Emails in on Travis Ford & A-Rod
The new emails are in, and they are dominated by Travis Ford’s language and A-Rod’s steroid scandal. Let’s get right to it.
Gary wrote, “I appreciated your article yesterday on language. I think it is worth discussion on many fronts. Truthfully, I’m not perfect in that area either, but I try. Sadly, it’s not just Travis Ford. I’m amazed that that word has become so common and so freely used in public, around anyone, kids, wives, elderly. It just doesn’t matter. It’s really pathetic.”
It’s a sign of ignorance and weakness. Not the traits you want in a coach.
Don wrote, “I want to express my appreciation for your stand against profanity and name calling by coaches. As a former college coach, history professor, athletic director, and administrator, I don’t know how one can condone name calling and demeaning an athlete anymore than would an academic dean cuss out a student for missing a class, or a professor calling into question a lazy student’s parentage. I understood this as an $8,400 per year college coach and professor in 1973, just as these guys ought while making one hundred times that amount.”
Jeff wrote, “So let me get this straight. You can, in a round-about sorta way, call Travis Ford’s comments borderline racist, but you can’t draw ANY relation to Jenni’s Carlson’s comments regarding Bobby Reid’s mamma feedin’ him chicken? Seriously? Can you please enlighten me as to how this works in your mind?”
Certainly. I did not in any kind of way – roundabout or sorta – call Travis Ford’s comments racist. I said it wouldn’t be surprising if someone on campus makes a racial issue of it, just as it wouldn’t be surprising if we found out someone had made a religious issue or an educational issue out of it. Ford opened the door to a bevy of problems for himself.
Lew wrote, “Do you suppose OSU could get Sean Sutton to come back? Might be an improvement.”
Anything is an improvement over what Ford did.
Jerry wrote, “I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the Travis Ford episode. I noticed in an early story that when he apologized he said that really wasn’t him. But that is him. Didn’t he also bless out another player during a practice or something? Like you, I think it will be interesting to see what happens when he slips again I have not been a great fan of Mike Holder as AD, but in this case, he has done exactly what should be done. But, will he follow through if there is another lapse of intelligence by Ford?”
I wouldn’t be surprised. I believe Holder when he pontificates about athletes having a great experience and chasing their dreams. I don’t think he has a long fuse for what Ford did.
Brad wrote, “Great piece on Ford. Something tells me OSU would love to get rid of him. Just not the fit they had hoped. Is the latest a legit reason that could actually cost him his job?”
No. Not at this point. But I don’t recommend a report of Ford’s antics.
Lesa wrote, “I enjoyed today’s article regarding Travis Ford’s language. Your view of bad language is in line with mine — ignorance or lack of discipline. Great job.”
You know, I was pleasantly surprised that the email ran so heavy on my side.
Nate wrote, “Why do you continue to drag this out? If you and your employers feel so strongly in this regard, why is this the first time it has come up? Why weren’t you on the laptop last night writing a similar story about Iowa State’s women’s basketball coach? Toward the end of their game with OU, he was caught on camera screaming profanities directly in the face of one of his players. He was literally nose to nose with this girl. It was an OU game, so I know you were watching. Being such a traditionalist, I find it incredible that you didn’t write something about him. Is the cussing thing only applicable to Travis Ford or OSU head coaches? I’m sure as a professional journalist you wouldn’t purposefully overlook a double standard like that. Also, I find this quote laughable: ‘If anyone else on the Oklahoma State campus – professor, custodian, peace officer – had called Obi Muonelo or any other student a “f****** idiot, there would be no warnings. Lack of simple respect would not be tolerated.’ What are you suggesting would happen if someone on a college campus called someone else a you-know-what? Have you even stepped foot on a college campus? It happens all the time and it gets shrugged off all the time. You completely failed to acknowledge the fact that Travis Ford is fresh out of the Northeast, where culturally this type of language is far more acceptable. Really, when you boil it all down, what you’re doing to Travis Ford is no different than what Ford did to Obi.”
Playing the Poor Aggie card gets you nowhere on this one. Suggesting that Ford can’t control himself because he spent three years in Soprano Land is just silly. And if you think a professor can call a student anything he wants and it’s no big deal, you’re the one who’s never stepped on a college campus.
Sandra wrote, “Perhaps the PTA should extend to college to protect the kids from bullying. And perhaps Coach Ford should attend some English classes to increase his vocabulary.”
Actually, we probably need to fortify the PTA in high schools. That’s where it seems to have fallen off.
Judith wrote, “I read your column this morning about Travis Ford’s filthy mouth. Our sources at Stillwater told us that the reason the tall, good center, Ibrahima Thomas, left was he was sick of being called a “mother f*****.” People, created in God’s image, deserve better encouragement than that.”
People created in Cyrano de Bergerac’s image deserve better encouragement than that.
Harold wrote, “I am not taking up for Ford by any means. What was said should not have been said to anyone. But what about Bobby Knight? He would throw out all kinds of curse words in the papers and on air and never got this close to being fired that I know of.”
Well, I would argue that Knight’s complete lack of control eventually got him fired despite sensational on-court results. Knight is the prime example of why you nip this in the bud right now.
Russell wrote, “I appreciate you speaking up on the subject of profane language. It is unfortunate that the media, TV, magazines, Internet blogs, music, etc. have allowed the language to deteriorate for the sake of ratings, acceptance or an attempt to reach the unschooled masses. Many call profanity colorful, youthful, sign of the times, racy or spicy. Still, that doesn’t make it acceptable as in please excuse my French. I was brought up to use words to communicate that were void of profanity. It was pointed out to me that a person who is unable to do this was deficient in so many areas besides having a working knowledge of the language.”
Let me be clear about something that I thought was pretty cool from the start. Ford’s crime was not profanity. It was profane name-calling. I’d cut Ford all kinds of slack if he had used the word as an adverb. But using it as adjective to attack a player? No way.
Robert wrote, “I read your article on Coach Travis Ford and agree that he needs to bring his language under control. It appears that Mike Holder has addressed this issue with Coach Ford and Ford has also apologized for it and has said he is working on it. But why is it that anytime there is an issue where people of different races are involved, someone has to bring up race? I understand that you were not saying it was an issue with Ford or Muonelo but that others might see it that way. We can’t really put race behind us until such time that it isn’t mentioned or given consideration in an article like this where no race issue existed. Race had nothing to do with it and therefore did not need to be included.”
I have a question. How does anyone know race had nothing to do with it? I’m not saying it did. But just dismissing the possibility is ridiculous and maybe the prime reason why someone could make an issue of it. We will put race behind us NOT when it’s not mentioned, but when it’s freely discussed.
Brian wrote, “I don’t think that Ford would accept that language from his players, so why does he think it’s OK for him to use it? In fact, Ford might suspend his players for a game if they used that language toward him, teammates or opponents. Perhaps Mike Holder should suspend Ford for a game before this problem gets any more out of control. I believe it’s already teetering on being on the edge of out of control.”
Forget calling Ford a name. How has someone not cracked his skull?
James wrote, “Ford’s language, for the record, is bush league and inappropriate. If it continues I think he should be fired. And I say this not caring how it’s done anywhere else. When we start setting our standards by comparing them to the least common denominator, we get what we deserve.”
I like it. Least common denominator. LCD. Whole lot of LCD’s in the sports world.
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