As you may have heard, Number Two (our own Drew Cohen) kicked up a little fuss with Jason Babin and his person late last week.
Babin expressed some sympathy for DeSean Jackson when the wide receiver was slapped with a franchise tag that will pay him roughly $9.4 million next year.
Admittedly, the sort of one-sided negotiation that comes with a franchise tag (hint: there is no negotiation) certainly favors teams, and being tagged is usually not a desirable outcome for players.
We get that.
Most fans do, too.
But Babin heard about it on Twitter when he openly felt for DeSean, who was just granted a paycheck worth more than what most of us will make in our lifetimes. And he did himself no favors when he responded by telling fans that they (we?) didn’t get it and offering up a link to 13 foods that will make us smarter.
We heard from Babin’s publicist, who at first offered us an interview, then later denied her own request. She told us that we didn’t get it and went on Twitter immediately following an exchange with Drew. Her Tweet:
You want an interview with my client yet you write derogatory statements about him.. Then you wonder why you don’t get a response from me.
Someone needs to look up the word derogatory.
More from Babin’s publicist, via email:
I stick by what I said that people did not understand what Jason was saying and as Drew said the 90% of the fans (which is a grossly exaggerated number) do not understand what he is saying exactly either.
We will be declining any further comment.
They commented further.
I was on the WIP Morning Show yesterday to talk about Babin’s Tweets and our take on his words. Later in the day, Babin joined Anthony Gargano and Dan Klecko to attempt to clarify himself.
He didn’t do a very good job:
“Franchise tag, it’s a lot of money. But at the same time it’s a scary proposition because, you know, if you get hurt before the season, during the season, you know… they can release you and only pay you medical, which is substantially lower, I think. There’s risk involved. Everyone loves a long-term contract. There’s a variable you can’t measure: the hierarchy, the feeling.”
“Really, obviously money is a part of it, but when you get to this level, when you get those big contracts, it’s kind of like a status symbol. You’re revered by your peers, your people, media and fans, OK? You know? Until you get that contract sometimes, you don’t have that on your belt.”
What an out-of-touch asshole.
Yes, the frightening proposition of being paid the average salary of the top five people in the world at your position. It’s scary, really. No one wants that. God forbid you are unable to get that $40 million contract notch on your belt. Somewhere, children and kittens are cowering in fear.
The interview consisted mostly of Gargano mildly lecturing Babin on how to deal with Philly fans and Klecko agreeing with every glass-chewing comment the defensive lineman made.
When the Saints’ bounty program was brought up, Babin and Klecko stopped just short of crushing cans on their respective foreheads. Babin:
“It’s one of those things that in the past it went on, but now it’s one of those things they’re making a point to make sure it doesn’t go on. But, the guys who mentored me, that was just the way they did it. I don’t know, I think they’re making a pretty huge deal out of it. Maybe it is a big deal, I don’t know.”
[I tried to transcribe the rest, but it’s mostly the background noise of Babin’s hamster spinning its wheels as Gargano tries to explain why paying players to have others carted-off the field is a bad idea.]
It’s ironic that a guy so hell-bent on players receiving job security would be all for the practice of intentionally putting careers in jeopardy… but we wouldn’t expect a lunkhead like Babin to understand such advanced logic.
Anyway, back to that whole job security thing, which, according to Babin, we don’t understand.
Yes, NFL contracts are the most, um, fluid in major American sports. They favor the team and, in most cases, can be ripped up when a player gets injured or cut. Length means very little in the NFL, since (signing bonuses not withstanding) teams can often cut a player should his performance decline, for whatever reason. And that’s why Babin’s Tweets, which subsequently focused on calling fans idiots, were so perplexing and out-of-touch: D-Jac had just been given a nearly $10 million deal. And, just as if he signed a three-year contract, if he remains healthy and performs, he’ll continue to be the beneficiary of a system that pays athletes tens of millions of dollars.
Most earthlings would consider the above scenario job security: healthy and perform– make millions.
What Babin doesn’t understand is that, in this here real world, very few jobs are secure according to his definition. Sure, if you work hard and do the right things, you’ll often retain a position. But there are no guarantees. No one signs you up for a five-year deal to be a mid-level marketing assistant. As a blogger and business owner, my job security exists only in me getting up each morning and posting enough interesting material to keep folks reading. I know if I do a good job and work hard enough, I’ll be able to turn your eyeballs in to advertising dollars. Quite a few of them, actually. But it’s based on performance. And, what Babin really doesn’t get is that many of the blue collar fans he’s speaking to only have security insofar as there being a new job, construction site or client which affords them the opportunity to make a living equal to what someone like DeSean Jackson will pay in weekly taxes.
Listen to Babin’s interview with Gargano and Klecko after the jump.