When LSU coach Les Miles headed into his post-game press conference after getting shutout by Alabama 21-0 in the BCS championship game, he had to know he was going to have to answer the tough questions about an offense that gained less than 100 yards and his decision to not put in Jarrett Lee at quarterback.
But Miles didn’t even get one question into his presser before hitting a snag. Local radio show host, former Saints quarterback and father of LSU lineman T-Bob Hebert, Bobby Hebert, began grilling Miles on his decisions during the game, not even asking a question until prompted by the moderator.
”Coach, did you ever consider bringing in Jarrett Lee, considering that you weren’t taking any chances on the field?” Hebert asked rhetorically. “Now, I know Alabama’s defense is dominant. But, come on, that’s ridiculous, five first downs. I mean, so it’s almost an approach, I’ll tell you from the fans’ standpoint, that how can you not maybe push the ball down the field and bring in Jarrett Lee?”
Eventually, Hebert was forced to settle for “Do you think you should have pushed the football more down field?”
Miles answered the question and moved on. Fortunately for him, the press conference could only get better after that. Hebert wasn’t escorted from the presser because he had credentials, but it’s doubtful he’ll ever be allowed to cover the Sugar Bowl again.
On Tuesday, Hebert took to his radio show to defend his outburst.
“Come on, I’m not a journalist,” Hebert said. “I didn’t go to journalism school, and I don’t claim to be a journalist. The credentials that I have is that I played 15 years of pro football, and I know what it is to play quarterback.
“I was like an extension of the fans that finally got into a press conference. Maybe I shouldn’t have given my opinion a couple of times. You are supposed to really ask a question and not give opinion, but the hell with it. What are they going to do, kick me out? So what?”
So what? You don’t have to be Bruce Feldman to know there are two basic rules of sports journalism: no cheering in the press box and act like a professional during press conferences.
“I’m the voice of the fan,” Hebert continued. “I’m the guy sitting on the couch, watching the game, having a beer. … Why not get to the truth and tell it like you see it?”
That’s why you have a radio show. That’s your platform to voice your opinion — just as CFT is a platform — not a press conference. You can ask tough questions without letting your emotions get the best of you. What Hebert did was no better than the knuckleheads who berated Penn State’s Board of Trustees when they announced via press conference that Joe Paterno was fired.
“I was very disappointed because I felt like it was a personal attack on Coach Miles,” LSU associate athletics director Michael 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.”
At least one of them did.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!