I thoroughly embrace hate, just as long as it’s confined strictly to sports hate. Only when it comes to sports is hate ever healthy.
So it’s been a good week.
Sports hate flowed postgame last Saturday right here in the city of cosmic cowboy love, Fort Worth, Texas.
You’ve heard it by now. The Gary Patterson postgame rant. One of my favorite people, Patterson.
His rant was aimed right at the opposing coach of the afternoon, Art Briles. One of my favorite people, Briles.
I’ve had a phone call into Patterson since Wednesday. No reply. He’s ignoring me.
I wanted to ask GP if after a few days to think it over, does he want to apologize to Briles?
Not that he should. Patterson said what he believed. Why apologize? But I figured the question would stir him up and another enjoyable rant, this one aimed at me, would follow.
In a Big 12 Conference that could use some extra juice, the Baylor vs. TCU rivalry has now been elevated to a wide-open sports hate category. That is good. Very good.
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Well, actually, it’s only very good if Patterson can drag himself and his program off the 4-8 floor of this season and boost the Frogs back up there with, uh, where Art now has Baylor.
But in the overall big picture, Gary went beyond where coaches normally go. He was openly critical of a fraternity member. This is also good, particularly since it became obvious he didn’t like Briles to start with, or he wouldn’t have gone where his words took him.
The GP rant was centered on one incident in Saturday’s game involving a cheap shot hit, but so much more spilled out.
In the coaching profession, they usually marshmallow mouth each other for public consumption, but let the conversation go off the record and the cutting and the slashing will commence.
This time, however, it got publicly personal.
And the rivalry between the two schools is now also personal. Sports hate. All is well. Can’t wait until next fall when the Frogs go to Waco.
In “grading” Patterson’s rant, I’d give him a solid C-plus. It was A-plus sports hate material, but since TCU could have won the game in an upset, but didn’t win the game, the grade is reduced partly on the premise of sour grapes.
I’m not sure sour grapes applied, but that can be the perception.
The “grade” is also reduced because Patterson verbally wandered into an area that is frankly none of his business. How Briles didn’t discipline a player for an off-the-field incident in September should not have been part of the rant.
Speaking of discipline, or lack of it, there’s a heck of a lot of people who don’t think Casey Pachall should have been playing quarterback at any point this season. Baylor is thankful he was playing Saturday.
But a guy told me this week that 90 percent of the Big 12 coaches would agree with Patterson’s rant.
My response was that’s a great compliment to Briles, if it’s true.
That would mean 90 percent of the conference coaches are very concerned about what Art has going on in Waco. Now that’s the real miracle on the Brazos.
Then again, Briles was reportedly not an innocent bystander when tempers flared in the third quarter of that game, with his ejected player clowning around and laughing on the bench when he should have been on his way to the locker room.
On his side of the field, Patterson was screaming at the officiating crew, and the way I hear it, Art stepped out on his side and yelled at the officials over there.
What he said to them about Patterson cannot be printed in this newspaper, but it was funny. And very un-Baptist like, by the way. Gary could have not have heard the comment, but he obviously got word quickly from his own players.
And that’s what Patterson was talking about, postgame, with his (Briles) “was coming at me” quote.
Unfortunately, Briles had a family tragedy (the death of his brother) three days before the game, and I keep hearing from Baylor fans that out of respect for that, Patterson was way out of line with his rant.
But Art was still coaching his butt off over there on his sideline. And Patterson was doing the same. And then the game got dirty, and it got heated, so it wasn’t like there was reverence happening on either side of the field.
So shut up, Baylor fans, even though I kind of like some of you.
Any time good sports hate blows up into something that will carry over into future seasons, that’s a good thing.
Any time these coaches are openly honest about each other, that’s a good thing.
TCU and Baylor, it’s now officially “on.” Let us rejoice. All is well.