jack Harry and issue an apology.”
Bob Fescoe, 610 AM
GH: Fescoe is a KU grad and a self-professed Kansas homer. He is maybe the only local member of the local sports media to admit his favoritism – which is somewhat admirable. But he pretty much disqualifies himself for commenting on Gayhawk Gate by his own admission that he is biased about all things Kansas.

“I think that was a conversation you have with a buddy that you probably have used that term before and you let it slip on the air. … I do (think he should be fired). Yeah, I do. I would expect serious repercussions. … Putting the standards of myself – if I said something like that even if it was a slip up of something you might say…When you’re broadcasting in that context, no you can’t (say that).”
Josh Klingler, 610 AM
GH: Klingler works for the Jayhawk Radio Network and has close ties to the Kansas athletic department. He is far more objective about Kansas than Fescoe but his opinions on this also have to be weighed against the fact that he is employed by the very sports department that Harry is accused of attacking.

“He said it & is trying 2 cover it up. As an MU fan I don’t ‘claim’ him, like I know some KU fans don’t claim Fescoe.”
John Petrovic‏@photogwingsfan, Twitter

“I heard the video. He said it, but it may have been just a slip of the tongue. Maybe Jack has been reading Tigerboard too much.”
Jeff Gelski‏@jjgelski, Twitter

“What a crock. Then, Jack Harry, if that wasn’t what you said, what did you say?”
Joel Grillot‏@jbenny81, Twitter
GH: This is a great question. Harry definitely did not say “Jayhawks” as he did right before he uttered the controversial term. He even emphasized the word for shock value.

“He corrects himself and says it louder with inflection. He even jumps out of his seat a bit like he is excited.”
Ted Klein‏@TheRealTedKlein, Twitter

“Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened but it got out on the social media today that I used a derogatory term in talking about the Kansas Jayhawks. Believe me folks, I would never ever go on the air. That’s not what I am all about. I’ve had my go around with Jayhawk fans but I would never say what I have been accused of. I felt compelled to get that out today.”
Jack Harry, responding in his Monday night sportscast to the Gayhawks controversy, KSHB TV 41
GH: There are more holes in Harry’s prepared statement that the Mizzou defensive scheme against Auburn. Let’s expose a few. “Somehow, someway I don’t know what happened…” What is Jack even talking about here? Did he not review the video and audio? There is no mystery as to why there is a controversy. For him to act like he is completely unaware of why this occurred just adds to his guilt. Then the comment, “that’s not what I’m about.” Actually, that is pretty much ALL of what Jack is about. He is Jack Smack trying to get a rise out of his audience to increase his ratings. Some people work hard and then there are guys like Jack who sling mud. Well, this time he got himself dirty.

“He’s always been unprofessional. Just tries to get a rise out of people.”
Jason King, @JasonKingESPN, Twitter

“It sounds like Dayhawks as much as Gayhawks. They’re only sensitive to the suggestion because of that Pitch article from yrs ago.”
‏@bkparallax, Twitter
GH: I don’t think an old Pitch article is fueling this fire but rather Harry’s penchant for verbally baiting Jayhawk athletes, teams and fans over the years. He called for Kansas to drop football a few years back. What legitimate sportscaster in Kansas City would do that? Harry has built a professional persona of being “Jack Smack” and he and his station are now reaping the fallout.

“That video seems to suggest Jack did say that. He is handling this all wrong. Say you slipped, apologize and move on.”
Bill Knust‏@billknust, Twitter

“That guy is an ass. I’m in college for sports journalism. Def can’t say that.”
@BTBliz, Twitter

“Too close to call. I can’t believe he would be that careless on air.”
troy chrisman‏@TinthekeyofC

“I love America, but when I see people defend ignorance like Jack Harry saying “Gayhawks” I understand why we’re so far behind.”
Mike Welch, @RealMikeWelch, Twitter

“While Jack Harry is opinionate, he knows the difference between legitimate sports discussion and unacceptable, uncalled for language. After speaking at length with Jack, we believe jack when he tells us that is not what he said. We stand by Jack and encourage him to speak his mind when it comes to sports in Kansas City and beyond.”
41 Action News Staff
GH: The explanation by 41 Action News is as poorly written as Jack’s explanation. They don’t even exhibit the professionalism to mention what Jack has been accused of saying on the air. How confusing is this to viewers who are unaware of the controversy? How does KSHB promote “Jack Smack” and then turn around and act like Harry is a legit member of the media? KSHB is in this mess because they “encourage him to speak his mind.”

and Twitter / @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.

93 Responses to OTC: Should KSHB TV 41’s Mad Jack Get Sacked? Did He Say Gayhawks? Has His Buffoonery Expired?

  1. MightyMo says:

    Chiefs 10-3, Mizzou in the Cotton Bowl, KU’s season at an early turning point. This topic is something to bring up during baseball season, when I have attention span to spare.

  2. Biff says:

    Does anybody watch him. Why would anyone care about what two 80-90 year old guy like Harry and Boal say. His show is for old people.
    I like what they do on KCTV 5 on Sundays sport show. Just show great sport stories, highlights and not any shock jock talk.

  3. Dan says:

    It was an obvious slip of the tongue. Not intentional. Jack needs to man up, admit his mistake, and apologize. People really need to chill over this. There are a lot more important things going on in sports and in other topics. This needs to go away. And why is it that the only people up in arms about this are the KU fans? That fanbase always has their panties in a bunch over something. No wonder everyone hates you people.

