Angry Wyche slams Times
Rick Gershman, The St.Petersburg Times, published 11 December 1995

Sam Wyche had plenty to say Sunday about the media - specifically, the Times - none of it good. Wyche, portrayed in a Sunday analysis as a coach who has lost some of his players' respect, took the paper to task in a post-game tirade after the team's 13-10 overtime victory.

"We had to (get past) a lot of things on the way, a negative article in the St. Pete Times; it's unbelievable how absolute untruths can be wound around and try to destroy a team," Wyche said. "They really tried to destroy a coach, actually, is what it was. It was a nice try, the players responded. But lies are lies ... It's unfortunate this football team has to put up with it. It will be interesting to see the headlines, it will be that we got lucky ... We all know that I'm not a very good coach. I don't motivate very well ... and I don't organize very well. That's their sleazy little way."

Wyche took specific exception to one part of the article. "I would like to point out one lie, it's just an out-and-out, blatant lie in the Minnesota game, I think it's like 30-odd seconds (to play), we have no timeouts, we are down by two touchdowns, and we give the ball to Errict Rhett ... There's where they make up a story that (suggests Wyche) says, `Don't go, guys!' ... Someone makes up a lie that there was a confrontation between coaches - there was not even a conversation between coaches about that; we just wanted to eat the clock up and Errict happened to pop it loose. It makes you sad - it's sad to see that the interesting thing about that is I canceled (the Times) so long ago that I don't ever read it."

Wyche, who was given a chance to read the analysis before it was published, had this to say about the offer, made by its author, staff writer Don Banks: "Here, how about this, the Times comes to me and says, we're going to bury you. We're going to kill you. We're going to destroy you. Those were the guy's words. We want you to read this story on Friday. We want you to read it. Only you can read it ... We want to watch you read it, and then watch your reaction, and then you can respond to this story. How low can you get? ... It's been tough on this football team and tough on thousands of great fans, great fans that support us all the way through.

"When we have won, we've had the chance to celebrate, the paper was so negative. Papers. The (Tampa) Tribune's just as guilty ... The fans, because of the media, were unable to enjoy the excitement of a good year - then, of course, the next day in the paper, the next day in the Tribune, the headline says, `Sam criticizes fans.' "