Florham Park, N.J.– All week long the majority of the stories you’ve been reading and or listening to have been about the Jets continually spewing their hatred through disrespectful comments. I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The truth? Welcome to the New York area tabloid media hype machine.
The fact is, these dramatic headlines are nothing more than a media creation. Take a quote and twist it completely out of context here and there, then let other reporters run with it and all of a sudden it’s all anyone wants to talk about.
It started last week, when Rex Ryan made an innocent comment about Peyton Manning being the most prepared quarterback in the league. Sure maybe Ryan shouldn’t have brought Tom Brady’s name into the discussion, but did Ryan really say anything that is either a) insulting or b) even remotely debatable?
Isn’t the commonly accepted school of thought that Manning is the smartest quarterback in the league? Isn’t his superior ability to read and pick apart defenses known as the biggest reason for his success?
No one said Brady was dumb, or wasn’t always prepared himself, Ryan just said what everyone has ever said when comparing the two, Manning studies harder and Brady does benefit from having the help of Bill Belichick.
Who could really argue with what Ryan said? Not Brady, that’s for sure. Last week Brady agreed with Ryan saying Belichick does help his game preparation immensely.
Then after the Jets beat the Colts, Ryan was asked about his thoughts on Brady attending the play, “Lombardi,” instead of watching the game live, “Peyton Manning would have been watching our game.” Ryan said, clearly joking as he couldn’t contain the gigantic smile on his face no matter how hard he tried.
Brady’s reaction, “Maybe Rex is right. Maybe Peyton would have been watching.”
Those two comments by Ryan are responsible for all the Rex Ryan zings/disses Brady headlines that have been manufactured over the past couple of weeks.
Which is crazy, because I fail to see how pointing out the same thing everyone else has always said about Manning’s study habits is somehow translated into a taking a jab at Brady, especially since everything else Ryan said about Brady involves the words; Hall-of-Fame, one of if not the best quarterbacks in history and a great competitor.
But of course those quotes don’t stir up any drama, so why even bother mentioning them?
This is what, I learned in every single journalism class I ever took, is called ‘sensationalism.’
Dictionary.reference.com defines sensationalism as; “1. subject matter, language, or style producing or designed to produce startling or thrilling impressions or to excite and please vulgar taste. 2. Or the use of or interest in this subject matter, language, or style: The cheap tabloids relied on sensationalism to increase their circulation.“
Now consider Antonio Cromartie’s, so called, inflammatory comments. Cromartie talked to a huge group of reporters for over 20 minutes on Tuesday, never once even coming close to broaching the subject of disrespecting the Patriots or Brady, eventually it seems like he got sick of answering the same questions and replied with an off-the-cuff remark about his dislike of Brady.
But he said he hates Brady, So what?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Brady say earlier in the year that he hated the Jets? Somehow that’s okay, but because Cromartie hasn’t won a ring he isn’t allowed to voice his displeasure for the guy responsible for ending his season multiple times?
Cromartie makes one comment and all of a sudden it’s ‘the entire Jets locker room needs to stop talking and focus on trying to win, the locker room is out-of-control and will be their undoing.’
Funny, but isn’t that the same recycled story line that has been written the entire season?
The Jets have been under enough control to get this far, no matter how many different articles were written each week about the Jets needing to backup Ryan’s talk or forever shut up.
Problem is, it seems like every time this is said, the Jets step up and prove Ryan right. So maybe it’s time for the writers to start looking for a different angle and you know, actually talk about football.
The sensationalism shouldn’t surprise anyone, this is the New York media and with the Giants not playing anymore there’s only one football team around to cover, with way more reporters than necessary to cover them. Since Tuesday I’ve seen reporters slyly slink around trying to bait Jets player a), then when player a) doesn’t bite, well then it’s on to the next one.
It was only a matter of time before at least one player fell for the trap, but the entire Jets locker room? Hardly.
“I laughed (laughing). I laughed and if that’s how Cro’ feels than that’s his opinion.” Darrelle Revis said, “I don’t know, you’d have to ask everybody in this locker room and ask them how they feel about Brady.
“I respect him, I respect him as a player. He’s a great player (and) he’s a great quarterback.”
Jason Taylor said, “He’s the best quarterback in the league.” Mark Sanchez said, “(I have) a ton of respect. I think he’s one of the best in the league and he’s prepping to have a great game, so we need to play well on defense.”
Not quite fighting words are they?
The reality is the players find all this nonsense to be hilarious, the majority of them answered just like Revis, they laughed and they find it comical that, that’s all anyone wants to talk about during the 45 minutes the media has to talk to them, which of course means Bart Scott took advantage of the spotlight.
