Daigle: No questions allowed from ‘nut gallery

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The next time you’re watching TV and wonder how some schmuck news reporter asks what sounds like the dumbest question in the world, hold up.

I’ve got a story for you.

Now we’ll have our moments when we shove both feet and an elbows into our mouths, but on Thursday night some total maroon topped all the media in attendance at the USM-Nebraska game.

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While head coach Jeff Bower was answering questions after the painful 38-14 loss to the Cornhuskers, the coach started to discuss the quarterback situation after true freshman Damion Carter replaced Dustin Almond.

Then a voice rose from the very back corner.

&uot;If you had to do it all over again, would have started Carter?&uot;

Bower was momentarily silent before asking him to repeat the question, which he obviously did.

&uot;I think that’s an ignorant question,&uot; Bower snapped.

That wasn’t all. Later the same voice rose again, &uot;If you had to do it all over again, would have started Almond?&uot;

&uot;Next question,&uot; Bower responded.

Turns out the schmuck &045;&160;who asked the question a third time while Bower left the room &045; wasn’t even a member of the media and was a fan who sneaked into the athletic complex after the game.

Needless to say it left Bower incensed, but not near as much as reporters in there trying to do a job. But it did highlight the biggest question following the loss after Carter came in and led the Eagles downfield to a score after the game was well out of reach.

Almond struggled Thursday, but his 4-of-24 night also included quite a few dropped balls. Carter came in and impressed, and he got the starting job Friday for this week’s game against Cincinnati.

&uot;I didn’t think we were consistent throwing the football,&uot; Bower said. &uot;I don’t know if I wanted to it that early. We were trying to get some short things (with Almond). Quarterbacks have certain things they like to do, and we tried to give him confidence in those throws.&uot;

Carter, who graduated from the same high school in New Orleans as the Manning boys (yep, those Mannings), will get the nod for the time being until junior Micky D’Angelo gets the OK to return.

The junior suffered a concussion and was in street clothes for Thursday’s game. He’ll be out for a month and had to watch the whole ordeal while just being able to cheer or console.

&uot;It was a little harder than I thought it would be,&uot; D’Angelo said. &uot;Coach Bower was giving his pregame speech, everybody is ready to play, the fire is burning and I don’t have any pads on. It was tough, but it’s something I can’t do anything about. It was hard. That was probably the loudest I heard our student section.&uot;

So D’Angelo went into big brother mode for the two younger quarterbacks &045; telling Almond to keep his head up and Carter to stay focused and run the offense.

Heck, D’Angelo ought to know since he was benched last year for Almond before getting the nod to return.

On Carter: &uot;It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next week,&uot; D’Angelo said. &uot;I’m proud of him. When he had his chance to play, he was ready.&uot;

Adam Daigle

is sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. You can reach him at (601) 445-3632 or by e-mail at