August 30, 2006

Not the same old, boring guy

Gary Pinkel insists he has not changed much in the last 12 months.

"I'm probably the same old me," Pinkel said. "I'm the same old, boring guy."

But his actions belie that statement. Shortened, or altogether cancelled, two-a-day practices. Celebration dances allowed at a practice. And then the topper.

At Monday's first media day of the 2006 season, Pinkel told the press to hold on after the questions were through. Certainly, thought the assembled reporters, a reprimand of some sort was on the way.

To the contrary, Pinkel wished two members of the regular press corps at Missouri's practice a happy birthday. He then summoned the sports information director with a cake large enough to feed everyone in the room twice. Not yet done, Pinkel then led the press in a stirring (well, maybe not quite stirring) rendition of "Happy Birthday."

Sure, same old boring guy.

"I think coach Pinkel's always been that way, he just had to let it out," said junior tailback Tony Temple.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!