Graham Couch is Really, Really, Really Bad at His Job

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By Mihir Bhatnagar
mihir.bhatnagar@gmail.com
May 16, 2016

If you have been following this website for even a short period of time, you know that this town has a plethora of terrible media personalities. From beat writers like Anthony “The Beast” Fenech to afternoon talk-show hosts such as Terry Foster, there is no shortage of downright idiotic takes being spewed on a daily basis here in the Motor City.

However, just when you all thought that we had our hands full with policing the media based in Southeast Michigan, a dopey-looking columnist from this State’s capital named Graham Couch came across our radar.

You see, I currently attend the University of Michigan. Like any diehard Wolverine, I follow @MGoBlog, otherwise known as Brian Cook.

So when Cook compared this gentleman to a dog in February 2015, it piqued my interest.

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Why would one of the country’s most popular bloggers go out of his way to compare this relative nobody with fewer than 8,000 Twitter followers at the time to an animal not known for its intellectual prowess? Upon doing some of my own research over the past year, I now fully understand the grievances of Brian Cook, 11 Warriors , and countless other fans of collegiate expoitation athletics across the country. I have come to the following conclusion: Lansing State Journal fanboy columnist Graham Couch is one of the dumbest individuals I’ve ever encountered.

The Cheerleading

My biggest gripe with Couch is that he is total slapdick shill for whichever team he is covering. Before he joined the Lansing State Journal in 2012, Couch worked for the Kalamazoo Gazette, covering Western Michigan University Athletics.

Before the Broncos faced off against Wolverines to open their 2011 college football season, Couch wrote that Western Michigan’s Alex Carder was the best QB in the state, better than the likes of Kirk Cousins and Denard Robinson.

Mind you, Robinson was coming off a season in which he was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and Cousins was returning after his redshirt junior season in which he completed 67% of his passes, finished 18th nationally in passing efficiency, and led his team to 11 wins. Here’s what Couch wrote at the time:

“I think Alex Carder is the best college quarterback in the state. Denard Robinson is a great athlete, but I’d bet you if Carder were in that program, they’d find a different role (flanker, perhaps) for Robinson. MSU’s Kirk Cousins isn’t even close.”

Just forget for one moment that Carder played against vastly inferior competition in the Mid-American Conference while at Western. Robinson and Cousins put up HIGHER PASSER EFFICIENCY NUMBERS in 2010. IN THE BIG TEN. And Robinson was one of the most prolific running QBs in COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY while playing in Ann Arbor.

Not only was Couch’s take horrid at the time, it looks even sillier in hindsight, as Cousins is enjoying a lucrative and successful career in the NFL, while Carder is currently playing for something called the AIF (American Indoor Football). Hahahahahaha.

After leaving the Kalamazoo Gazette, Couch took his idiocy talents to Lansing to shill write for the Lansing State Journal, mostly covering Michigan State athletics. Throughout his four years at the LSJ, he has proven time and time again to be one of program’s biggest cheerleaders. Since this article will run longer than the Panama Papers if I document each instance, I’ll limit it to a select few.

When highly-touted basketball star Tyler Ulis was deciding on a school in the Fall of 2013, it came down to Kentucky, Michigan State, and Iowa. Picking a university to attend is a life-altering choice in itself, and it’s especially difficult when you’re a five-star basketball recruit.

The decision is up to the 18-year-old and his/her immediate family, and them alone. Whatever the decision is, it should be met with celebration and nothing more. However, the ever so “objective” Couch decided to pen an article stating why Ulis should attend MSU over Kentucky and Iowa

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Interestingly enough, the article is no longer available on the LSJ website. Hmmmm. Get a load of these thoughts:

“This Sunday, he ought to touch the court in Lexington and channel a “Hoosiers” moment: “This one is for all the small guards who never had a chance to get here.”

And then Ulis ought to be careful.

Because Kentucky is a program that doesn’t take his kind very often and, history shows, has no problem discarding what it doesn’t want as soon as it doesn’t need it.”

News flash: There aren’t many 5’8” kids playing high-level D-1 hoops, period. Of course Kentucky (and other schools) don’t take “his kind” very often. Ulis just happened to have elite talent. Which is why Kentucky wanted him, dummy.

“Ulis would be wise to make sure he doesn’t jump at the glitz and prestige of his latest suitor at the expense of his college basketball experience.”

Yeah, who wouldn’t want to play for a coach who has had NINETEEN first-round NBA draft picks in 6 seasons at Kentucky? Who are you to tell a kid where he should attend school? How would you feel if some lightweight columnist were telling your kid where to attend school? I’m not even sure the Michigan State University admissions office could write such a glowing piece on why a potential student should attend school in East Lansing!!

