Barry Saunders Mentions SFN In A Column About His Son

As I write this, it is on the keyboard of my laptop — the external one that I use was ruined when I spit out my coffee laughing out loud a few minutes ago.  I was reading the online edition of the Raleigh News and Observer, and came across local raconteur Barry Saunders’ column defending his beloved son Wesley.

It was the usual stuff, father taking son’s side, and probably deservedly so — Wesley Saunders had been accused by some fans at last week’s game of kicking a Wolfpack player, and Saunders asked some local reporters to interpret whether or not the “incident” actually occurred.  They said no, and Saunders wrote that.  Why it is anything beyond self-interest escapes me, that is, unless Saunders was up to his usual trick of trying to rile up NC State fans.  He’s a master of that, given his history through the years of stretching the truth to and sometimes past the breaking point when it comes to matters concerning NC State and its fans.  There, Saunders is a one-trick pony and he dips once again into his bottomless barrel of ink to refill his poison pen – and this time, Statefans Nation was indirectly mentioned:

[…] no third-party perspective is going to shut up people who read a Web site with the headline “Barry Saunders’ Son Wants an Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalty.”


That story prompted one fan with a decent sense of humor — which is what college sports calls for — to write “I wonder if Little Saunders has one of those ridiculously goofy hats like his dad?”

That was me who wrote that on these very pages, in the article entitled “Barry Saunders’ Son Wants an Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalty.” And here’s where Ole Barry is up to his usual demagoguery where NC State is concerned: he poses the article I wrote as something that was partisan and colored with bias against South Carolina and his son Wesley. Thing is, the article posted here contained a direct quote from the Little Man himself:

“I’m going to talk to Coach (Steve) Spurrier beforehand and see if he’s OK if I get a 15-yard penalty,” Saunders said. “Because I’m gonna do some sort of extra celebration if I get a touchdown on the Wolfpack.”

That quote was posted by Saunders’ paper’s own Ken Tysiac, both in the ACC Now blog and the Charlotte Observer.

As for SFN’s readers and authors, one can only come to the conclusion that generally speaking we call it like we see it, good, bad or ugly.  And when we are wrong, we say we were wrong.  I personally think that’s why so many people choose to come here day after day and to participate in the never-ending discussion of all things Wolfpack.

In closing out his column, Saunders goes to his second-favorite pick, cherry-picking the worst comments he can come across to make NC State’s fans look like ignorant louts.  That’s one of his favorites, second only to claims of racist voice mails in response to a column he wrote.

“Chill, homes. There was no kick, although if I see some of the more obscene callers, there may be.”

The thing is, I didn’t see the play in question, but I will believe WRAL’s Jeff Gravely if he said that Wesley Saunders never kicked a Wolfpack player.  Even if the young man did kick a player in a scrum, I have seen worse acts in every level of football I have ever seen, all the way down to the 8-year old PeeWees that somehow talked their Moms out of playing soccer.  Football is a game of emotions, and in a close game like the NC State-USC affair last weekend, tensions can run high and emotions can flare red-hot.  Having played the game myself, I have done worse and had worse done to me to boot.  Anyone whose ever been at the bottom of a pile after a play can probably tell you tales of spit or fingers in the eye.  I won’t even describe for you the tender spots that get punched or worse, bitten.

That’s just football.

So either way, my reaction would have been “so frakking what.”  In all honesty, the penalty that wasn’t called that concerned me the most was the blatant facemask by a South Carolina defender — one that could have resulted in a horrible injury to his victim.  When the referees didn’t call that, I started looking for their guide-dogs and white canes.  Obviously, they were blind. As is Barry Saunders, apparently.  He is so blinded by his hate for all things NC State — he is an admitted UNC partisan — that he cannot see that the vast majority of Wolfpack fans are honorable and passionate people who pull for their favorite team with a fervor.  That’s respectable in my eyes, while constantly stretching the truth is not, by any means.

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30 Responses to Barry Saunders Mentions SFN In A Column About His Son

  1. Paramarine 09/10/2009 at 11:20 AM #

    A columnist with no credibility is not.

