Those of you who read this site often know there are few things that excite me more than a good feud: An athlete feud. A media feud. An athlete-media feud. Whatever. So, you can imagine my excitement when I checked Twitter while awaiting my buffalo cutlets and sweet potato fries at Bryn and Dane’s healthy fast food restaurant in Horsham (not sponsored) and saw that a local athlete had fired a shot across the bow of the media.
The standard for athlete-media feuds was set by Mike Richards last May: Before he was traded, Richie threw a haymaker at Tim Panaccio by basically calling the CSN Flyers beat writer a liar.
But now we might have a new clubhouse leader.
DeSean Jackson, who was apparently quite upset at the way his interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters was being interpreted by local scriptuals, launched this loosely-guided missile into the ether:
BOOOOOOM! The football writers are reeling. Reeling, I tell you. Cheetos and Diet Pepsis are being knocked off particle board desks around the Delaware Valley. Reuben Frank is apoplectic… and trying to quantify the devastation. Les Bowen is punching Jeff McLane. McLane doesn’t notice, because he’s wondering if this applies to him as the unofficial team stenographer. Derrick Gunn wants to know if him and D-Jac are still boys. And Tim McManus and Sheil Kapadia are furiously typing away in their quest to become the Woodward and Bernstein of the NFC East.
He said what?! Meet me in a parking garage to tell me more about it!
Tim, I can’t. He tweeted it. To the public. Why is your number blocked? AND HOW DID YOU GET IN MY BEDROOM?!
Me? I’m just writing goofy satire.
Anyway, DeSean is upset over the way his words were interpreted (which is sometimes a difficult task, ya digg?). Here’s what he told Salters yesterday about not having a long-term contract last season: [ESPN.com]
"I let it get to me, even though I tried not to let it. I was trying to protect myself from getting hurt — now I'm just giving it all."
Local media read that as: I wasn’t trying last year because I was unhappy. But I am happy now, therefore I’m trying. And predictably, the stories rolled in: ESPN, CSN Philly, 97.3 ESPN, NBC Philadelphia, CBS Sports, talk radio, and presumably from many more outlets.
I’m kind of down the middle on this one. I saw the quotes yesterday and my knee-jerk reaction was to post them. But then I realized what D-Jac said required a couple assumptions before making a hearty jump to conclusion. In other words: It’s a slow sports week and the media was salivating over a somewhat mundane quote. So they were happy to make that leap.
On the other hand, Jackson said he was giving it his all this year, which implied that he wasn’t giving it his all last year.
It was certainly noteworthy, but it’s hard to blame a guy for being concerned about one hit ruining his financial certainty. Being wary of your career ending with little to show for it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not trying.
Mid-write update: Ohhhmaaaaaaagooood, DeSean followed up his Tweet with a grammatically-challenged Instagram parting shot.
I’m rock solid right now. This has never been seen before, Marv. He’s – literally – reinventing the feud playbook as he goes. A Tweet-filtered image combo? What’s next, Pinterest? Maybe Vimeo?! Where. WILL. It. End? Stayed tuned!
At this point, I don’t even care if DeSean tried last year. I don’t care if he purposely dropped passes. I don’t care if he Tonya Hardinged Jason Peters (twice) this offseason. Don’t care. He just set the standard in local athlete-media feuds. All he knos is 2 go hard 4 his team, meeehhh, and his last name. And that’s really all we can ask, isn’t it?