OTC: MU’s James Franklin “Toughness” Issue Looks Pinkel Born & Media Fed

“Anybody that questions James Franklin’s toughness, they have to have been in a coma the last two years. He’s one of the toughest athletes I’ve ever been around.”
Gary Pinkel, in a Monday interview, 810 AM
GH: Pinkel went on the offensive with the media Monday in an attempt to calm the flames of a controversy he himself ignited with his foolish words about his junior quarterback Saturday night. Read on.

“It was too painful for him and he didn’t want to play.”
Gary Pinkel, in postgame comments after MU’s 24-20 win over Arizona State, 810 AM
GH: I don’t care how you heard, read or were informed of Pinkel’s words, it is very difficult not to question his phrasing. Few things cut an athlete deeper than questioning his/her heart. When the head coach tells the world, “he didn’t want to play,” he has done just that.

“I know he didn’t mean anything by it.”
James Franklin, on Pinkel saying “he didn’t want to play,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: By all media accounts, reports and conversations I have had with those who cover Franklin, he is one of the nicest, most respectful and just plain good guy they have come across in a locker room. Why Pinkel would choose to put him and his family in this spotlight speaks again to his decision-making ability. Gary continues to strike me as not the brightest guy under that headset.

“He’s never even taken an aspirin once in his life. In our family, we don’t believe in taking medication or trying to soften anything with any drugs.”
Willie Franklin, James’ father, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: I do not understand those who question why an athlete would prefer to forego a shot or a painkiller to play. I don’t want a numb quarterback as my starter. Injuries happen. When they do, you care for them until you can perform again. This question of toughness is ridiculous. Toughness is for athletes not smart enough to listen to their body.

“[T.J.] Moe didn’t question Franklin’s toughness, but he didn’t exactly praise it either in the few minutes I heard from him in the interview room [after the ASU game]. Asked about Berkstresser’s performance, Moe used the word ‘tough’ six times in one 29-second answer. He didn’t just say the word. He gave it an extra oomph in his voice each time, as if he wanted us to write TOUGH in all caps. Was Moe sending a message? I’ve never covered a college athlete who’s more deliberate and shrewd in his comments to the media. He doesn’t fly off the handle and say things just to say them. There is a point and a purpose within every sentence. Maybe I’m reading too much into one 29-second clip, but I don’t think so.”
Dave Matter, columnist, Columbia Daily Tribune
GH: Hey Dave, instead of you having to read into Moe’s comments and layout this scenario of maybes and insinuations for your readers – why not follow up Moe’s comment with what you wanted to know? “Hey TJ, are you emphasizing the word TOUGH in hopes we read more into your comments than you are saying? Is this as much about James as it is about Corbin?” Give the ever-willing-to-be-frank Moe the chance to interpret his words for us.

“It’s pretty obvious TJ Moe doesn’t like James Franklin.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: Wow. Just wow. KK is a piece of…work.

“Despite his convictions about it being the right thing to do, Franklin was concerned about how his teammates would receive his decision and made it a point to speak with a number of them beforehand as he was ‘making sure they were OK with me and weren’t upset with me.’ He came away feeling supported by teammates, and senior receiver T.J. Moe said the decision was well-respected in the locker room.”
Vahe Gregorian, writer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
GH: Interesting how Moe’s feelings about his quarterback are being interpreted differently by those who cover the Tigers – and especially Moe himself. All because Gary Pinkel threw his injured quarterback to the wolves.

“I’ll bet Collin Klein’s mom didn’t like [him getting beat up in so many games last season]. I’ll bet his dad doesn’t like it either, but he wouldn’t do anything about it because he wants his son to be tough. College football is an ugly game. It’s tough.”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK is just a font of insight. He knows that TJ Moe doesn’t like James Franklin. He knows Collin’s Klein’s dad is upset with his son’s injuries but doesn’t want to say anything in fear of his son being labeled “soft.” If only KK understood himself as well as he understands others.

“On a lighter note, you know what’s soft? Firehouse Subs’ bread.”
Nate Bukaty, interjecting an advertisement into a discussion about whether or not Mizzou players and coaches believe James Franklin is a soft player, 810 AM
GH: This made me laugh…and it also coerced me into going to Firehouse Subs for lunch on Monday. The fully-involved Hook & Ladder foot long on wheat is better than the SEC.

“Kansas State has a legitimate chance to win this game.”
Dennis Dodd, on the Wildcats taking on the Sooners this Saturday in Norman, 810 AM
GH: Vegas came out with the opening line favoring Oklahoma by 17. It is now at 14. Bill Snyder and Collin Klein still has some convincing to do when it comes to KSU’s national perspective.

