When you have a Super Bowl, a Janet Jackson Gone Wild! video and a streaker, you would think you've had enough big news for a week.
Then along comes Bob Knight and David Smith at the salad bar at the Market Street grocery store in Lubbock (which I have actually been to).
We posted a column on Knight at about 3 p.m. ET Tuesday, and by 8 a.m. Wednesday the Yahoo! Sports Supercomputer had spit out more than 1,400 emails. That's about one every 44 seconds for 17 consecutive hours. And they still are coming.
Heaven help us.
I've gotten through most of them. My favorite factoid that came in was that Dr. Smith used to be a pediatrician and thus should be accustomed to childlike behavior. I won't bother commenting (in italics) on all of the below, but I will reiterate that I never condoned Knight's behavior. I said both men were at fault.
Anyway, we heard from everyone including the president of Sherwin Food Safety, Inc., a guy who claims to have drunk his first beer with Smith and all sorts of punsters who believe we should be glad "this dressing down is over. Lettuce call the whole thing off."
On that note, on to The People's Voice ...
BOB KNIGHT (Feb. 3: "What was David Smith thinking?")
Thank you for not simply treating Knight as a cliché. Bob Knight is a complex man with many more positive attributes than negative ones. That fact does not always excuse his behavior, but far too many in the media seem to forget all he has done and all he has meant to others and simply portray him in the popular fashion.
Why is it that everyone needs to soft shoe around Knight, but he can do as he pleases? Simple, Knight doesn't want to deal with people out of kindness and politeness, just his way. BAD guy, very good coach.
Fort Wayne, Ind.
As a former student at Tech I worked around David Smith and the student government. Both qualify as a waste of space on campus. I totally agree with you that Smith made a stupid comment and now is using his pull with the university to try and show Coach Knight who is boss. Thanks for your article.
From a Red Raider, I'd like to say THANK YOU for your comments. Yes, Knight has had a few behavior "issues." So did Beethoven. Smith was so wrong to approach Knight in the manner that he did. Knight was just being Knight. Smith was being, well, the reason Tech will probably fall back off the map when Bobby leaves.
You must be a very good carpenter; you drove that nail all the way in.
James A. Hall
I'm wondering how long you have been abusing drugs. Chancellor Smith is Bobby Knight's boss.
Very discerning article regarding the Bob Knight situation. Knight is a guy of complete integrity who has always had a real short fuse and who isn't going to change. Knight deserves a little respect from the top brass for his achievements to date.
Foster City, Calif.
That had to be the most idiotic position taken in your column I have ever read.
Your position was pure genius. You didn't fall into the media trap of overblowing everything Knight said. You also got the story right all day (unlike everyone else). Knight never agreed to any suspension.
Ft. Worth, Texas
Your comments were right on target. As an education administrator, not knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your people is paramount to cheating on a final for your Ph.D.
The guy has a long and checkered history of anger management and abuse problems. I don't care who the hell you are; if you can't keep your ego and temper in check, you're just a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. True, Knight has done some good things at Texas Tech; however, it was just a matter of time before something like this happened.
When you behave like a child, then you should be treated like one.
My thoughts exactly. I had practically told my husband the same thing the night before. If you know Bobby at all you know better than to say such a stupid thing in public. Academia may have book smarts but we all know they have no common sense.
Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Hey I'm no fan of Knight, Texas Tech or college basketball, but I am a fan of good judgment and sound management. This Smith guy must be a Grade A moron to light the fuse on a powder keg in a public place. He reminds me of people who cross the safety barrier at the zoo to take a picture with the caged animal.
Even a lion without teeth is still a friggin' lion!
You are right on the button. You don't strike a match in a dark room of TNT to read the labels! The chancellor needs to take a few management courses.
San Antonio, Texas
Coach Knight has to be the biggest jerk I have ever seen coach. He may get his team to win, but he has zero personality. And as a sportswriter, I am sure you have seen him cuss out many fellow sportswriters just for asking something that Bobby Knight thought was stupid.
Hell, he's cussed out me more than once. I just don't take it personally.
I'm a Texas A&M grad, Class of '90. Tell Knight we'd take him any day of the week and would be glad to have him. We'll call him "Mr. Knight" or "Sir" or whatever he wants as long as he comes and coaches ball. Can't guarantee the behavior of our chancellor, but I can promise he'd have the support of the student body and alumni.
If Tech is dumb enough to lose him, we'll take him up here at Nebraska.
If the Texas Tech chancellor wants to fire Bob Knight, would Knight consider the job at North Carolina A&T State University?
I'm hoping Knight gets fired ... so he can take over at Minnesota, my alma mater.
I am a West Point grad – I will take Coach back in an instant!
Brian P. Martin
Maybe they will fire him and Atlanta (NBA) can hire him to coach the Hawks.
Dead on Dan, dead on! College chancellors are almost always idiot bureaucrats. And I've been to four different colleges! I won't get into what that says about me!
Ft. Myers, Fla.
I agree with your comments about Coach Knight. When someone has mental problems, you approach that individual quite differently than a normal person.
I'm an Indiana alum ('69) and frankly spent many years buying into the "Bobby Bashing." Your article may have given me a new perspective. "Bad Boy" Knight is big news. Knight being baited into that "dark place" is not. Thank you for what is apparently the whole story, and to be honest it made me feel ashamed that I like millions of people are way too quick to judge others.
