Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s “Depth Chart” ESPN feature
I just watched Oklahoma State’s “Depth Chart” show on ESPN twice. Here are some thoughts on the documentary.
Overall, I thought it was a very solid product. All three quarterbacks—Brandon Weeden, Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh—came off well and it was a good mix of on-the-field and off-the-field material. Some really great photography, too, especially when showing off OSU’s stunning facilities.
My favorite “football” elements were getting inside the locker room and the team meetings. It was really cool to see that interaction between coaches and players and all the work that goes on away from the practice field. I get to watch practice, but I don’t get to see that stuff.
My favorite “non-football” element was when Brandon went to his parents’ house. I loved the home video footage of him getting a football as a kid (“Football! Yeah! Just what I wanted!”) and hearing his parents, Sharie and Robbie, talking about his transition from baseball to football and what the journey has meant to their family. I think Robbie even got a bit teary-eyed.
A couple things seemed staged—when Weeden handed his wife, Melanie, a sports section that he was on the front of (The Oklahoman?), when the wide receivers went to Bad Brad’s just to talk about their quarterback and when Gundy and Monken met in Gundy’s office. Those moments didn’t sit comfortably with me.
I’ve already heard a lot about offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s…word choice. I tallied 24 times that Monken was bleeped for profanity. I’ve only interacted with Monken on a limited basis for about seven weeks, and in my experience, he’s not a bad guy. Intense? Yes. Speaks his mind? Absolutely. He’s a reporter’s dream in that sense, because he’ll answer every question honestly. Some people just swear more than others—almost to the point that it loses its “purpose.” I can see why some people would be taken aback by it, but it doesn’t really bother me.
And yes, some of you noticed that I made a random cameo during the part where Weeden was getting interviewed by the media before the Louisiana-Lafayette game. That was my second day at The Oklahoman. And that day was an absolute blur.
Some random notes:
Really liked how the show opened with the pregame scene, but then cutting to a bunch of weather stuff was a little awkward. But I did like the audio montage from Robert Allen and Co. about Weeden and the high expectations for the Cowboys this season.
Chelf is riding a scooter/moped. So, who started that trend? Weeden or Chelf? It’s a mystery I plan to get to the bottom of.
Stillwater was described as a “sleepy town” and an “unlikely place for a 27-year-old to seek athletic redemption.” I think that’s a pretty accurate description. But, again, I’ve only been here seven weeks.
The exchange between Brandon and Melanie, where she asks him when the deal they made that she cleans the house and he goes to the store will start happening, was priceless.
Before I got here, I remember reading/hearing so much about how the tempo of the offense during scrimmages was not very good and how everyone was trying to adjust to Monken being in the booth rather than on the sideline. It’s interesting to see how things were in August and how they are now.
Alex Elkins was shown during a montage of “freshman introductions.” He’s a new player, but a junior-college transfer. Whoops, ESPN.
Thought the practice segment where Walsh’s shoulder was “going to fall off” was interesting. One, to see how different major college football really is compared to high school football from a physical standpoint. And two, to see the respect that Weeden has from his coaches. I thought it was a solid leadership move for Weeden to tell Monken that Walsh was “not sore, he’s hurting.”
Chelf telling Walsh his bagel order was hilarious. I can’t comment on their golf games, because I’m absolutely terrible at that sport.
The random fan shots at the fair were odd.
I loved the montage of the first day of classes. Was Walsh falling asleep? And how come I couldn’t take a golf class? I just mentioned I was terrible.
Monken can cook? Walsh can make a peanut butter pie?
The game day footage was great, especially the stuff with Monken in the booth and his phone interaction with Weeden. For some reason, “good throw, buddy” made me laugh. I don’t know why. Also, Weeden was absolutely disgusted with himself after that third interception. But that “bad” performance sure feels like a long time ago now, doesn’t it?
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the show:
Mike Gundy’s pregame speech: “You’re on your field in front of your friends and your family. You’ve got an opportunity to do something special. Let’s get it done.”
Gundy’s speech at first fall practice: “From this point on, we want no regrets. Practice to win. Don’t just practice to get it completed. Don’t just practice to finish. Practice to win.”
Monken on Weeden’s ability: “There’s not one throw he can’t make. It’s really amazing how accurate he is with all the throws he has to make.”
Chelf on Monken’s knowledge: “I’ve never been around anybody that knows football as well as he does.”
Weeden on his minor league baseball career: “I failed. I’ve experienced what it takes to overcome adversity.”
Weeden on Walsh’s potential: “He’s one of those guys that will always learn, always ask questions, and that’s pretty unique for an 18-year-old kid that’s just coming in and trying to learn the offense.”
Boone Pickens on the state of the OSU program: “We know we are competitive. Everything’s lined up. Let’s just do it. Let’s get a national championship. I’m ready, and I know everybody else is.”
Weeden on Justin Blackmon’s ability: “More times than not, he made me look better than I should have last year.”
Weeden on his playing style: “I rely on my arm a little bit too much at times. But I’m willing to take a shot. I’m all about throwing the big ball and letting our receivers go get it.”
Gundy pregame speech: “You get 13 opportunities in 365 days a year.”
So, what did you think? Leave your comments below.
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