  2. JasonP 09/10/2009 at 11:31 AM #

    Read the article this morning. I’m reminded of the common, often-used tactic these columnists use to get responses and readership that you alude to.

    The retired N&O columnist Dennis Rogers admitted he used to regularly make things up to increase his readership in one of his “retirement road trip columns”. One of the brilliant tactics he used was to take an extreme side of the NC BBQ debate and write about it. It was like shooting fish in a barrel for him, and he was rewarded as a de facto “BBQ expert” around here, admitting later he knew nothing about BBQ at all. He said it was basically his cure for not having something to write about, and then he was always able to bleed that subject for the rest of his career. Ridiculous stuff, sure, but effective. It happens on radio all the time as well.

    Barry does the same thing with the college rivalries here. Increasing readership and online hits means increased ad sales, which is what the news business is all about. And he gets to write sequels of course.

  3. phillypacker 09/10/2009 at 11:39 AM #

    Seeing his name in the headline made me wretch. How in this economy can someone like him actually keep his job?

  4. CaptainCraptacular 09/10/2009 at 11:43 AM #

    That the no talent ass-clown scribe is even mentioned here makes the baby Jesus cry.

  5. GAWolf 09/10/2009 at 11:46 AM #

    I’ll take credit for the goofy hat comment. But please let it be known that I really wasn’t trying to be funny. I mean, seriously. When I read that article all I could see was Saunders’ picture that used to be above his opinion column with that tilted little… what do you even call it… hat-thing like Emelio Estivez wore as Billy the Kid in Young Guns.

    I edited the post to show the hat. Everyone who isn’t in the greater Raleigh area or otherwise a subscriber to the NandO should see “the hat.”

    How is anyone supposed to take that dude seriously while he’s sporting “the hat?”

  6. ncstatered21 09/10/2009 at 12:06 PM #

    The funny thing is I was listening to 850 the Buzz like the day before the game and they had Barry on and were interviewing him. And he mentioned ON AIR of some extra celebration his son was going to do. And I was like what the heck?? This is just unbelievable. He thinks he is all hot stuff.

  7. GAWolf 09/10/2009 at 12:15 PM #

    Why would 850 The Buzz interview that guy? Did they call Chris Culliver’s parents too? He’s actually FROM RALEIGH and he plays at USC.

  8. Rick 09/10/2009 at 1:05 PM #

    Why anyone reads the N&O fish wrap is beyond me.
    They bring nothing to the table but bias against NCSU and Republicans.

  9. ppack3 09/10/2009 at 1:07 PM #

    Not that it matters, but my spy glasses had a perfect angle on the play in question. And it was replayed on the jumbo-tron. Saunders had just caught a pass and was guided out of bounds on his own sideline. He turned around to the player that ‘ushered’ him off of the field of play and made a kicking motion. I don’t think he made contact at all. A referee was standing right there, staring at the two players, as was Spurrier. Our player didn’t react, at all (thank you, TOB). I thought that there should have been an unsportsman-like penalty for that one. But like you said Alpha, the only ‘no call’ that mattered was the one that put our players life in danger. I still get angry thinking about that one.

  10. wolfonthehill 09/10/2009 at 1:54 PM #

    It was intended to be a kick – he just pulled it back before he made contact. Should’ve drawn an unsportsmanlike penalty, without question. That, in addition to the absurd no-call on the facemask, and you have potentially game-changing no-calls…

  11. wolfonthehill 09/10/2009 at 1:55 PM #

    Follow-up to that:

    Does anyone have a recollection of Pack players being granted that level of leeway twice in one game? Ever? I certainly don’t…

  12. ChuckAllYall 09/10/2009 at 2:12 PM #

    If you let an article that Barry Saunders has written get you all riled up, then the terrorists have already won.

  13. primacyone 09/10/2009 at 2:31 PM #

    Okay now. We have two people taking credit for the hat comment?????

