Dana Holgorsen (Basically) Tells His Fan Base They Suck (And They Do)
To me the greatest balancing act and exposure to potential hypocrisy as a media member is judging someone for being too honest. In a line of business whose foundation is compelling content, there's nothing worse than plain vanilla guests who spew generic answers with little or no thought nor insight.
Seriously, if radio were a supermarket, uninteresting guests are the equivalent of filling the bakery rack with moldy loaves of bread. It's bad product.
And yet when someone is merely giving us honest thoughts, oftentimes we on the radio (or TV or newspaper or blogs) rip them or judge them for being honest. Which brings me to this video clip from West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen's press conference this week:
In case you need the text version of what happened, Dana essentially laid into the West Virginia fans for functionally pulling a "no show" against Bowling Green this past Saturday. A couple of the best bites:
"You only get seven opportunities a year. What's so hard about it? Is it too cold? It wasn't too cold for our players, it wasn't too cold for our coaches, our managers and our trainers."
"So why did we have 20,000 less people out there for this one than that one?" Holgorsen asked. "The funny part of it was we all were talking about it two weeks ago how much difference the fans and the crowds are going to make to the LSU people. LSU played well in front of 62,000 of our people and then turned around and went home and played a 1-4 Kentucky team at noon and had 95,000 fans. You want talk about an elite program, that's one. I don't know about this place."
So with my preface to this post, that we should applaud honesty in sound bites (no matter how career-limiting they may be), allow me to rise from my chair and begin the slow clap for Dana Holgorsen.
Now, keep in mind that Dana is laying into the Mountaineer fans while wearing a figurative leash that would seemingly be on the shorter side after having an incident at a local casino over the summer (his fault) which eventually blew the lid off of a calculated smear campaign by former head coach Bill Stewart to get Dana fired before he ever wore a Mountaineer windbreaker on a fall Saturday (obviously, not his fault).
So was essentially calling the Mountaineer fans a bunch of apathetic turds (I'm clearly paraphrasing) the smartest career move? That remains to be seen. Was it the smartest move from a personal safety standpoint? Well, West Virginia citizens' proclivity for bath salts and murderous goat sex would seem to indicate possibly not (unless he's into murderous goat sex, but I don't think that's the case).
But in the end, Dana was just being honest, and by being honest, he was interesting, and as someone whose livelihood is content, I salute you, Dana Holgorsen.
Besides, look on the bright side, Coach -- to have heard your comments, West Virginia fan would probably require internet access. Aren't they at least five years away from getting that technology?
Listen to Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio and 1560 The Game weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.