Media selfie sign that 'Grumpy Gundy' is gone
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Something has dramatically changed Mike Gundy, the "grumpy" version has vanished and in its place is the Gundy of about 20 years ago.
Back then he was excited about coaching football players and improving their skills and molding them into better people. He loved his job, even when he took on more added pressure of being a head coach.
But then the pressure of the job started weighting down his shoulders, making him disassociate himself from friends, going into a shell if you will.
It was brought to a climax in that infamous press conference late this season where he and a newspaper reporter had that awkward exchange where both seemed oblivious to each other, making for some really bad video.
However, a week later his Oklahoma State football team surprised heavily-favored Oklahoma in that 38-35 Bedlam shocker and lo and behold, the "new" Gundy was born.
Since that big win, he's opened up practices ñ not to many, though ñ he's hosted one "selfie day" and is taking on a whole new attitude.
This week he and the Cowboys are in the Phoenix area for Friday's the Ticket City Cactus Bowl against Washington and the veteran coach is doing things we've never expected.
Like at Wednesday's media day session. After being introduced, he climbed down off the stage and came and stood beside this reporter, put his hand on my shoulder and asked all the other Oklahoma media to crowd around for a "media selfie."
He handed his phone to OSU Sports Information Assistant Gavin Long to take the shot but when he was told that went against "selfie" rules, he grabbed his phone and took a few himself. He even cracked a joke about needing to buy a selfie stick to use in this new and expanding role.
Today he's even invited all OSU fans to come by the team hotel for "Selfie Day" where they can pose with players and then post those images on social media. It's a pretty good way to promote the program.
Tulsa World columnist John Klein has been in this business a long time, 37 years, and he's seen the dramatic change.
"He's gone back to the Mike Gundy of 20 years ago," Klein said. "He's thrown out that 'Grumpy Gundy' image and started having fun again."
Now, we don't know all the reasons for the change, but we all guess that Bedlam was the primary reason for the change, but also remember that the Bedlam win allowed him to extend his bowl streak to six straight and that's pretty impressive as well.