I had disagreeing thoughts with Stephen A Smith, of the popular show First Take, this morning in his references and remarks towards and about Texas Head Football Coach Charlie Strong. Much of this disagreement does have to do with the ethnicity of all parties mentioned. I am a proud fan of Stephen A and see him as an overall great model for young African American males and he continues to open doors in the broadcasting industry. However I feel he lacked some self awareness today as he chose to call in to Mike and Mike this morning to make his statement that it is time for Texas to cut ties with Strong. Besides my overall difference in opinion that Strong should be terminated, my bigger problem is when obstacles are created by those who fight the same fight. And understand there is a fight to be had. Just as Stephen A is a great model so is Charlie Strong. Charlie Strong’s accomplishments have landed him to being the first African American Head Coach of Texas football. Strong is well known for his integrity and his overall relationships with players.
It is not a problem for Stephen A Smith to have his own opinion of the job Strong is doing just because he is African American but consider the following. Stephen A Smith is a great sports analyst with a wide range of information on a variety of news and sport. However none of us are perfect, we all have our weaknesses for whatever reason. Stephen A Smith would be one of the first voices I look for about NBA news. He has a deep and long insight on the league and an advantageous bond with many of the players. For NFL news, once again Stephen A is a man I enjoying listening to break down what he’s seen throughout the season. College football is not his arena. Stephen A is not so knowledgeable of college football. He in his own admission just started paying attention to college football only a few years ago due to his co-host and close friend Skip Bayless who he also takes much of his college football advice from. If we know anything of Skip Bayless it is this. He is a well renowned writer and opinion holder, but if you constantly disagree with his opinions of professional football, what makes you think he’s any different when watching amateur? Basically I feel Stephen A is talking just to be talking.
He knows Texas has a losing record, recently got blown out, and Charlie is in his second year. Any regular college football observer would at least recognize the waiting of a first recruiting class, installing a new system and program, and of all things recognizing competition within recruiting. Unlike Stephen A, high school players now don’t know of Texas being a power house. They don’t know of those HOOK EM’ HORNS. They reminisce of other Texas schools such as Johnny Football at A&M, Andy Dalton at TCU, and RGIII at Baylor. Any observer would know that this isn’t a quick turnaround job. This is unlike Harbaugh at Michigan or McElwain at Florida. Michigan is in the Big 10 and only really has to worry about Ohio St and Michigan St. Florida had SEC talent just a bad strategist.
Texas had entitled players, lower ranked recruits, and a coach who was long past due. Throw that in with all the antics and politics one has to perform in Texas as oppose to Myer in Ohio or Saban in Alabama and it’s hard to create stability. Stephen and others should understand that no one is going to go to Texas and turn around the program in a season.
Stephen A provided himself as a prop today. Many will be able to use his words in disguise to condemn Strong without the threat of being called racist or skating that line. From the community, I think there are enough people calling for Charlie Strong’s job already Stephen. You have to be more aware than that. Major boosters didn’t want Charlie and now the athletic director who hired him is gone. Things are a bit shaky for Charlie and I was surprised at who went out of their way to add some ripples. ESPN’s Joe Schad reported that Charlie’s Job is secure. “Charlie has a lot of breathing room” one source said Monday. “There is nowhere near the pressure to remove him at this time that there was with Steve Patterson or even Mack Patterson.” Texas at this point is 1-4 with losses against #15 ranked 4-1 Notre Dame, a one point lost to #23 ranked and undefeated Cal, a special team miscue to #21 ranked and undefeated Oklahoma St, and finally a lost on the road to #4 ranked and undefeated TCU. Stephen A was a bit eccentric this morning. Still much respect.