During every postgame press conference no journalist has badgered Lions coach Rod Marinelli more than the Detroit News' Rob Parker. Parker has asked downright ridiculous questions at times in hopes of getting Marinelli to say something controversial, and Marinelli has never taken the bait. Despite the losing and the tough times, I respect Marinelli for staying so classy throughout this entire season. I can't say the same about Parker, though.
Parker has always been an awful journalist, and I'll admit that I have despised him for years. He is a lazy writer that only has the goal of drumming up controversy. That is obvious during his segment on WDIV's Sports Final Edition, where he spews unfounded rumors that are untrue 99% of the time.
Once he said that Michigan basketball player Manny Harris was caught at a drug house in Detroit. Guess what? That wasn't true. Another time he said that Michigan receiver Mario Manningham was suspended for the season, and surprise, surprise, that never ended up happening.
The most recent example was perhaps the worst unfounded rumor of all. He said that Michigan State backup quarterback Kirk Cousins was involved in a fight between football and hockey players that will result in charges being filed in the coming days (the fight happened in October). MSU head coach Mark Dantonio came to Cousins' defense and called Parker out. Parker ended up getting suspended from his column and apologized to the Cousins family, as he was caught making up things that didn't happen.
As you can already see, Parker is a disgrace to his profession, and he keeps making himself look worse and worse with every question he asks Rod Marinelli. It has gotten to the point where Parker will ask the same questions over and over again because Marinelli won't answer them in a controversial way. Parker's questions are intended only to produce something controversial, and that was evident earlier today.
Parker decided to repeatedly ask Marinelli about defensive coordinator Joe Barry's job status and whether or not he will be fired considering he is Marinelli's son-in-law. Marinelli answered the question by talking about how he is in the meetings, he is the one in charge, and he is the one that finalizes the scouting reports. Marinelli came to Barry's defense in his response, and quite honestly, I felt that the question was answered. Parker didn't, though, and continued to press on. Marinelli somehow managed to keep his cool and remained classy throughout all of this. How he did that is beyond me, especially considering what Parker was about to ask.
With Marinelli not taking the bait and keeping his cool despite the constant badgering, Parker asked one of the most classless questions I have ever heard: "Do you wish your daughter married a better defensive coordinator." Marinelli was speechless and didn't respond to the question, as it was completely ridiculous and uncalled for. It's one thing to spew lies, ask the same questions over and over again, and be a lazy journalist. But to take such a cheap shot at Joe Barry, Marinelli, and their family is absolutely ridiculous.
The repercussions of that question should be tremendous. Parker shouldn't have a job in the first place, but after his latest actions, he should be fired immediately by the Detroit News. WDIV should not allow him back on their TV station, and ESPN should never allow him in their TV studios or on their radio. It's not like he has done anything to deserve these jobs in the first place and his actions both on TV and in the press room are reprehensible.
Regardless of your opinion of Rod Marinelli and Joe Barry as coaches, there is no place for people like Parker in the press room. I think FOX's Terry Bradshaw said it best when he called Parker a "flat idiot." Actually, each of the analysts on FOX's wrap-up show took turns bashing Parker. Michael Strahan said that Parker shouldn't be a reporter; he should be an ex-reporter. Howie Long said "Rod Marinelli, through all of this -- the good and bad -- has handled himself with class; I don't think that reporter can make that statement." Finally, Jimmy Johnson called him a jerk, which is 100% true.
UPDATE: Here is a video of the question and the FOX analysts calling him out.
Rob Parker needed to be fired long before now, but if this isn't the straw that breaks the camel's back, then what is? The Detroit News, his main employer, needs to terminate his contract immediately, as I can't even imagine what this idiot will do next. If you would like to voice your displeasure over Parker's actions, e-mail or call these people from the Detroit News (click on the names for their e-mail addresses):
Ruben Luna (313) 223-4642
Editor and Publisher
Jonathan Wolman (313) 222-2110
Donald W. Nauss (313) 222-2368
Editorial Page Editor
Nolan Finley (313) 222-2064
Deputy Managing Editor
Gary Miles (313) 222-2594
Assistant Managing Editor
Felecia Henderson (313) 223-2557
You may not like the job that Rod Marinelli has done as a football coach, but he has handled himself with class at all times. No coach, especially Marinelli, should have to be subjected to Rob Parker ever again. I hope the Lions revoke Parker's press credentials for next week, and I hope the Detroit News revokes Parker's status as an employee, making sure he will never be allowed to ask such a dumb question ever again.