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Andy Hodges

It’s okay that Musselman didn’t mention some of us ‘quiet ones’ in back

Eric Musselman’s nearly hour-long teleconference with the media started with an apology that wasn’t really necessary, but another sign of a different culture with Hogs’ basketball.



Arkansas coach Eric Musselman started the teleconference Thursday morning with apologies to some of us in the media for not being included in a video released earlier in the day.

Musselman started by apologizing for failing to mention some of us “quiet ones” in the back at press conferences. Really, the only way it would have been appropriate would be to mention our names followed by crickets.

Well, Leo Cruz does ask an occasional question but he also fired off a mariachi song one time in a press conference on his iPad. Oh, and he always thanks you at the end.

The rest of us, well, we are just in the back hanging out and making sure the camera doesn’t fall off the stand. We really don’t fire out questions. Mainly it’s because somebody else usually asks what we would.

Besides, sooner or later, Mike Cawood or one of his interns is going to get hurt trying to run the question microphones from one end of the media room to the other. Between the chairs and the cables, well, it could get interesting.

Side Note: Speaking of that, Mike Neighbors sat in one of the chairs in the media room a few weeks ago and because it was kinda sitting loosely on top of another one, he dropped several inches … his life flashed before his eyes as he went down. Russell Schaap put crime scene tape around the chair before his next presser … and Neighbors appropriately acknowledged it.

Our questions for Musselman, though, would probably be a little different:

• Maybe the most important unanswered question is what breed is your dog, Swish? You didn’t know the first time it came up and, sadly, Bob Holt never really followed up with that bit of information.

• Speaking of Bob, with a few minutes of extra time these days, could you please do a list of all the little tiny detail stuff you could hand out? Please include everyone you’ve ever coached or seen, worked for or read their book, met or even seen … with dates, please. Times are optional, but appreciated. It might save a ton of time later when we start getting together regularly again.

• Do you really care what our opinion is after a game framed as a question? Particularly with excruciating details some of us have no idea what the question is even about.

• Has anyone ever asked a bad question? We hear you say, “good question” a lot, but you never go the other direction. When you see us in the back looking at each other with strange looks you’ll know we have no idea what the question was about, either.

• How hard is it, at times, making your answers longer than the questions asked?

That’s just a few of the ones that immediately come to mind.

Seriously, though, for even us anonymous guys Musselman has been a refreshing change of pace in press conferences.

For me, it’s the way he handles losses. At times it appears he hates losing more than he likes winning and that’s always been something I’ve noticed over decades of doing this that separates the really good coaches from the so-so ones.

Whether he knows me or not doesn’t really matter. The fans should be noticing the change in “culture” around Razorback basketball.

They are the ones that should matter, especially in this time when many feel like a huge chunk of their lives has been yanked away.



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