Leave Jim McKenzie Alone!

Jim McKenzie, as he answers the same question for the seventh time during a press conference. Credit: SU Athletics.

The moment the ball was snapped over Greg Paulus' head and Minnesota recovered it, center Jim McKenzie felt terrible.  After Minnesota quickly took the ball down for a touchdown, he probably spent the rest of the game beating himself up and promising to anyone within earshot it was his mistake and he was sorry.  By the time the game ended there was surely a discussion between himself and Coach Marrone as well as himself and O-line coach Greg Adkins on how to make sure it doesn't happen again. 

By the time Jim had to face the media on Monday, it probably felt a little bit like Peter getting a talking-to about his TPS report coversheet for the eighth time.  He knew he made an error and he was already moving past it.  So you can't help but feel bad for him watching his meeting with reporters in which he gets kindly grilled about the bad snap for the majority of this 9 minute session.

"Can you tell us what happened there on that first snap?"

"Were things rushed? Was the call late?"

"After that happened...did everything seem to slow down?"

"Did you know when you let go that it was a flyer?"

"Was it a case of nerves, considering the situation?  40,000 people?"

"Did you hear the crowd...or did you just know and turn and try to recover?"

"When you saw the film of it, from the side view, and saw how high it was...what was that like?"

"How's Greg handle it?"

"How were you able to move past that moment and not beat yourself up on it?"

"How did you grab the ball?"

"There were thousands of snaps in the preseason, how did you do...before the first one?"

"When did you go jump back in the film room to watch the first play?"

"How do you not let it eat at you?" (Not by talking to the media, clearly)

Kudos to Jim, he was a trooper about it.  A lesser man might have grabbed a microphone and started bludgeoning people.  I lost track of how many times McKenzie said "I take full responsibility" and "it was just a mistake" and I'm pretty sure he lost track as well.

H/T: Dan K.

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