“Oh, what did they say?” Scott asked when he was questioned for his feelings towards his teammates comments. “Man, ya’ll just going to put that on me in front of the camera first? You ain’t even going to ask me on the side so I can prepare an answer? What’d he say?”
When he was told, in exaggerated detail (but what else would you expect from the New York media these days), what Cromartie said Scott replied, “Dang, can you say that on camera? So what do you want me to…What are you asking?”
Can’t blame Scott for his confusion, the reporters were trying to bait him so there really wasn’t a question posed to him, so after they gathered themselves they came up with the question, “is it true?”
“Maybe they got some beef or something. I don’t know, did he take his lunch money or something?” Scott joked, “He didn’t give him a high-five …”
The truth is Cromartie and his teammate LT, in both San Diego and here with the Jets, brought their hatred for the Patriots with them. The Chargers were in the discussion for Super Bowl contention year after year during their tenure and even though they managed to upset Peyton Manning and the Colts a couple of times, they often found themselves sent packing by the Patriots.
Then of course there was the fact that many of the Patriots were seen dancing on the Chargers logo after they bounced the Chargers from the 2007 playoffs.
When Scott was told that might be the reasoning for Cromartie’s feelings Scott said, “Oh, okay maybe that’s it. I don’t know, personally I don’t feel that way… I’m a Michigan fan.”
Okay Scott, you may not feel that way, but how do you feel about the trash-talking going on?
“Man are you serious? There’s trash-talking going on? No, alright listen, I’m part of the peace core, okay can’t we all just get along? Hopefully we have a great football game, it’s good for the fans, hopefully we can win.” Scott said, “We know it’s going to be tough sledding, tough environment, they’re rested. They’re playing the best football of any team in the NFL, but we’re just trying to be the better team on Sunday.”
What about possibly awakening a ‘sleeping giant,’ with all the media hype?
“I’m not afraid of anybody, come on man. This is the NFL, if you need bulletin-board material to be motivated then you probably sucked to begin with.” Scott said, “If you can’t get hyped for the playoffs then you really don’t have a pulse, you must playing for money or something.”
I’m sure someone reading this is asking, well what about the comments made by Ryan and some of the players about Brady’s, “antics on the field,” him possibly pointing or taunting the Jets. I’m not ignoring it, but I’m also not ignoring the fact that he clearly did do what some of the Jets said he did. See for yourself here.
Now I’m not saying Brady shouldn’t have done that, he has every right to, but at the same time the Jets shouldn’t enjoy seeing that. A couple of Jets and their coach noticed it and it rubbed them the wrong way, not because they felt Brady crossed a line, but because they were pissed they allowed him to have something to celebrate. Revis, Taylor, Dwight Lowery and Ryan himself were just a few of the people who said, ultimately if they don’t want to see him celebrate, then they just have to stop him from having anything to celebrate about.
Scott’s response to Brady’s “antics on the field.”
“See what?… He’s a football player, man you’re not going to draw me in, that’s a rookie question.” Scott said, before the reporter asked if he’s seen what’s been going on the last couple of days. “Not at all. I got blinders on, I got my eyes on the prize.”
So, so disrespectful. I’m so appalled. Okay so yeah, no I’m not. Maybe if I only read the headlines I might be, but nope I’ve been here every day this week, only one player has had anything negative about Brady and the coach has been heaping praise on Brady and Belichick all week. So really what’s appalling to me is how distorted everyone’s view has become from two or three comments.
Take a look at what’s going on with the Ravens and Steelers right now. Terrell Suggs called the Ravens grudge match against the Steelers, “armageddon,’ and “WWIII.” Other players from both sides are also going out of their way to to share just how much they despise each other and not only is this not a problem, it’s celebrated, but Rex being Rex, hamming it up for the media and one comment from Cromartie and all of a sudden the Jets have no class and can’t shut their mouths.
There is without a doubt a lot of hot-air coming from the Jets facilities in Florham Park, but the truth is, it’s fabricated nonsense coming from the media, because many of them simply enjoy talking about gossip more than football.
Even with all the insanity filling the interwebs, sports-talk radio and television shows there is a certain calmness that has been brewing inside the locker room. The reporters may be running around like chickens with no heads, but the players are relaxed and focused on the task at hand, just like last week.
That task? Beating the hated Patriots, because even though Cromartie was the only player to actually say those words, this time of year, in this situation it’s the players job to hate any team standing in their way.
“You shouldn’t like who you are up against right now. This is the playoffs. I can tell you our whole football team respects Brady and the Patriots.” Ryan said, “There’s no question, but hey, we don’t like any of them right now. You shouldn’t. Danny Woodhead is a great kid, but I can’t stand Danny Woodhead right now.”
So, so disrespectful. I’m so appalled. Okay so yeah, no I’m not and neither should anyone else.
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