Oh, and you totally nailed this one, chief.

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Not only did Ulis declare for the NBA Draft after his sophomore season, in which he finished third in Player of the Year voting, but he’s also ranked as the 19th-best prospect in the upcoming draft. So close, Graham. So close.

Another example of Couch’s cheerleading can be seen in the manner in which he ran to defend Michigan State QB Connor Cook against vociferous critics. If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that Cook was very successful in his time at MSU, going 34-5 as a starter.

While he was a proven winner and has immense talent, there were ample questions regarding Cook’s personality, his background and his accuracy when playing at the next level.

Numerous NFL personnel discussed these issues throughout the Fall and leading up to the draft, albeit without much detail. Anyone with even the slightest bit of objectivity would tell you that there were some major concerns with Cook, and that the questions surrounding him were legitimate. However, East Lansing’s resident fanboy was quick to dismiss any of Cook’s detractors in an embarrassing article published in December 2015 . Get a load of this nonsense:

“Connor Cook is an easy target for criticism. Because he’s interesting. And authentic. And flawed. Like every interesting person.”

Do you mean he’s interesting in that almost everyone who meets him seems to have some sort of problem with him?

“The awareness that makes Cook such an incredible quarterback on the field sometimes escapes him in other public settings.”

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Is using illegal drugs while at the club and broadcasting it to others not a good idea?

“He can be oblivious — as he was when he took the MVP trophy from Griffin. He can be snippy and emotional. He can also be engaging and polite. Most importantly, whatever he is in a given moment is real. He is not a con artist.”

Boy, you got that right. He’s not fooling anyone when he’s acting like a total douche to his fellow Spartans!!!

“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted an anonymous NFL scout as saying, ‘How much does he really like (football)? How much is he going to work at it? He likes being a celebrity.’ God help the team who employs this anonymous scout. He clearly missed Cook morphing from an erratic sophomore who lost a position battle to Andrew Maxwell, to being considered the nation’s top senior quarterback — hence the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.”

Is this moron actually deriding a scout for remaining anonymous? Does he not understand how scouting reports work? And way to make it sound as if beating out ANDREW MAXWELL was some noteworthy accomplishment. He STUNK. Being successful in college vs. being successful in the NFL is a HUGE difference. Signed, Johnny Manziel.

“Cook will get his chance to answer his critics eye to eye. He’ll have to explain why his teammates saw three other players more fitting to be their captains. And admit that, like every normal, red-blooded college quarterback, he enjoys the fruits of his existence. He is, after all, living the dream. He should enjoy it. I’d resent him if he didn’t.”

Don’t think there’s something fishy about the fact that his teammates chose not to elect a returning three-year starting quarterback as a captain??? And how many future NFL quarterbacks are getting lit up every Wednesday night in the midst of a national championship run? Why are you admitting that you would resent a kid if he didn’t go out to bars multiple times every week?

Do you resent Kirk Cousins for holding bible studies rather than “snorting coke off tables”? It takes a special kind of stupid to publicly advocate for felonious activities in order for to fit the image of “Big Man on Campus”. What is wrong with you? Really objective take there, Graham Cracker!!

Despite the writing being on the wall, Couch remained defiant when Cook slid all the way to the fourth round of the NFL Draft. It was abundantly clear that NFL personnel were scared off by all of the personality questions surrounding Cook. Yet, the fanboy had the audacity to tweet this:

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I don’t even know where to begin with this. For one, Cook’s shoulder was determined to be just fine by multiple doctors in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Second, NFL teams don’t give a shit about injuries if the prospect is talented enough. Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith might not even play this year and they were still taken in the second round.

Third, the whole world outside of the Lansing media saw this coming. I’m sure NFL personnel only had it out for Cook and no other prospects, which is why discussion about his personality was plentiful. You and your co-workers were the only ones to dismiss these concerns. Fourth, what does it say about someone if they are HEALTHY, have FIRST ROUND TALENT, and STILL fall in the draft? There are no red flags surrounding Connor Cook in Couch’s book, though. Move along, nothing to see here!

Couch continued:

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Keep banging that drum, Graham! Ron Jaworski is also the same guy who said that Colin Kaepernick could be a Hall of Famer. Hahahaha. Take the L and move on. But wait!

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Uh, maybe his teammates don’t give a shit because they know he’s a prick. Keep dying on that hill!