“Charlie Weis was sitting on a cooler on the Kansas sideline [during the TCU game]. It had one of those seat cushions on it so it was premeditated. It just doesn’t look right! Keep an eye on Charlie Weis and see if he continues taking a break during games by sitting on a cooler. Let me just say this; If Bill Snyder doesn’t need to sit down during games, Charlie Weis probably doesn’t either!”
Kevin Kietzman, 810 AM
GH: KK has uncovered Coolergate! Is there anything that goes on in Lawrence and Columbia that doesn’t chap Kietz’s insecure world? I would prefer that KK did some investigative work and found out the manufacturer of that sturdy cooler. If it can hold up Weis and his seat, that baby was made to tailgate!

GregHall24@yahoo.com 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.

20 Responses to OTC: MU’s James Franklin “Toughness” Issue Looks Pinkel Born & Media Fed

  1. JP says:

    Gee KK bashing KU football, and trying to cause controversy at Missouri. That is called just another Between the Lines Show. Plus as a bonus we get Danny Clinkscale parroting all of KK’s idiotic rants.

    As for this weekend, if I was in Vegas, I would take the home team favorites (Northern Illinois, South Carolina and Oklahoma) against the locals in all 3 games. They will cover the wins easily. Oklahoma has had 2 weeks to get ready for K-State and Bob Stoops Oklahoma team never loses big games at home. This one could get ugly.

  2. Bud Kilmer says:

    Great job Gary. Take the needle son. This is the most important game of your life.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      Yeah, cause that’s what he said.

    • Gavin says:

      I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say “North Dallas Forty”?

      • MrOlathe says:

        I’m going with Varsity Blues and a young & talented James Vanderbeek as well as James Caan’s son Tweeter.

      • Cliffy says:

        North Dallas Forty — great book, below average movie.

        • Gavin says:

          Aw, Cliffy, come on. Mac Davis! All movies starring Mac Davis are, definitionally speaking, awesome. Where there’s “North Dallas Forty” and, uh, “The Sting II” which most people agree was better than “The Sting” as he was far more believable as Jake Hooker than was Robert Redford as Johnny Hooker (this excludes analysis of Jackie Gleason’s literal and figurative dwarfing of Paul Newman’s Gondorff).

          Come on, man. MAC DAVIS!

          • Cliffy says:

            Maybe I was hasty, Gavin. I had not given the Mac Davis factor its due consideration. That hair! That devilish grin!! I give your review 5 popcorn bags.

            Here’s some trivia with a coincidetal twist given recent happenings. Do you recall who played the wide receiver in North Dallas 40 who refused to have a painkiller injection? Tommy Reamon — a former Mizzou running back.

  3. Smartman says:

    After watching Berkstresser play I’d make him the starter. He adds more dimension to the team than Franklin. I applaud Franklin’s decision to sit himself out of the game. It was a very un-SEC starting QB thing to do. More head than heart cuts both ways.

    Gary “hic” Pinkel is the Joe Biden of college football. Absolutely no interlocutor between his little brain and big mouth.

    • Steve says:

      If James Franklin isn’t going to do everything he can to be on the field, then he shouldn’t be starting.

      I’ll take a coach that will speak his mind over coach speak any day.

  4. miket. says:

    coolergate… that’s good. but, i’d be more apt to compare weis sitting down during a game and mangino, not bill snyder who likely weighs a 100 pounds or more less that weis. i never saw mangino sit down even when i thought he was going to swell up even larger and explode. weis should try to lose some major poundage. that would help.

  5. tigerdan4 says:

    It’s probably too much to ask but I wish this stuff wouod just go away so the team can focus on South Carolina. Pinkel is what he is. A great recruiter and a great planner. When he has time to think things through and plan things out, he’s brilliant. But if you catch him in the moment, off guard, he’s a bumbling idiot. It shows in his comments last weekend and it shows on gamedays. He prepares a good game plan but if it isn’t working he’s unable to adjust. He can’t think on the fly. As Mizzou fans, we realize it’s just part of the package. A package that has taken us from a national laughingstock to a solid and respectable football program.

  6. Uncle Dick says:

    Hell, it looks like Pinkel has been in the cooler before and after the game.
    Weiss would havbe been sitting on his Hoveround, but it was in the shop getting new shocks.
    Put Franklin and Berkstresser in the game at the same time, together you might have one decent QB.
    Pinkel is the only person that makes George W. Bush sound like an intellectual.
    After listening to Pinkel, you’ll wish you were in a coma.

  7. W Jones says:

    You know who else sits during games? Mike Gundy.

  8. Scott says:

    I had to laugh at K ‘hypocrite’ K calling out Clinkscale when he was infering criticism of Franklin could be because he’s openly religious and Moe is “not so much.” Kevin slapped down the lap dog and let him know “we don’t do that kind of speculation around here” — Kev, it ain’t called “between the lines” for nothin’