“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