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So people are being vitriolic when they’re simply stating the truth? And who are you, his parent? What objective “journalist” in their right mind would even think of tweeting this out? Also, probably not the best idea to throw stones from a glass house. We’ll get to that later…

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You really suck at arguing, Graham. What does it say when NFL Scouts thought JaMarcus Russell was worth the risk, but Connor Cook wasn’t? By the way, let’s not get carried away here. Cook only completed 57.5% of his passes in college. I’m no talent evaluator, but that doesn’t exactly strike me as “elite.”

Mind you, the preceding tweets caused the excellent quartet of Mike Rothstein, Kyle Meinke, Justin Rogers and Josh Katzenstein to bomb Couch. Are they part of the “peanut gallery” too, Graham?

The Takes

In addition to being a total homer, Couch has some of the worst takes you’ll ever see, encompassing a variety of topics. Again, there are dozens of them, so I’ll focus on some of the more egregious ones.

MLK Day

You may have read our piece concerning Couch’s PUBLIC comments about the nature of MLK Day. But what many of you don’t know is that he doubled down on those insane tweets later that night in direct messages to me on Twitter.

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So because Martin Luther King Day occurs during the Winter, it is less important than either Memorial Day or Labor Day? By Couch’s logic, kids should be in school during Labor Day to learn about labor. I can’t believe a fully grown adult in his thirties can’t grasp what the core concept of a holiday is. And why is it that people only bitch about the African-American events/holidays? For the record, I don’t think Graham Couch is a racist. He SEEMS to be a liberal dude. I just think he isn’t very bright. At all.

NBA

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Golden State sure struggled en route to setting an NBA record for most wins in a regular season. It took them all of five games in each round to dispatch the Rockets and Trail Blazers. With Steph Curry only playing in four out of a possible ten games.

Speaking of Curry, Graham had this to say about the league MVP after he had an off-night, despite the best basketball player in the world shooting 43.5% from 3 in the preceding five games. As you can see, Graham has a tendency to make ridiculous statements burying a person or a team at the first sign of trouble.

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Graham wanted the Pistons to play a team that has yet to lose a game this postseason. When the other team they could have played had to play seven games to dispatch both a bad Indiana team and a less-than-stellar Miami squad. Mind you, Toronto doesn’t have a single superstar on its roster, and its coach is a total disaster. I’m sure the Pistons learned a lot about themselves by not experiencing a single victory this postseason!!!

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And there there are his Tweets about the Oklahoma City Thunder ……

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Couch doesn’t think a team that just dispatched a 67-win team in the second round is a title contender. Are you a contender if you are one of four teams (out of thirty) that still has a shot to win a title??? The best part about these tweets is that he doesn’t think that OKC is “world’s better” than either Atlanta or Miami. Hahahahahaha.

College Basketball

Couch was historically atrocious in commenting about the 2015-16 college basketball season. He buried EIGHT of the Sweet 16 teams at one point, including each Final Four team. Given that he was so rough on many of these teams after one tough stretch or one bad loss, you’d think he would have said something about MSU after they dropped three in a row in January. Well, he didn’t. I wonder why!!!

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The Sooners made the Final Four.

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Kansas defeated Oklahoma twice, won the very strong Big 12 by two games, and lost in the final minute to eventual champion Villanova in the Elite Eight. Kentucky couldn’t make it out of the second round.

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Duke ended up as a 4-seed and reached the Sweet 16. Sure seems like a bubble team to me!

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Well, both Syracuse and Notre Dame were in the Elite Eight. So they’re kind of elite by definition. And you’re right, Graham. Syracuse wouldn’t win the NIT. Because they were too busy playing in the FINAL FOUR.

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When Couch first broadcast the fact that he had left Maryland off of his Top 25 ballot, they were 22-5 and ranked #6 in the country the previous week. This take was so bad that he got bombed nationally by people such as Sportscenter anchor and Maryland alum Scott Van Pelt.

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Unfortunately for Graham, Maryland was not “done early” in March. After going toe-to-toe with MSU in the Big Ten Tournament Final, the Terrapins reached the Sweet 16. Not bad for a team that isn’t among the 25 best in America!!!


Indiana beat Iowa both times they matched up this past season, en route to winning the B1G regular season title by two games. Oh, and they defeated a very good Kentucky team in the NCAA tournament before losing to eventual runner-up North Carolina in the Sweet 16. Wrong again!

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Gonzaga only obliterated their first two opponents in the NCAA Tournament before losing a nail-biter to eventual Final Four participant Syracuse in the Sweet 16. But they’re “mediocre.”

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Is winning both the ACC Regular Season title and the ACC Tournament Title, and losing on a buzzer-beater in the National Championship game the sign of a good team?? I love the bravado in claiming that he could coach better than Roy Williams, too. Are you better than Tom Izzo then, since Izzo is 0-7 vs. Roy Williams in his career?

