SEC Football: James Franklin Started It, but Todd Grantham Finished It
When a person has made a mistake in the past, our natural reaction is to blame them for any future altercations. As a result, many were quick to point the finger at Georgia Bulldog defensive coordinator Todd Grantham after tonight’s end of the game fiasco.
Tonight, after the Bulldogs had been engaged in a heated matchup with the Vanderbilt Commodores, the cameras caught Grantham and Vandy head coach James Franklin. I was at the 50 yard line and had a direct view. However, I wanted to wait until I got home to pass judgment.
On the way home, I figured the argument was initiated by Grantham. It had been clear throughout the game that the Commodores had thrown several questionable blocks without penalty. I figured that Coach Grantham, went to confront Coach Franklin.
After all, it was Coach Grantham who gave the choke sign to a Florida Gator field goal kicker last season. In his apology he noted that he lost control of his emotions. This must have been a repeat performance, right?
After further review, the answer is an emphatic "no."
I was able to have access to multiple films of the aftermath in my email. What I viewed on the film was shocking. It was Coach Franklin, not Coach Grantham that lost control of their emotions. After the game was over, as you can see in this photo, Franklin went after Bulldog safety Shawn Williams.
Williams had been called for two personal fouls during the game for aggressive play.
Franklin was pointing and yelling at Williams as he made his way to midfield. Grantham, who was simply involved in post-game handshakes, heard Franklin shouting. At that moment, Franklin started pointing and yelling at Grantham.
Unfortunately for Franklin, Grantham is a Bulldog who does not take well to his cage being rattled. Grantham went right back at Franklin and put his finger in his face as he scolded him and police, players, and coaches had to separate the two. After Grantham left, Franklin continued until coaches pulled him off the field.
247 Sports quoted Franklin as saying, "We just had a tough, emotional game and some things that were said that I didn’t think were appropriate. I went to find Coach Richt and didn’t find him, so I found one of the assistant coaches, and it didn’t go well. We’re not going to sit back and take it from anyone.”
Notice in Franklin's words, things were said that he did not think was appropriate. As a result, he went looking for the coaching staff. He had already predetermined that he was going to confront the staff.
Critics will say that Grantham should have walked away and set a better example. My response to those critics is to try walking in a coach’s shoe before pointing a finger.
Grantham’s quote, also found at 247, sports speaks volumes. “We’re all competitive guys. I’m happy with the victory, and I love my players. They bust their tail, and I was proud of the way they competed.”
Grantham was simply a coach protecting the people he loves. He was telling Franklin that he was not going to allow the young men he loves to be run over by a coach.
It was the Bulldogs version of what Oklahoma State head coach, Mike Gundy, did a few years ago when he lashed out reporters. Grantham was telling Franklin that he was a man and if he wanted a fight pick one with a man.
As a former coach, I say job well done, Coach Grantham!
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