Oregon head coach Dan Lanning has faced significant criticism for his pre-game speech concerning the Colorado Buffaloes, delivered to his team before Saturday’s game.
It’s worth noting the irony and apparent hypocrisy in Lanning’s remarks, as he commented on Colorado playing for attention while simultaneously permitting ESPN cameras into the locker room to capture his speech.
Nevertheless, those familiar with high-level football coaching, whether as coaches or players, understand that coaches often seize any opportunity to ignite their team’s passion and provide a mental advantage before taking the field.
Predictably, this did not deter sports commentator Skip Bayless from delving into his cache of controversial hot takes while taking aim at Dan Lanning and the Oregon Ducks.
“I’ve tried to tell you guys for two weeks there is a deep-rooted, venomous vengeance that is starting to manifest itself against Deion among white coaches,” Bayless said on Monday.
“And I’m not gonna say they’re all white because we saw what Jay Norvell did just two weeks ago. It’s deep-rooted and seeded because Deion didn’t pay any dues that they all had to pay.”
To clarify, Skip Bayless refrained from explicitly stating that all individuals involved are of the same race. However, he did assert that there appears to be a growing and intense animosity directed at Deion Sanders among certain white coaches. (Bayless persisted in discussing matters related to race during Tuesday’s broadcast.)
On Monday night, Dan Lanning strongly criticized Skip Bayless for his absurd viewpoint.
“I don’t know Skip at all, I’ve never had a conversation with him. I’ve watched him enough to know how often he gets it wrong, so that sounds about right,” Lanning said.
“But I mean, ultimately here’s what I say,” he continued. “We’re playing to win the game, right? And you saw a 15 second clip from a window view outside the house of what happens in the locker room, right? I know our locker room. I’m in the house 100 percent of the time. I know how our players felt going into that game and I know what it takes to motivate our players. That’s my job to motivate our players, right? He has a job. I have a job too, to get out there and to perform on the field.
“But inside that house they felt a certain way. They felt a certain way about a group stomping on the O. They felt a certain way about guys talking to them in the pregame and I’m proud of those guys because what they decided to do is talk with their pads, right? They didn’t want to do anything extra afterwards. They want to talk with their pads and they did that on Saturday.”
Following his remarks, Lanning went on to commend Deion Sanders.
“I’m also grateful and can clearly acknowledge that the attention that we got this Saturday, in large part, was due to due to Deion and what he’s doing to college football. And if anybody can’t see what he’s done for college football and how he’s bringing excitement to college football, you’re crazy, right? And I said that last week as well.”
After explaining why he went for it on fourth down and went for two point conversions during the Colorado game, Lanning circled back to Skip Bayless.
“I’m gonna do everything I can to win a game and everything I can to motivate my team,” said Lanning. “So you know, that to me is classless, you know, what he’s saying there, but I’m not really worried about it.”