Mike Gundy, Jenni Carlson, Bobby Reid and Chicken. Which One Is Not Like the Others?

The biggest smackdown of the college football season started in a parking lot in Troy, Alabama. That’s where Daily Oklahoman sports columnist Jenni Carlson saw Oklahoma State quarterback Bobby Reid eating chicken. Or rather, being fed chicken by his mama. Reid—once considered the second coming of Vince Young at Galena Park North Shore—had just lost his starting job. Oklahoma State had been humiliated by then 0-2 Troy on ESPN. And Carlson had found the perfect metaphor for the über-talented, under-achieving Reid. Chicken.

Carlson used this and other second-hand anecdotes to argue that Reid’s biggest flaw was his attitude. The column makes Reid out to be a spoiled, narcissistic baby. He’s on the sideline, laughing it up as his team gets smoked by Troy. He’s constantly threatening to transfer because of a lack of playing time.

None of this should be terribly shocking to anyone who follows big-time college sports. Players are pampered. They don’t live up to their potential. They’re self-centered. No news there. But Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy wasn’t having it. Instead of celebrating a last-second win against Texas Tech on Saturday, Gundy used the press conference to attack Carlson. Gundy’s tirade has set people on edge because it wasn’t so much an attack on Carlson’s column as it was an attack on a woman in a world of macho good ol’ boys.

If you haven’t watched the surreal train wreck that is Gundy’s press conference, you need to check it out. He’s staring right at Carlson as he calls her column “garbage.” The shameful spectacle comes to a bizarre end when the press corps actually applauds Gundy after blowing his lid.

Talk about chicken. – Russell Cobb

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