Roy must be doing something right if no other school or coach has won more championships than e has since he started coaching at North Carolina. And spare me the argument about Roy having “thoroughbreds.” UNC had TWO players projected to be drafted on this year’s roster. The same number as MSU. Yet you seem awfully quiet when it comes to either MSU’s or Izzo’s failures. Wonder why!!! Try nailing a few takes before taking over for Roy Williams.

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These are my favorite tweets from the college basketball collection. Look how confident this buffoon was in burying the eventual national champion.

Don’t worry, Graham. There’s always next year.

The Behavior

I will preface this section with the following information: I met Graham Couch in-person back in February at Crisler Center when Michigan State was facing off against Michigan. We had a nice conversation lasting a few minutes, and I came away thinking that Graham was a nice guy. Not many media personalities are inviting to their critics, but Couch was more than happy to engage with me. I do respect that, especially when there are countless members of said audience bombing you. That being said, there are many instances in which Couch has gone about fighting back against his critics in a laughably dumb manner.

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This website’s co-founder and editor-in-chief first reported that Jim Harbaugh was coming to Michigan in early December 2014. Mind you, this is a man who attended Eastern Michigan University and has gone on record as saying that he doesn’t give two shits about collegiate athletics.

Hell, this is the same guy who enraged Wal-Marts everywhere when he brought us the PeruBall issue. But he’s a Michigan “fanboy”, right? Also, how dare you lump New York Times Best-selling author John U. Bacon in the “fanboy” category. The guy has made a career out of exposing the inner workings of Michigan Football. Probably not best to throw stones from a glass house, Graham.

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I’ve lost track of how many times Couch has told his critics, “You don’t know me.” What’s your point, Graham? Your critics judge you based on the things you tweet, write, and say. We don’t have to personally know you in order to comment about your work. And keep telling yourself that you’re not a fanboy. I’m sure TONS of newspaper columnists are tweeting about how Coach K “stole” from MSU and how potential recruits should attend the school that they cover for a living.

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I’m sorry I wasn’t “living it up” on that particular Saturday night, Graham. Do you “resent” me for not doing lines of coke off of a UM co-ed’s chest?

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Ah, how original. All that’s missing is a blast about living in my parents’ basement. Too bad one of my hobbies is exposing frauds like you. And I’ve been dating my high school sweetheart going on four years. Try harder next time, dawg.

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Again, it’s probably not the best idea to tell other people that they “don’t know shit” when you’ve proven time and time again to be wrong about EVERYTHING.

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I love the arrogance in this tweet. People are part of the “peanut gallery” if they call you out on your awful opinions. Not to mention that this website’s former managing editor probably got more hits on his articles than you ever have.

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Pointing out an asinine take is immature? That’s news to me.

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Who could ever understand the “biz”, Graham? Jeff has been monitoring the media in this state for over 13 years. A person working at this small company called ESPN approached him about writing for this site. And the co-hosts of one of the most popular talk-shows in the country?

They also approached Moss about writing for this site. Also, Jeff has over 5,000 more Twitter followers than you do. A recent poll showed that the overwhelming majority of his followers only know about you through him bombing you. If anything, he’s elevating YOU by offering to debate. Too bad you’re too much of a coward to agree to one.

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What “grinding” have you ever done, Graham? I’m still waiting for the reason as to why Max Bullough was suspended. Hell, Josh Katzenstein covers the Lions for a living and he still managed to find out more information about Connor Cook than you ever did. And YOU COVERED HIM EXCLUSIVELY FOR FOUR YEARS.

The next story you break or the next tough question you ask at a presser will be your first. Please tell me more about how you grind, though. And how original of you to take a jab at Spi’s socio-economic status. Should he hate himself for being born to wealthy parents? Should he not ever speak to you because he has the means to travel across the country to watch his beloved Spartans? He could live in a tin shack, and you would still be a dopey, lightweight “journalist”.

Not only does Couch offend his audience with inane takes, he also spams them to no end. After writing an article about A FOURTH DIVISION SOCCER TEAM, Couch tweeted it out SEVEN times in 24 HOURS. I love soccer, and even I don’t give two shits about something called Lansing United. Couch claims that each time his articles are tweeted out, there is a spike in web traffic. If that’s the case, why are you the only one who spams their audience, Graham? Are you some sort of visionary?

After reading 4,000 words about Graham Couch’s awfulness, I hope you have a better idea of who we’re dealing with here. This man is a total joke and must be viewed as one by the public. Couch bowed out in the “Shitty 16” in the most recent DSR Worst Media Personality Tournament. Let’s make sure he doesn’t exit that early next year.