Dan Mullens Antics Getting Old
By: JJ Lanier
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
“My team is on the floor.”
In a movie full of memorable quotes and scenes (Hoosiers) that line may encapsulate the integrity of Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) more than any other.
In six words he not only holds the one available substitute on his bench accountable for not following his rules, but he shows tremendous support for the four players that did.
Regardless of wins and losses the character does exactly what you want a coach to do, set a good example for the players around him.
If Hoosiers was to be remade into a football movie starring Dan Mullen the line may sound like this- “My team is on the field…except it’s not this year’s team, it’s next years…and you know I could just take them all off the field and not play, right…and by the way, what’s with the lack of a crowd, it’s interfering with my current, but yet not current players…hey, how do you like my Halloween costume?”
If adversity is supposed to expose a person’s true character this past season has shown Mullen to be a narcissistic, excuse-riddled coach, whose post game comments are more of a fit for fan base discussion boards as opposed to press conferences. (Seriously, all those jokes about the SEC only losing bowl games they’re not interested in playing, originally directed at delusional fans, can now add Mullen to their intended list of targets.)
For most of the season it seemed like the best way to handle his rants was the same way you would handle a toddler throwing a fit in the toy aisle at a Target; just let him have his moment and move on.
Of course, as any parent will attest, if you don’t stop the fits early enough, they’ll grow into a full blown tantrum, which is basically what Mullen’s post Cotton Bowl press conference amounted to.
There really isn’t any way an objective person could watch that video and justify what he said as anything other than adult tantrum.
Despite all the ridiculous and frankly disrespectful comments he made his lack of integrity was what really pushed the whole thing over the edge.
As I mentioned above, the one thing we hope a coach will do at a minimum is set a good example for their players, right? I mean, I feel like I’ve heard “shaping boys into men” a few times over my 40 years on this earth.
How did Mullen shape his players this year? I assume they learned if things get tough just throw a bunch of excuses and blame towards others and then make sure they know just how lucky they were that you at least showed up?
Coming into this season I didn’t really have strong feelings towards Mullen, one way or the other. I thought he was a good coach who up to that point seemed like a decent guy.
Obviously, my feelings are a little more pronounced than they were a few months ago.
Look, Mullen may be taking the Dabo Swinney approach by doubling down on his comments because he doesn’t care what people outside of his program’s fan base thinks of him.
However, if he does care about his reputation, and since he’s already admitted he’s moved on to the 2021 season, I know just the perfect movie he can watch to help him on his way.