  4. Harry needs to fully bake his preposterous claim before putting it on the table for consumption. He should have instead claimed that he merely said (or garbled saying), “Jayhawks, Schmayhawks.” As in, them stinkin’ Jayhawks is overrated! Even that would be more plausible than, “Somehow, someway, I don’t know what happened,” which sort of reminds me of Quin Snyder saying he wasn’t conscious when he was giving Ricky Clemons a bunch of free duds.

  5. Jayhawk Craig says:

    Yes, I am saying Self should get fired if they lose to FL tonight and glad Kylerohde agrees with me as he is the most articulate and brightest guy on this board! You can’t have our talent and lose 3 out of 4 games. How the hell is MU undefeated with their suck ass cheating coach and with their crap talent and we are under-performing with All Americans all over the place! We already have a terrible football team and our bball team may heading that way too if we don’t make some bold changes!!

    • Dan says:

      Yeah, go ahead and fire Bill Self. Because you can get a guy who can do so much better than the coach with the highest winning percentage since John Wooden. Just when I thought Jayhawk fan can’t get any dumber…

    • kylerohde says:

      Though I appreciate being called “the most articulate and brightest guy on this board”, I’m trying to remember where I agreed with you, especially if it has anything to do with Bill Self being for anything short of a grievous felony charge.

      • Joe Blow says:

        You have to forgive him…when you’re a “fan” of the 29 most popular teams in the nation, it makes you look smart when one of them wins..

    • Kyle says:

      Trolling guys. Just ignore.

  6. jimmyd says:

    This isn’t news. A guy made a mistake. It’s not the end of the world. Or close. Nothing to see here

  7. Harold says:

    I am a hawk fan and agree with Jayhawk Craig that Self needs to go. Getting old seeing the crappy Tigers get all the pub and we can’t beat a terrible Colorado team we were favored to beat by 21 points! Bring back Larry Brown!

  8. Roadkill says:

    It’s not Jack’s fault kan$a$ has the worst mascot and logo in all of sports. A mythical bird with a giant beak and corrective shoes. You couldn’t invent something so gay if you tried.

    The real winner here is KSHB and Mr. Harry and of course, as they always are, the real losers are ku fans whining about something so trivial. No skin is as thin as chicken skin…

  9. Hot Carl says:

    Harry is a jackass. Can’t they just fire him for that?

  10. Mikey says:

    You suck Harold! Jayhawks have the best coach in the country and even the clueless Tiger fans would agree!

    • Will says:

      He’s bald, he can’t talk straight, he’s from Oklahoma, the zebra’s give his team the benefit of the doubt in every home and conference game.

      He’s not the best coach in the country.

  11. Jayhawk '97 says:

    As opposed to a team name so original that 44 other colleges use including two other teams in your own conference?
    He said Gayhawk…suspend for a day… no big deal.

  12. Alfred says:

    Agree with Jayhawk ’97 that MU has a terrible nickname and is not very original!! Always thought it was so stupid and not very original. Plus a Jayhawk can fly high in the sky and escape a stupid Tiger. And needs very little food to survive vs a Tiger. Now what do you have to say about that Will!!!

  13. Tom W says:

    We have turned into a nation of PC ( fill in the blank, I don’t want to “offend” anyone!)

  14. the dude says:

    Oh dear sweet lord, you win a handful of internets fo this post.
    ‘Corrective shoes’?!?! YES.

  15. Joe says:

    Is Alfred serious! What the hell is going on with the Jayhawk fans! Arguing about mascotts and flying high in the sky!
    Go back to baking cookies!

  16. Kingnothingkc says:

    Non-Story. Yes he said it, but as a diehard KU fan I could care less. Why are we giving him any run at all? Jack Harry hasn’t been relevant for 10-15 years. He’s adopted the “KU hater grumpy old man” persona to try and stay relevant (see Ron Jaworski and his “Sports Shouting” persona) . The fact that it took until Monday morning for anything to come out on this tells you all you need to know.

  17. Phaedrus says:

    Sounds to me like he started to say Kansas, then decided to say Jayhawks. So it came out as Kayhawks.

    Regardless, what an absolutely stupid controversy. I’m sure all these people that want him fired have never stammered or screwed up in their jobs.

  18. Scott says:

    Do you have a comment? No

  19. Ernie Webb III says:

    So the guy who is about as big a homer as Harry is to Missouri, Jason King, is calling Harry unprofessional? That’s pretty rich. What Harry did was wrong, but King needs to look in the mirror. Blatant homer.

    • kylerohde says:

      The same Jason King that went to Baylor for his education, you’re calling a KU homer? Covering a team doesn’t automatically make you a homer for that team.

      • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

        Not necessarily no. But sitting on the ticket scandal story does.

      • Ernie Webb III says:

        He’s a blatant homer for kansas athletics, notably basketball. Do an archive search of Star articles. Every bit the homer DeArmond was.

  20. rico_suave says:

    oh– of COURSE he shouted ‘GAYhawks’ — why would he suddenly shout ‘jayhawks?’- he was going for a joke… didn’t work..it happens.. been there

    let the powers that be decide his fate , I don’t care– but that sleazy denial of something sooo self-evident – on tape – is just ludicrous,and.. cowardly.

    Man up, Jack – admit it, apologize, and move on..it’s okay with me. –

    but this weaseling out – I’ll never listen to him in the same way again

    • Biff says:

      Agree. he said Jay Hawks once then why would he shout it again , and it looks like he jumps out of his seat to shout it. He made a mistake , admit it, move on.

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