Mike Gundy took off his mask for about 15 seconds Friday night, in the Cotton Bowl press conference. Gundy popped Sports Illustrated. No one saw it coming. Including Gundy.
And I thought it was great. Not necessarily that Gundy dressed down some poor kid from SI. But that Gundy dropped his wooden image. He went off the top of his head.
Just like the Gundy of old.
In such settings, reporters are asked to identify themselves before each question. If you missed it, here is the exchange in the Cotton Bowl press conference.
Martin Rickman, Sports Illustrated: “What did you see out of Maty Mauk for Missouri? Did you prepare for him?”
Gundy: “Where you from?”
Rickman: “Sports Illustrated.”
Gundy: “Sweet. That’s awesome.”
Gundy had a wide smile.
Gundy: “Make sure you document this so you have all your research and your background. We were prepared for both quarterbacks.”
Then Gundy took a second and said one more thing: “I thought that was a joke.”
Here’s what I liked about it. That’s the Gundy we used to know. The Gundy who was a little bit ornery, a little bit of a rascal, a little bit of a charmer. Gundy had a little bit of Tom Sawyer in him.
Now Gundy is all monotone, at least in public. His words are measured. Passionless, for the most part. Since the rant, which is now six years old, Gundy has gone all monotone. Previewing Bedlam, reliving Bedlam, talking about Savannah State, it’s all the same.
If OSU had won the Cotton Bowl, Gundy would have sounded the same as he did when OSU lost. Gundy has become an android in talking to his fans. And then for 15 seconds in the bowels of JerryWorld, there was the old Gundy.
When he heard Sports Illustrated, that sneaky smile fought its way onto Gundy’s face and he couldn’t resist. Three months of frustration at SI’s expose’ on allegations of OSU improprieties 10 years old, bubbled over.
Good to see the old Gundy. Give us more.