It’s all silly.
On Wednesday morning, Texas Longhorns coach Tom Herman — in the midst of signing 16 new Longhorn football players — was caught on camera flipping double birds at the Longhorn Network spy-cam.
On the surface, it’s actually pretty funny. Stupid? Definitely. But certainly a little funny.
Haven’t we all — at some point — wanted to double bird LHN? A better question might be “Why must we film a bunch of adult men working in their conference room for the entertainment of a bunch other (largely) adult men?”
We know football coaches aren’t saints. That much should be obvious. Coaches need total polishing before every media interaction — which is why college athletics departments employ handsomely-paid men and women whose sole purpose is to make sure a coach says and does the right things on camera.
That’s harder at Texas, where the spotlight shines brighter than most any other school.
But it’s also harder when Herman, who — fairly or unfairly — has relinquished all benefit of the doubt over the last three seasons.
So when he comes out at his Early Signing Day press conference and tells an extremely blatant lie as to “what we actually saw,” all I can do is cringe.
Tom Herman's full apology for this morning's incident. pic.twitter.com/DsRHTVcCIk— Travis Recek (@TravisRecek) December 18, 2019
“I apologize for something that ended up on live TV this morning,” Herman said. “We were joking — quite frankly — about my first experience riding into the Cotton Bowl on the bus and the warm welcome you receive in the Red River game.”
My man — you had five hours to come up with an explanation and that’s the best you could do? If that’s the case, why did your assistant immediately turn around and double bird the camera? Who thought this would play well?
Had I known the lie was going to be this awkwardly painful, I would have called in and offered up some more believable suggestions. The option of not lying at all would have even played better than this fairy tale.
#DoubleBirdGate could have easily died without the need to lie about it so obviously. It plays into the immaturity card that Herman doubters — fairly or unfairly — consistently place on the head coach.
It’s exactly the ammunition that anti-Herman talking heads are consistently looking to prey upon. It’s stupid. It’s silly. But it’s avoidable.
And Herman can’t seem to avoid the stupid and silly mistakes.
Maybe that means something about his coaching tenure at Texas. Maybe it doesn’t.
But the fact remains that so much of it remains avoidable.