by Travis Normand
What will University of Texas QB David Ash’s father do to make headlines? Whatever it is, he has some big shoes to fill.
In case “Father” Ash doesn’t already know, he is apparently obligated to make a fool out of himself in order to gain some media attention. Why? Because this is just something that dads of Longhorn quarterbacks do.
Remember Longhorn quarterback Chris Simms? His dad (Phil Simms) threatened to fight Desmond Howard back in February of 2011 over some comments about his younger son Matt Simms (who, at the time, played at Tennessee). This is the same Phil Simms who said he didn’t see “big time NFL throws” coming from Andrew Luck.
And who could forget Colt McCoy? Steven Brad McCoy, Colt’s father, will always be remembered as the guy who kept Colt from returning to the BCS title game (January 2010) following an injury. RIght or wrong, Brad McCoy’s decision/intervention had made himself the topic of discussion among Longhorn fans for weeks to come. You couldn’t find an article about Colt’s injury that didn’t quote his father in some form or another.
Flash forward to the 2011 NFL season; Brad McCoy is again making headlines with his involvement in the handling of Colt’s football injuries. Colt McCoy, now quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, takes a vicious hit in a game against the Steelers. After (and during) the game, Cleveland’s staff was heavily criticized for the way they handled Colt’s injury (concussion). However, it was their loudest critic that seemed to keep making headlines — Brad McCoy.
When McCoy wasn’t able to return to the BCS title game against Alabama, he was replaced by freshman Garrett Gilbert. Gilbert’s 2010 season as the Longhorn’s quarterback was anything but memorable. Unfortunately for Gilbert, his woes didn’t stop in 2010 and they followed him into the 2011 season as well. Mid-way through the 2011 season, after having been demoted to second string quarterback, Gilbert announced he would be transferring to SMU. Gale Gilbert, Garrett’s father, must have been excited to know that his son would soon be playing for long-time friend, June Jones.
Gale Gilbert was excited. He was so excited that he went ahead and joined the list of Longhorn quarterback dads that have answered the call in making their opinion known to the local (or national) media.
This week, the Dallas Morning News was putting together a feature on Garrett Gilbert, and included some of his father’s comments about the 2010 quarterback situation.
“It was a bad team anyway,” Gale [Gilbert] said. “You could have put John Elway in at quarterback and it wasn’t going to be pretty. I’m proud of the way Garrett handled himself. He showed great perseverance putting up with what he had to deal with here in Austin.”
While one can understand a father’s frustration, it seems awfully bold to call the 2010 Texas Longhorns a “bad team.” This is especially true when you are watching your son suit up for an SMU team that went 1-11 as recently as 2008 and hasn’t topped eight wins since . . . well, its been a while.
I don’t want to rub salt in Gale’s wounds, but I am guessing he has forgotten that his son was the quarterback of that “bad” 2010 football team. I mean, if we are going to start pointing fingers and placing blame, Garrett’s 17 interceptions in 2010 didn’t do much to help out in the “win” column. Five interceptions against Kansas State? Really?
If Gale Gilbert had been the first Longhorn dad to make headlines with his comments, I would chalk it up to him being angry over the fact that the 2011 Longhorns beat Gale’s Golden Bears (Cal) in the Holiday Bowl. However, he isn’t the first.
So, where does this leave us? Right where we started — what will David Ash’s father do to make history?