Can’t Spell Grantham With Handwringing

By now I’m sure everyone is aware of what some are labeling as “Choke-gate”. To sum up, as Florida’s kicker, Chas Henry, prepared to kick the game-winning field goal during overtime in our game last Saturday, Coach Grantham made a gesture towards him implying that Henry was going to “choke”. Coach Grantham even exclaimed “You’re gonna fucking choke!”, in case Chas didn’t understand the gesture.

I get it. I understand what everyone’s all up in arms about. It was a gesture made by a coach and directed specifically at a player. Was it a display of unprofessionalism made by a grown man who should have known better? Sure. Has the issue been addressed? It has. Was the outcome what everyone wanted? Apparently not. Because we’re all still talking about it, even if some of us have declared a readiness to move on from all things Cocktail Party-related. But, really, suspended and fined? I’m a fan of Tony Barnhart. I enjoy his writing and often find myself in agreeance with his viewpoints. But not this time.

“A coach does not attempt to intimidate a student-athlete from another school. You don’t do it. Period. I don’t care what the other side is doing.”

You mean like calling a timeout just before a field goal attempt in an effort to “ice” the kicker?

This whole situation reminds me of a scene from a Clint Eastwood movie titled Heartbreak Ridge. Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway, played by Eastwood, is told that he’s a relic from another age and that there’s no place in the new Marine Corps for him. In fact, it’s stated that he should be sealed in a glass case that reads “Break In Case of War”.

We’ve got what we all claimed to have wanted: a fiery defensive coordinator who is not averse to raising his voice and showing his emotions. And now that we have him, we have to live with him. I won’t excuse Coach Grantham’s actions. But I certainly won’t condemn him for showing a little spirit, nor will I vilify him for it.

OK. I’m done with the events of last weekend now. Time to focus on the Bengal Potatoes.


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