  14. wolfpackattack89 09/10/2009 at 4:06 PM #

    does anyone realize that murray state is third in the nation in points scored?
    they scored 66 points in there first game. I dont care who you are or who you play, whatever the circumstances, that is impressive

  15. LKNpackfan 09/10/2009 at 4:07 PM #

    I recall the play in question – #88 was tackled on/near the USC sidelines, and as he stood up, he brought his right knee up high but didn’t extend the foot. As I watched it both live and on my DVR the next morning, I thought it was more of a celebratory jesture than a kick.

    Anyway, I hope Barry finds his monocle.

  16. wolfpack95 09/10/2009 at 4:09 PM #

    After watching the replay, if Saunders wasnt kicking our player while out of bounds he was certainly suffering from one heck of a leg spasm.
    What pabulem from a real jerk.

  17. packalum44 09/10/2009 at 4:53 PM #

    DC snob alert:

    Compared to the Washington Post, the N and O is not even Busch League, its the truck series.

    Does Barry’s last comment infer that he might kick someone?

    Thing I’ve always wanted to ask Barry but was afraid to ask:

    Why do all of your articles include sarcasm as if its some sort of prosistic virtue?

    Why does you use slang words? I couldn’t imagine reading these articles in the Post. Personal style over professionalism?

  18. GAWolf 09/10/2009 at 5:18 PM #

    No. No. Primacy one. Alpha Wolf is taking credit for penning the story… which he did. I just couldn’t help myself but mention that stupid ass hat. But as a journalist, it’s not such a bad thing for him. Every single day when I opened the N&O and saw it I chuckled… and then my eyes immediately fell in line to read what the dude was bitching about today. And like him or hate, that’s his job… to sell papers… to grab our attention… and now to get clicks to the N&O website. He’s pretty danged good at riling us up, as someone else pointed out above. Admittedly there were at least several times that I found myself muttering the same about him that he’s said about so many others… “$%/&^ racist.” And that’s the key to all that you need to know about his journalistic M.O.: racism isn’t a one way street and he does a pretty good job of keeping his side of the traffic flowing.

  19. GAWolf 09/10/2009 at 5:19 PM #

    Barry is smart enough to know that a threat cannot be conditional. He hasn’t crossed any line there other than to come across no more classy than his son.

  20. bradleyb123 09/10/2009 at 5:33 PM #

    ^^^ “they scored 66 points in there first game. I dont care who you are or who you play, whatever the circumstances, that is impressive”

    At first I was a little concerned about that, too. A team that can score 66 points must be doing SOMETHING right, right?

    But a friend of mine told me he thought their opponent is in a division that doesn’t even give out football scholarships. They may have just destroyed a glorified high school team.

    I hope that’s the case, anyway. And we supposedly have a lot of size on this team. So hopefully their offense will look a lot like ours did last Thursday, with our defensive line having a field day in their backfield all night. 🙂

  21. Wufpacker 09/10/2009 at 6:50 PM #

    Dear Barry,
    Seeing how the NCSU player was uninjured and it had little if any effect on the outcome of the game, I don’t really care whether there was a kick or not. But don’t call me “homes”. And obscene or not, threatening your readers, even if just in passing, is not a good thing to do.

    And if you were to even try to kick me, you better be a whole lot tougher than you look. Otherwise you’re gonna find that kicking foot in a place nature never intended.

  22. Sw0rdf1sh 09/10/2009 at 8:35 PM #

    His son’s comments before the game were enough for me to get a grasp on what he is all about.

    The kick was what it was and sure as hell wasn’t as obvious as the facemask call on the punt.

    I can’t recall ever reading anything from Saunders before…that said, I wish I could take back reading that article.

  23. Keg Man 09/10/2009 at 9:15 PM #

    Oh the flip side — article did make this site look kinda dumb? Sorry but it was not good for the site.

  24. McCallum 09/10/2009 at 11:21 PM #

    Barry looks like he should be getting quarters for tap dancing at the corner of Bourbon and Canal.


  25. 61Packer 09/10/2009 at 11:24 PM #

    I’d rather talk about Lee Fowler than Barry Saunders.

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