John L. Smith Reacts To Valenti Rant For 1st Time; Says May Have Contributed To Firing

SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) When Mike Valenti ranted, the world listened.

Except for that one guy. And a few others.

John L. Smith, now the coach at Kentucky State University, took a few big hits in the classic college football tirade, but he says he never heard it — until now.

97.1 The Ticket’s Jeff Riger, Valenti’s fill-in co-host, got Smith on the phone near the 10-year anniversary of that infamous day to get his reaction.

“It brings back old memories, we were probably doing the same thing, wishing we could rant,” Smith said mildly when Riger played him a segment of the 17-minute rant.

Smith added: “He’s never played the game … That’s where he belongs, up in the stands, ranting.” Putting up with that stuff is part of the job for coaches and players, Smith said.

Valenti thinks the rant is his masterpiece, his major accomplishment, a career pinnacle, Riger said.

So, did Valenti get him fired? “He may have, at least contributed to it, again, if that’s your claim to fame, then God bless you. Put that on your headstone as well.”

So what does Smith think, overall, of Valenti’s claim to fame?

“It’s kind of laughable, embarrass-able, laughable, if that’s … what you’ve done, God bless him, let him put it on his headstone and rest in peace, I guess,” Smith said.

It was one of the low points of his career, Smith said, but he had no clue about the rant and doesn’t know if any of the players, like Drew Stanton, were aware of it. He said the university president at the time may have been aware because she “listened to the blogs.”

And yes, he knows the f’ing rules.

But he harbors no ill will.

“It’s great to see that you’re so famous now after your rant of I-don’t-kn0w-how-many years ago, it’s great to see you’re still doing well, I wish you the best, and rant on, big boy, rant on,” Smith said, in a message to Valenti.







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