Posted by Pastoral Musings on January 11th, 2012
I’m glad that Hebert asked the question, even though it seems that the national press has gotten on his case about it. They simply need to recognize that Hebert is a fan, a retired NFL quarterback, and the father of an offensive lineman who played for LSU in the BCS Championship game. Hebert had reason to be passionate.
Here are some comments from various places:
In sports media, the idea of completely detached objectivity is usually a farce. Most journalists try to hide this fact, while many bloggers embrace it. And then, far beyond even the most biased of bloggers, are your local sports talk radio hosts, who rely on hyperbole and homerism to fill hours of dead air and elicit a reaction.
Ex-Saints QB and current New Orleans radio host Bobby Hebert (whose son T-Bob Hebert, it should be noted, is an LSU offensive lineman) seemingly mistook Les Miles’ press conference Monday for his radio show, taking the mic to deliver an epic rant on Miles’ play-calling — a rant so long, the moderator actually interrupted to ask if he had a point.
If Hebert’s exasperation sounded more visceral than the typical jock-turned-media-personality softball, consider that Hebert’s son T-Bob is a senior offensive guard for the Tigers. Already known as an unabashed press-box cheerleader for the Saints, Hebert can now add “frustrated dad” to his media credentials. One imagines the New York Times’ Greg Bishop still trembling and sweating as he relayed the scene on his blog post: “In the often mundane world of post-event news conferences … this rant, in all its fan-like anger – from a broadcaster to the man who coached his son – registered somewhere near the level of ‘bombshell,’ as the room fell silent and faces filled with shock.” The horror. The Hebert.
In theory, such news conferences are supposed to be attended by objective reporters, which doesn’t mean that always happens. But even then, this was unusual, too. In the press room after the game, talk of Hebert’s lack of decorum dominated conversation more than Alabama’s transcendent championship performance.
Before most, if not all, sporting events, officials make an announcement. It usually goes something like, “There is no cheering in the press box.” It’s understood that the same goes for ranting in a news conference. But not on Monday night, as this Herbert rant will perhaps live longer than what most saw as a boring game.
As if the 21-0 loss to Alabama weren’t bad enough for Les Miles, the LSU coach was confronted in his postgame interview with a critical question from a former NFL quarterback who hosts a radio show in New Orleans and has a son on the Tigers’ team.
Hebert’s son, T-Bob, is a senior offensive lineman who lost his starting job late in the season.
What a pitiful bunch of bologna! The idea of objectivity in reporting is fallacious. It is non-existent. At the same time, the media should ask the hard questions. The soft balls that are thrown these days are pitiful. The fans wanted to know the answer to Hebert’s question. After listening to Miles’ response, they still want to know the answer to Hebert’s question.
I am so very tired of the media and their weak-kneed reporting. I am also tired of the slanted reporting that goes on and calls itself objective.
Where were these guys when Pete Prisco called Sean Payton and the Saints classless and accused them of running up the score against the Falcons?
Update: Now USA Today has a story that I found via Bleacher Report. This story has Hebert possibly being banned from BCS media sessions. In fact,
Sugar Bowlspokesman John Sudsbury said Tuesday he apologized to LSU associate athletics director Michael Bonnette for Hebert’s behavior.
“It was very disrespectful. I told Michael I was real sorry it happened,” Sudsbury said. “We don’t want to credential people who go into a press conference and act like a fan. Multiple people told me it was not professional. It was disappointing. We don’t want the coaches who come to these games to be treated like that.”
Bonnette said he appreciated Sudsbury’s comments.
“I was very disappointed because I felt like it was a personal attack on Coach Miles,” Bonnette said. “The part of Bobby that is a fan and a parent came out more than the part of him that is a reporter. Using the word ‘ridiculous,’ I thought was not professional. He was emotional and really mad. But I thought Coach Miles handled it in a classy manner.”
While I respect Miles for a fairly calm response, his face didn’t reflect class at all.
Was Hebert disrespectful? No! Absolutely not! We simply live in a time that people don’t want to face the hard questions. They don’t want to hear anything that makes them uncomfortable. Bobby Hebert spoke as a father, a fan, and a person who wanted to get an answer. WWL radio listeners wanted an answer to that question. We still want an answer to that question, because Miles did not answer it.
You see, Jordan Jefferson was arrested at the beginning of the season, if you will recall. Jarrett Lee was the starting QB through about nine games, and led the Tigers to victory. When he threw some picks against Alabama, Lee was pulled, and never started again. In fact, he saw practically no playing time. Many of us feel that this was not the right way to treat a young man who had performed well both on and off of the football field. Miles has never come out to explain why Lee, who did so well, was suddenly benched and not allowed back into the game.
This issue has created a crisis of confidence. Many LSU fans feel as if Miles hasn’t been open and above board with them. We want an answer. We want to know why Lee wasn’t given a chance.
We also want to know why a young man who is a better passer was not given the opportunity to help his team and to play in a championship. Lee is a senior. He will have no memory of playing in the BCS Championship, because Miles didn’t let him. The team was let down because they weren’t given a chance to try to get back into the game.
From a coaching standpoint, a personnel standpoint, and a public relations standpoint, Les Miles has failed LSU, the LSU Tigers, and the LSU fans.
Bobby Hebert asked the right question.
Fans may have forgotten the clock management issue in Tennessee last year. They won’t forget this as easily. Les Miles has failed this team and their fans in a couple of the most crucial of situations. This time, however, we have found that we can’t trust him to tell us the truth. In fact, he has told us nothing.
Coach Miles, we’re still waiting on the answer to Bobby Hebert’s question, because it’s our question.
Bobby Hebert responds.