When I first read about his run in with David Smith I immediately thought, "I wonder what Coach Knight did this time?" and then basically closed the book on him and also in my mind ... until you came along. Thanks for telling it like it was/is.
Baker City, Ore.
I went to high school with David Smith, and he probably drank his first and second beer of his life in my parents' basement; no way is this guy an ego freak, and no way is he dumb. We both attended medical school, but after that point, David Smith took off professionally.
I understand the gist of your article – that Smith should have left Knight alone – but the chancellor's job is not just to kiss up to the basketball coach. I live in Austin and bleed burnt orange, but Texas Tech is without a doubt a university on the rise and not just because of basketball. Bobby Knight, talented as he is, is going to blow up wherever he is working.
Sanford X. Rosensweig
As a former assistant professor, I can agree with your perspective of the upper administration in universities. Not always the wisest crowd, and certainly political.
When I first heard about Bob Knight "blowing up" again, I thought, "What an idiot." He will never change. But your article made me think about it a little bit more and you are right: What was David Smith thinking? Or was he thinking at all? Maybe he was trying to provoke Knight into a public incident so that he would have a reason to fire Coach Knight. If so, it worked.
Salt Lake City, Utah
I'm not a Tech grad. My daughter is, as is my son-in-law, who lost his job as an assistant basketball coach when James Dickey was fired and Bobby Knight brought in ... so, you'd think I would be after Bob Knight's scalp ... no way!
All you say about how much Knight has done is right on the mark! If David Smith fires Knight, Smith will be found butt skyward floating in a West Texas watering trough.
I just thought you had a great take on this issue. I'm not a Bob Knight fan. I'm a John Wooden fan. However, to publicly demean an employee might have made John Wooden upset. Well ... maybe not publicly.
Huntington Beach, Calif.
The chancellor should be fired. Your insight into management is excellent. I have been a professional manager for over 45 years (now almost 71 years young). You learn these kinds of lessons (management) in your first job at which you have been successful.
John R. Hamilton, Jr.
THE SUPER BOWL (Feb. 3: "Super Bowl winners and losers")
I think you forgot one of the losers of the Super Bowl. Coach Fox should never have gone for two points after their first touchdown in the fourth quarter. There was over 12 minutes to go in the game and you shouldn't play for a field goal to tie at that point. I am not a Carolina fan, just frustrated that this boneheaded move has not received more attention.
I also was surprised Fox went for two at that point, but I generally don't criticize coaching moves because 1) Hindsight is 20-20, and 2) Fox knows a lot more about football (and how that game was going) than do I.
Would you agree that the Panthers demonstrated poor clock management by calling timeout after the completion to the Patriots' 15-yard line with about 1:35 remaining? If the timeout is not called the Patriots would have started the final drive with about 30 seconds and not a minute.
Morgan Hill, Calif.
Yes they did a poor job but so did Tom Brady in the final seconds. On his final play he should have let the clock run down to :04 so Vinatieri could kick and Carolina wouldn't get the ball back on a dangerous kickoff. Instead he called it with :09. If the Panthers return the kick for a touchdown, it is an historic blunder. It's an imperfect game and even the Super Bowl hero can make a mistake.
How could the fans cheer for anyone (Kid Rock) that is so tacky to cut up our flag and then wear it on stage as a poncho? That is disrespectful to our troops fighting to keep the flag and America free, but then again I never could see how he got famous anyway.
He's not a good entertainer and he looks like crap. Like he was drug out from under a rock or something. (And I'm from Arkansas.)
I agree. I believe Kid Rock was trying to be patriotic (that's his general position and he does a lot of USO work), but ripping the flag and using it as a shirt was in poor taste.
Congratulations on your article, Boston Team Party. CEOs and political leaders across the country and world could take a few cues from this team. They know the secret recipe to true success! To truly succeed, you need a team of hard workers, not one or two glory boys, to get the job done.
Don't you agree this was the worst halftime show in history? Sick and tired of rap and the Jacksons. Janet should have bared it all – that's all MTV seems to know. No quality, just shock.
I generally stay away from freak shows at the circus, which is why I am sick of having the Jacksons (any Jackson) shoved down my throat.
To all those who looked beyond the Patriots or had a laugh at their expense (Warren Sapp, aptly named), I say: Open your eyes. This is what a real team is all about. Tell your kids. Tell their coaches. Take a real close look, because this is as rare a find as a T-Rex walking thru Faneuil Hall. This is a rare animal, a rare bird, to be appreciated and loved by all those who know the real value of a group of people like this.
Now, if we could just get rid of MTV's halftime shows.
East Poland, Maine
Adam Vinatieri = greatest kicker ever? You are such an airhead. Another exaggerating media type just adding hype where it need not be and jumping on misguided bandwagons. Didn't he MISS a field goal in the Super Bowl?
Don't discount my opinion because I'm a Colts fan, but Mike Vanderjagt would have 1) made the winning kick, no question, and 2) probably made the kick that Adam missed earlier in the game. When there were eight teams left in the playoffs, Vinatieri had the WORST accuracy of the eight teams' kickers.
Yeah, Vinatieri really sucks. If David Smith took over the Pats I bet he'd cut him before next season.