More Hotseat Ridiculousness; The “Grumble Test”

This is becoming so comical that my tears from laughter are now turning into tears of pity. It has to be a joke…I just can’t figure out where it started.

Do me a favor and take a look back at this entry and the links that comprise it. What you’ll find is some background surrounding some baseless talk regarding the “football coaching hotseat” that seemed to originate on July 22nd when Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal Constitution penned an irresponsible and lazy piece on �ACC Coaches on the Hotseat.�

Well…if Tony says it…I guess it has to be true!! Especially since the “mainstream” media is now executing one of their classic formulas — “one member of the media says something, so we can all act as though it is newsworthy and/or accurate irregardless of the truth behind it.”

Why actually think or analyze something own your own and dare come up with a fact-based conclusion? That might actually take a little work, time, and responsibility.

This HAS to be what we have in Todd McShay of Scouts, Inc’s that was picked up on ESPN Insider earlier in the week. The headline made me cry, but the by-line made me laugh my ass off.

Headline: “(Bill) Callahan, Amato not going anywhere”

By-line: Insider Todd McShay of Scouts, Inc.



Are you kidding me? The only thing that McShay is ‘inside’ is Tony Barnhart’s AJC archives. What kind of “Insider” does it take to come up with this stuff?

McShay’s article leads by sharing its premise, “While there is a lot of talk about the status and uncertainty of the next group of head coaches, don’t get your hopes up regarding their respective job security. Are these coaches vulnerable? Yes. But not nearly as vulnerable as some would like to think.”

Then he goes on to say:

Chuck Amato, NC State
Wolfpack fans were less than pleased when they got shut out of bowl season in 2004. That has led to rumblings of Amato’s job security in Raleigh. While there is no denying that Amato will be under heavy scrutiny this fall, NC State’s administration realizes it would be a grave mistake to fire the sixth-year coach.

The fan base had to expect a drop-off following QB Philip Rivers’ departure to the NFL. And, in all reality, the quarterback position was the biggest reason for the Wolfpack’s demise last season. Now that quarterback Jay Davis has a year of experience under his belt, the offense should be in much better hands. The defense should continue to be dominant, with ends Mario Williams and Manny Lawson expected to anchor an explosive front seven.

NC State drew the easier of the two divisions (Atlantic) in the newly aligned ACC and it also has a favorable schedule with Virginia Tech, Clemson and Maryland all visiting Carter-Finley Stadium. Look for Amato to silence critics with an eight-win season in 2005.

“Wolfpack Fans?” is a pretty f-ing collective term. Just how irresponsible can we be, Todd?

Silence the critics? What critics?

This is totally out of control. I don’t know where to begin, so let’s try to figure out where this started. Go back and look at the exact words from Tony Barnhart: “Last season was the first time the Wolfpack failed to reach a bowl since Amato took over in 2000. Still, there’s some grumbling over the 20-20 ACC record (Amato’s teams are 39-23 overall).”

First, I think that the RedandWhitefromState does a fine job discussing this, so there is no reason for me to repeat.

What blows me away the most is Barnhart & McShay’s (and the general media’s) ability and desire to use their perceptions of fan opinion as basis for comments. Note Barnhart’s comments of “some grumbling”. Can you cite for me a single athletics program in the country that does NOT have some fans grumbling about something? This is crazy. By this standard, EVERY school in the country’s coach is on the hotseat. Have you been to Miami or Tallahassee recently? You want unjustified “grumbling.”

Let’s face it — Not all fans are the brightest bulbs in the socket. We are all human and nobody is perfect. This is the same population of folks that drives you nuts everytime that you read an editorial with which you disagree or votes for that politician that makes you embarassed to be alive.

Every school. The real questions and issues should be — “are the grumbles justified? how large in magnitude are the grumbles? and is there any reason to believe that the grumbles have a legitimate impact on the University’s leaders.”

From this point forward, I am going to call this the “grumble test.”

When the media chooses to use phenomenally small numbers of fans who “grumble” as a ‘source’ on which to form conclusions and write articles, they do nothing by re-enforce the average American’s stereotypes of their laziness, stupidity, and (quite often) bias. Unfortunately, that is what we have in this case.

The media loves itself so much that they create their own stories. One media guy says that “Chuck is on the hotseat”, so the other guys just repeat it. They also insulate themselves from accountability with the “some fans” qualification. How many fans do you think should feel a certain way before their opinion justifies media coverage as a legitimate opinion? Perhaps more than the 5% of morons that would represent an equal percentage of the populous that voted for Ralph Nader? Because, 5% is about where I put the grumble-level for Chuck Amato.

General Media NCS Football

2 Responses to More Hotseat Ridiculousness; The “Grumble Test”

  1. RAWFS 08/22/2006 at 10:20 AM #

    We think that you guys have once again hit the nail head on. Good take.

    I am beginning to wonder if “Mr. College Football” (as Barnhart calls himself) is really much more than an aggregator like a Slashdot or Fark. Does he come to Carter-Finley to games? No — or at the most as rarely as most of us go to UGA games in Athens.

    Does he have the pulse of Wolfpack athletics administration beneath his fingertips? In light of Amato’s upcoming extension that’s before the BOT, apparently not.

    So where does he get his information?

    Same place as you or me. The paper. The web. Blogs. Message boards. People we know.

    So why again does he know more than I do?

    Fact is, he doesn’t.

  2. bTHEredterror 08/23/2006 at 8:56 PM #

    I understand the disgust at media fishing expeditions. Here’s how we as fans can affect the result. Even when the performance is humiliating like the Clemson debacle last year, SUPPORT the coach and the team. If we don’t react to the BS, it loses steam.

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