'D-Days' not likely to produce honesty
BY DAVE SITTLER World Sports Columnist
Thursday, August 06, 2009
8/06/09 at 10:03 AM
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THURSDAY IS the first of three consecutive "D-Days."
The "D" stands for "dumb." As in how many dumb questions Todd Graham, Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy will endure when Tulsa, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State hold their respective football media days.
TU and Graham kick off this annual marathon today at noon. Stoops will force Tulsa-area writers and broadcasters to wake up at 5 a.m. Friday in order to make it to his 8 a.m. press conference at OU. Gundy will let the media mob sleep in before the Cowboys have the final word Saturday when they meet the press at 1 p.m.
To preview these gatherings, we're resurrecting "To Tell The Truth," the old television game show. Our version of the game reveals how the coaches would truthfully love to answer some questions, but know they can't.
Graham will have a luncheon in conjunction with his first press conference of the 2009 season. As he heads into his third year at TU, he unquestionably will be asked how much the Golden Hurricane will miss Gus Malzahn. After directing one of the nation's most potent attacks, Malzahn left T-Town last December to become Auburn's offensive coordinator.
Here's an uneducated guess on what Graham would love to say if he could tell the truth:
"Jiminy Christmas, I give you clowns a free lunch and you show your gratitude by asking about a coach who isn't on my staff? How dumb can you get? I'm so sick of that question that I might lose my lunch if any of you laptop lunatics continue bringing up what's his name.
"You do understand I'm the head coach, right? Have any of you nitwits heard of the chain-of-command concept used in the Armed Forces? Just like Army generals, coaches made the final decisions.
"Sure, I let that Auburn assistant take all the credit when he worked for me. But I wear headphones for a reason; every offensive and defensive call is approved by me.
"I don't have a clue how good Auburn's offense will be this season. But TU's won't miss a beat, just like I don't miss any coach who is no longer on my staff."
Someone who arrives at OU in time for "Breakfast With Bob" will undoubtedly ask Stoops if he can rebuild an offensive line that returns only one starter.
Here's how Stoops might respond if given truth serum:
"You got your clueless butt out of bed in the middle of the night and drove 130 miles just so you bring up that worn-out topic?
"Look, loser, I have two outstanding offensive line coaches. Not one, but two! Kevin Wilson was my O-line coach before he became O-coordinator. And James Patton, just like Gen. George Patton, can get his men to break through any and all enemy lines.
"Besides, who needs an experienced line when you have our offensive weapons? Hello, does a Heisman Trophy winner a quarterback ring a bell? How about the nation's best tight end, two of the country's top running backs, plus a fullback and another tight end who block better than any O-linemen except our own returning All-American tackle, Trent Williams?
"Why don't you see if you can wash down some smart pills down with your orange juice and coffee."
When the traveling media circus rolls into Stillwater, someone is bound to ask Gundy if he can finally field a defense that can make the Cowboys' offense proud.
After spending a day getting grilled at ESPN's headquarters, Gundy can handle any question. But as he uses coachspeak to address the dumb and dumber defensive queries, he'll probably be forced to keep thoughts like these to himself:
"Look, I told you people two years ago that you make me want to puke. And I sure feel like blowing chow every time you donkeys bring up my defense.
"Hey, I wasn't born yesterday. Not only will I become a 42-year-old man next Wednesday, but I was smart enough to hire a 62-year-old man to coordinate my defense.
"Bill Young has been a defensive coordinator longer than most of you punks have been alive. I was going to say he's forgotten more about defense than ya'all will ever know. But none of you have learned anything about the game yet, so I don't see why you'd start now.
"Frankly, all we need is for coach Young's defense to hold our opponents to 49 points a game. Because, whether some of you Monday Morning Quarterbacks like it or not, I'm going to keep calling plays for an offense that will score at least 50 points every game.
"The last time I checked, 50 beats 49 every time. So we're going to win them all with or without a defense."
So there you have it, several to-tell-the-truth comments you probably won't read in the Tulsa World or on tulsaworld.com as we report as smartly as we can from the three "D-Days."