CHARLOTTE — When Eric Mac Lain heard Paul Finebaum’s comments on John Simpson and the Clemson football program, he thought it was a little interesting.
Mac Lain, who will be a studio analyst on the new ACC Network when it launches on Aug. 22, spoke to The Clemson Insider Thursday during Day 2 of the ACC Football Kickoff at the Westin in Charlotte, and he spoke about Finebaum’s attack on the Tigers.
The SEC Network’s lead commentator went off on Simpson Wednesday evening after Clemson’s starting left guard responded to comments from Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses at SEC Media Days.
Moses did not want to give Clemson credit for being the better team in last year’s national championship game, a game Clemson won by 28 points. He also said, Georgia was the hardest team he has played against in his time at Alabama.
Simpson responded by saying Notre Dame, in his opinion, was a better team than Alabama last year. That then led to Finebaum saying Simpson’s opinion was stupid and called Clemson petty and said the Tigers did not know how to handle being winners.
“I thought it was interesting,” said Mac Lain, who played on Clemson’s 14-1 team in 2015. “At the end of the day, John Simpson played against both teams. I don’t think Finebaum has ever lined up in a college football game and played anybody.
“That is his opinion. For him to call out a young man and say it was the dumbest thing or stupidest, whatever he said, it was a little unprofessional, I thought. Really just the comments that Clemson does not know how to win was really intriguing and interesting.”
Mac Lain, who lettered and started on the offensive line at Clemson from 2012-’15, understands Finebaum is an SEC guy and he understands he is going to defend his conference and, in particular, Alabama. However, he feels his comments crossed the line a little on Wednesday.
“At the end of the day, coming after a young man like that was just a little interesting, I thought, especially someone as high profile as him,” Mac Lain said. “Whatever he can do to get reviews, reads, clicks, listenership, that is on him and his prerogative. So, it was just interesting to me.”
Mac Lain also pointed out, Finebaum has just put a chip on Clemson’s shoulder it will definitely want to knock off now.
“I think what is so interesting about it is we hear everybody in the media and how is it possible that Clemson can still be the underdog and still have a chip on their shoulder. Well, it is the media that gives them this stuff,” he said. “You just gave Dabo Swinney ammunition for the entire year. So, congratulations on that. The entire state of Alabama can thank you for the ammo that you just gave to (Clemson) to a whole new level.
“They are already going to be one of the best, if not the best, teams in the country. Now, you have given them motive and motivation. So, thanks! Appreciate it.”