Talk about shooting the messenger…
Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long says that he’s “disappointed” with SEC broadcast partner CBS for showing a replay of football coach Bobby Petrino hurling some seriously foul language at LSU’s Les Miles two Saturday’s ago.
“Professionally, I’m disappointed at the way that CBS portrayed Coach Petrino on the sideline. I think it’s one thing if it’s (broadcast) live and they catch a coach using language, that’s one thing. But I’m disappointed they chose to record it and shot it later… and further that they showed it in slow-motion so words could be made sure they could pick it up…
Certainly none of us like the use of profane language. Certainly it happens in the heat of the battle and it’s unfortunate. But I think in this case, I’m disappointed in the way it was (handled) by CBS…
I can tell you no coach wants to be seen on national television using profane language. But does it happen? Absolutely. And, like you say, the heat of the moment to get a point across. It’s not something that people should be shocked by, but, again, we don’t like the use of the language like that, certainly, where it can be shown, and, being honest with you, taken out of context.”
Long has expressed his concerns to the SEC office but has heard nothing back. He also said he’s spoken with Petrino about the incident.
Where to start?
How about with Long deciding to bring this back up and put a spotlight on the issue once more. Not smart. The story was dead, now Long has unearthed it. And he made a whole lot of excuses in the process.
Long blamed CBS for showing the clip as though they’re supposed to go out of their way to make every SEC coach look good. CBS and the SEC have a good relationship, but you can be sure there’s nothing in the contract between the two that forces CBS to puff up the conference or its teams or its coaches. There’s no “Thou must cover our butts whenever possible” clause.
Long also suggested that foul language is used often and that it shouldn’t be shown via replay or in slow motion. Well, it is. Often. And sometimes in slow motion. Not to mention the fact that when a coach points his finger at another coach and tosses F-bombs, well, there’s not a broadcaster in the country that wouldn’t show that. Cursing may happen on sidelines, but firing a “F*** you, M***** F******” at a rival coach is pretty dadgum unusual.
Finally, Long suggested that the video was taken out of context. How? Was Petrino pointing at a water boy? An official? An opposing fan? Would that make his words any more acceptable?
Now personally, I wasn’t offended by Petrino’s language in the least. They’re only words.
That said, I was surprised to see him aim them at a rival coach. First time in 40 years I’ve ever seen an SEC coach utter those words to another SEC coach in full view of television cameras.
If Long’s going to be upset about something — and it seems he’s more bothered by the language than anyone here at MrSEC.com is — then he should talk to, ya know, the guy who actually hurled the bad words while standing on the sideline in, ya know, full view of every camera in the stadium.
CBS was trying to make a blowout interesting. Petrino’s the guy that gave them the opportunity to do it. And ESPN, ABC, FOX and any other sports broadcaster would have handled that piece of tape in exactly the same way.
Bottom line? Long should have passed on any questions about the cursing episode at this point. It was old news until he started making excuses for his coach.