Not a Fraud: Colin Cowherd says ESPN hated Swinney diatribe after beating Bama
|Friday, May 14, 2021, 4:22 PM- -|
Prior to Clemson’s victory over Alabama in the 2016 National Championship, national radio host Colin Cowherd didn’t mask his disdain for the Clemson program, saying the Tigers were a fraud and didn’t belong on the same field as the Crimson Tide. After Clemson won, head coach Dabo Swinney put Cowherd on blast. This past week, the two were able to laugh about the incident, with Swinney thanking Cowherd for the ammunition he needed to get his team fired up.
During Clemson football’s run to the national championship in the 2016-17 season, Cowherd went on his ESPN Radio show, The Herd, and talked about how he didn’t buy that the Tigers could win the national championship and he called them a fraud.
After Clemson defeated Alabama, 35-31, to win the national title, Swinney talked about it in the postgame press conference.
“You know, we wanted to play Alabama because now y'all got to change your stories, you got to change the narrative. You got to mix it up,” Swinney said after the game. “You know, the guy that called us a fraud ask Alabama if we're a fraud. Was his name Colin Cowherd? I have to ask you because I’ve never met him, don't know him. Ask Alabama if we're a fraud. Ask Ohio state if we're fraud. Ask Oklahoma if we're a fraud. The only fraud is that guy. Because he didn't do his homework. I hope y'all print that.”
On Cowherd’s podcast this week, Swinney revisited Cowherd’s comment and his own comments at the time.
“You know, I didn't even know who you were, to be honest with you. I really didn't. In fact, that's how I found out who you were, was somebody sent me your clip and I... listen, I'm thankful for you. Somebody sent me your clip,” Swinney said. “I think you called us a fraud or something. And I'm like, who the heck is this guy? I didn't know who it was, but I had a lot of fun with our team and it was great. It was one of those cool moments. And we were getting ready to play Alabama. And I don't know, somebody had gotten me this clip and I was like, this is perfect. Save that. And I'm like, who is this? And I don't do social media.
“I don't have all that stuff. I've never done that stuff. So I didn't really know, but I'm thankful for you because it was great. And it's one of those deals I say, ‘Hey boys, just get me to the press conference, just get me there. And we'll have some fun with this.’ So to be honest with you, I'd forgotten about it. And you know, you just won a national championship. You know, you got a lot going on and one of the players reminded me, ‘Hey, don't forget about that.' I'm like, 'Oh that's right. That's right.’ And so anyway, we had a little fun at your expense.”
Cowherd said he loved Swinney’s postgame comments.
“No, I love it. It's so funny. So Dabo, I come in and do about two hours of prep every morning,” Cowherd said. “So the game was over and we were all rooting for you. Because we were getting tired of Alabama. So you won. I went to bed because I have to get up early. So I didn't see the post game. So I come in for my prep and I sit there. Okay. So the prep starts about 5:50. 7:27, all the guys looked at me and they go, ‘Well, aren't you going to talk about what Dabo said?’ And I said, ‘Well, what the hell did Dabo say, what're you talking about?’ And they played it. And I went, ‘Guys, this is the lead of the show. What are we doing for two hours?’ And by the way, we loved it. I mean, I went on the air and I'm like, you know what? I own it.”
Cowherd went on to say that the powers at ESPN hated Swinney’s comments.
“I watched you twice early, because I love college football, and you struggled a little bit offensively. And I think it was, you couldn't put away NC State. And I said, 'How did these guys get here?' But it was classic,” Cowherd said. “I saw you early and I didn't catch you late. And boy, by the time you... that was a team that got much better in the last six weeks of the season. But you know, to be honest with you, we loved it. I had a ball with it and by the way, I used to work at ESPN. So I can tell you Dabo, they just hated you saying that on the air. They hated it.”