Sorry about the quality of this video but the NFL Network cuts out the reporter questions in their presser clips and in this case that is extremely important. Take a listen:
That's Detroit News columnist Rob Parker grilling (Lions head coach Rod) Marinelli over why defensive coordinator Joe Barry hasn't been fired yet. Barry is Marinelli's son-in-law who Parker has been critical of all season long. Parker then follows Marinelli's answer by asking, "On a lighter note, do you wish your daughter had married a better defensive coordinator?"
As you can tell Marinelli was not amused and neither were the members of Fox's post game show. But Parker wrote to apologize...sort of:
I attempted to lighten the moment in a tense situation and asked Marinelli if he wished his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator...What might have seemed like a personal attack wasn't...I have asked Marinelli on numerous occasions if he's going to fire his son-in-law.
Every week, Marinelli says the same thing.
It's almost a running joke. A news conference isn't complete unless I ask it.
Sunday, with my attempt at humor, I was trying to get Marinelli to lighten up, have some fun after a rough day...Apparently, those watching replays of the news conference on TV didn't see it as humor. There's no way they could have known the relationship Marinelli and I have built, especially this trying season.
So, you see it was just a misunderstanding. The two of them have a great relationship we just didn't know about. It's just old friends teasing each other. Sorry, but I'm not buying it.
No I haven't been to all the post game press conferences but I did listen to the entire presser (available at Detroit Lions homepage) and it doesn't seem like a playful exchange. Parker says he was trying to get Marinelli to lighten up but Marinelli was very even-keeled through the whole presser. The only time the press conference gets a little tense is when Parker berates Marinelli with questions about Joe Barry (starts at 2:28 into the audio clip). Parker asks how he keeps his job and how Marinelli evaluates him. Later (4:55) they have this exchange:
Parker: Is there no way of circumstance you would fire him because he is your son-in-law?
Parker: That has anything to do with it?
Parker: But it doesn’t make sense…
Marinelli: I've worked with all these guys for years and I know what they're about...
Then the line of questioning changes and it's not until three minutes later that Parker says, "On a lighter note, do you wish your daughter had married a better defensive coordinator?" If this was meant to be a joke then Rob Parker has a worse sense of humor than Carrot Top. Maybe that's too harsh. I apologize Carrot Top. The way Marinelli ignored the question and tried to move on made it seem like he was a bit upset. Parker didn't see it that way:
Had Marinelli been upset Sunday, I would have been hurt because it would have meant he didn't see where I was coming from and what I was trying to accomplish -- humor.
Instead, Marinelli acted like he always does.
He took it and moved on.
For that, how can't you like that guy? I do. I really do.
Maybe you like Marinelli but I'm guessing he doesn't care for you and your cheap shots at his family. Nepotism is an issue that should be brought up but it doesn't warrant the cheap shot Parker leveled at Marinelli.
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UPDATE: This is the same Rob Parker who earlier this year made up a story about a Michigan State quarterback getting into a fight.