[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e normally wouldn’t devote an entire article to an assistant administrative hire.
But Bobby Reid’s hiring at Oklahoma State is not just any assistant administrative hire.
Reid is the former Cowboy quarterback that was the subject of Mike Gundy’s “I’m 40! I’m a man!” press conference tirade that became a YouTube sensation.
At the end of the video, a group of fans who had snuck into the press conference applauded Gundy, proud that he had stuck up for his players.
But Reid didn’t applaud. In fact, he later would say that the incident “basically ended my life.”
Reid came to Oklahoma State a 6-foot-4, 235-pound dynamo, one of the most highly-decorated recruits in school history. He showed flashes, but was injured as often as he was brilliant.
Eventually, he was unseated as starter by Zac Robinson, and Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman wrote the column that claimed Reid’s attitude – not his ability – was the reason he had been benched, and set off Gundy’s tirade.
Reid thought that Gundy’s emotion was insincere.
“Honestly, the way I took it, I felt like it was all a front,” Reid told ESPN columnist Tom Friend. “That it was all a big show. It didn’t feel genuine.”
Reid’s mother echoed her son’s feelings.
“Being 40 doesn’t make you a man,” Rajika Reid said. “It’s your character that makes you a man. Your integrity. That’s what makes you a man. Not how old you are. I read a Chinese proverb one time in a restaurant, and it said, ‘A fool at 40 is a fool always.’ That tells you everything.”
At the end of the season, Reid left Stillwater and ultimately landed at Texas Southern. There he threw for 1,791 yards and 12 touchdowns in nine games before the injury bug bit once again, and a torn ACL ended his season.
Reid spent the 2011 season playing for the Tulsa Talons of the Arena League, but gave up his professional football dreams after one season. In the months that followed, he and Gundy worked through their differences.
Last August, Gundy told the Tulsa World:
“Bobby has come to my office just in the last few months,” Gundy said in an interview prior to a recent Cowboy Caravan speaking engagement in Tulsa.
“He flew in from Houston just to see me and sit down and talk. And he instigated it … He wanted to come and sit down with me and clear the air.”
Gundy embraced the meeting because “I don’t want to have enemies. I don’t want anybody to dislike me and I don’t want to dislike anybody. We may not agree, but I don’t look forward to passing a person in my office or passing a person on media day or passing a person at a coaches convention where we have an issue.”
Gundy added that “I’m a man!” had come full circle because Reid was “a big enough man to call me and make an appointment and fly to Oklahoma and come meet me. That’s not easy. It’s not like he just got in a car and drove over.”
Now, in a move that’s perhaps even more surprising that Gundy’s offensive coordinator hire earlier this month, Reid will join the Cowboys staff and will work under director of football operations Mack Butler.
Full circle indeed.