Gang Green: Trying To Sway the Court of Public Opinion…
(ThyBlackMan.com) Even with Roger “No Nonsense” Goodell at the helm of the National Football league (after having succeeded Paul Tagliabue back in 2006), rehabilitated players now making the best of their second changes and initiatives like “NFL Cares” and other league affiliated service organizations making a difference in the lives young people, the NFL still can’t seem to shake its bad reputation (National Felons League anyone?). And it’s unfortunate that until very recently, one of the league’s most recognizable teams hadn’t seemed all that interested in dispelling the truth myth that American professional football players are nothing more than raucous street pharmaceutical using, wife beating, behind-grabbing, child support dodging, libation indulging frat boys with big paychecks and even bigger egos.
Yes, I said it. The New York Jets are the Frat Boys of the NFL.
Be it Rex Ryan’s bird flipping debacle (caught on camera by some Miami Dolphin fans during a Mixed Martial Arts event last season), HBO and NFL Films rawest of the raw “Hard Knocks” Jets documentary, the month long hold-out on Revis Island, Ines Sainz-gate or the latest installment Jets Behaving Badly, starring Braylon Edwards as the typecast law breaking-inebriated-black-guy, is it really any wonder that we hear more negative reporting about the small minority of immature, living on a prayer players who regularly showing their tails in public than the vast majority who are doing great deeds in their communities and going home to their wives and kids every night?
I know, I know. Many will argue that when testosterone filled, burly young men experiencing that new money sensation and are put in situations where their newly acquired wealth affords them access to the finer things in life, they don’t quite know how to reign in their frivolous mandates and uncontrollable desires, resulting often times in the poor decision making and depraved behavior that seems to be a staple with these athletes. And while I can understand this way of thinking to a degree; a miniscule, scarcely recognizable degree, I am still of the belief that grown-behind folks within a certain age range who should know better ought to be held accountable for their foolishness regardless of how famous they are, how many catches they make or how much green is in their bank account. But before anyone goes around saying that I think The Jets have already gotten the self-destruct button stuck three weeks into the new season (even though it wouldn’t be a lie), let me point out that the organization has made strides to soften its crude, rough around the edges image.
Whether it was their “we’re working with the league to maintain a respectful environment” statement after that little sexual harassment in the clubhouse incident, Caveman Braylon’s kinder, gentler look after his 0.16 blood-alcohol level and subsequent DWI arrest or head coach Rex Ryan’s angry in-house Come To Jesus Meeting with his players and frustrated comments to reporters last week about not wanting to be that team, it looks like The Jets are beginning to realize that nothing good can come from their bad boy image and that the real sports fans who are tuning in to see clashes on the gridiron and not in the streets are growing tired of their off the field antics.
Still, like I pointed out earlier, it’s only week three. Who’s to say they won’t start a turf war with the Buffalo Bills this Sunday for the title of “New York’s Official Football Team” (seeing as how they don’t play the Giants during the regular season…which might be a good thing since The Giants molly-whopped them during the preseason). I mean, the foolishness aside, The Jets are a pretty sound ball club. It’s really easy to find yourself rooting for them to” get right” and just win, but you just never can tell with these guys. It’s almost like they are more media thirsty than even Paris and Lindsay with all of their behind the scenes mess lately. Which is a shame because if they spent half as much time honing their craft collectively as they do staying on the cover of newspapers and in talk radio reports, they’d be more of a threat around the league and less of a laughing stock.
But I guess short of looking into my foggy Magic 8 Ball with the chipped glass window, we’ll simply have to just wait it out and see if Rex and ‘dem can hold it together ’till January.
What do you think? Are they Jets’ off the field foolery too much of a distraction for them to be considered Super Bowl Contenders this season, or will they somehow pull off an NFL Darlings kind of year?
Written By Tiffany Haddock