Detroit News columnist Rob Parker says he was just joking when he asked Lions head coach Rod Marinelli if he "wishes his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator?" Wow. Some joke.
And that, folks, may be the biggest prick move of the season ... or was it the savviest?
Parker's unfortunate question at the Lions post-game press conference on Sunday was handled with class by Marinelli; Detroit's head coach just grunted and moved on (I suspect that Jim Mora or Mike Ditka may have reacted differently). But it didn't take long for others to pounce on Parker, as we see in the video when Terry Bradshaw and the other the Fox desk jockeys begin gnawing on him. Less than 24 hours later, Parker is a virtual outcast. Take a look at his Wikipedia page, for instance, where I found this little embellishment:
Ha. Sunday's question of course was in reference to Lions defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who is married to Marinelli's daughter. Parker says it was all in fun, and apologized in a column that was hastily put up on the News' web site this morning. But more likely, it may have been just another attempt by Parker to draw attention to himself. At the beginning of the season, no one knew who Rob Parker was; he is by all accounts a pretty average journalist with poor writing skills. But after a little run-in with the Michigan State football folks earlier this year — for which he also has apologized — and now this, he's really getting his name out there, no?
Granted, it's getting out there in the same way that Jay Mariotti and Gregg Doyel do (although both are better writers), with various epithets attached. But it is getting out there. And that could be important, considering the shape that the Daily News is in. If Parker isn't fired over this latest controversy, he may soon be out of a job anyway. Name recognition isn't such a bad thing when you're looking for a job, and if you're seen as an antagonist, all the better.
Parker has been working on this act for longer than people suspect: Remember when he called Hank Aaron a coward? Parker may just be trying to survive the only way he knows how, by marching through the Internets banging a large pot with a metal spoon. Chances are he's on the radio somewhere right now explaining himself, and if so, chances are excellent that it's an ESPN station. Anyway, when you see him next month trading bon mots with Woody Paige on Around the Horn, you'll know why.
Post-game Ugliness In Motown [Pro Football Talk]
There's More To Marinelli [The Detroit News]
Parker Is Either A Liar Or Has An Awful Sense Of Humor [Real Clear Sports]