Tag Archives: New York Jets

Humanity and Joe Namath

Joe Namath and Suzy Kolber

This past weekend, I got the opportunity to watch a fascinating documentary on Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath. It shows on HBO and prominently includes interviews with Namath, teammates, journalists, and Beaver Falls, PA residents.

One of the things that most impacted me was the incident that occurred between Namath and ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber during a 2003 prime time game between the Jets and Miami Dolphins.

Namath was honored along with his teammates from the 1969 Super Bowl team. Namath admitted that he had been drinking heavily all day. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, he was completely intoxicated. Kolber was charged with interviewing Broadway Joe. In the beginning, it was apparent that Namath was having some issues talking, but they had no idea what was about to happen in front of the entire prime time audience. Namath eschewed Kolber’s question about Chad Pennington and several times told her he wanted to kiss her. ESPN scrambled to get out of it, but the damage was done.

Namath admits he was humiliated. In fact, that set the stage for him to reform his life to where it is today. But, I digress. The thing that resonated with me was the response by Suzy Kolber.

She was interviewed for this documentary and clearly recounted the event, with assistance from the footage. She recounted how Namath called her the next day to apologize. She said it took him 5 minutes to apologize and she accepted. She then spent 45 more minutes on the phone with him talking football and life. Here’s what she said that so intrigued me. She said, “What I saw was a really good guy who was in trouble.” She felt bad for him, didn’t judge him, and saw him not as some drunk who couldn’t control himself, but as a regular guy who needed help.

In the world of sports, we are very quick to pass judgement. We often look for and hope that successful people fail (see Tim Tebow). We automatically jump to the conclusion that someone is damaged. I loved that Suzy Kolber looked deeper. She really exuded a perspective that thinks of the human being first. Often, journalists are the most cynical. Kolber showed humanity.

I’m as guilty as most of us. It’s easy to throw guys under the bus; make fun of them; and not worry about consequences to their lives. Suzy Kolber gave me perspective and one that I hope I can keep the next time my QB throws an interception or one of my sports “heroes” falls.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

The Jets and Ines Sainz

Boy, if only Hard Knocks was still on!

The New York Jets have had a tough week. First, they get beat at home by Coach Rex Ryan’s former team the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. Then, this whole Ines Sainz “thing” happens.

If somehow you’ve missed it, here’s the recap…

Ines Sainz is tabbed as the “hottest sports reporter” in Mexico. She was in the Jets locker room trying to get an interview with Mark Sanchez. Seems like the Jets were making life difficult for her with rude and lude comments in the locker room, and allegedly throwing footballs at her during practice. Sainz apparently didn’t report the recent locker room incident (another female reporter did) but it brings up the question of women reporters in any professional sports locker room for men.

Let’s be straight about one thing up front. Harassment can never be tolerated. If male reporters can go in the locker room, women should be able to as well without peril of harassment. What the Jets did was wrong and they are certainly hearing it from the NFL. What each professional sports league needs to figure out is what type of access should be allowed to all the media.

My two cents – The locker room should be kept private from the media…all media. This should be the place players are able to relax, vent, and shower after a game (win or lose). Find a different place to address the media. Rope off a section outside the locker room like they do in Europe. Still require players to meet with the media. Basically, allow the players a chance to chill after the game and allow access to all reporters to players.

This is bigger than Ines Sainz and the Jets. It’s come up before and it will continue to until some sort of policy is made. The Jets certainly didn’t need another black eye this week. I do guess however, that Ms. Sainz Google hits have increased as well as her 15 minutes of fame! She can thank the Jets for that.

On the next episode of Hard Knocks…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Hall of Fame Game Signals Kick Off to 2010 Season

Just some random digressions about the NFL and the upcoming season:

1 – The NFL is a better league when Dallas, Oakland, Washington, and at least one of the New York teams are good. The Cowboys are the ultimate polarizing team. You either love or hate, with few in between. I fall in the hate category even going back to the days when Drew Pearson pushed off Nate Wright of the Vikings to catch the infamous “Hail Mary” pass from Roger Staubach. Da’ Raiders and Raider Nation is the NFL. In the glory days of this organization, there was no more feared team. We need the swagger back. The Redskins have such great tradition and “oh by the way” reside in our nation’s capital and are the arch rival of the Pokes. Finally, New York being the biggest apple of this country needs to have a contender. This year, it looks like the Jets.

The Cowboys and Jeys will be good. The Raiders are improving in a weak division, and the Redskins at least made a big splash with Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb. Might be interesting to see how these 4 teams fortunes play out when December rolls around…

2 – The new collective bargaining agreement must settle this rookie salary mess. When Sam Bradford makes more money than bith Tom Brady and Peyton Manning before even taking a snap, lunacy prevails. I don’t even think Bradford will be a Pro Bowl player. Something must be done with slotting like the NBA did. Otherwise, as contracts like Brady and Manning come up, the dollar amounts are going to be out of control. Oh wait a second….they already are!

3 – Lots of commentary on moving to an 18-game season. I will admit I watch virtually no pre-season games. I hate them. However, I’m still not sure I like the 18-game idea. I was all for the move to 16-games about 2 decades ago, and the bye week works. Not sure about the additional two yet.

4 – Is Brett Favre playing in 2010. My answer – yes.

5 – My early season picks for the Super Bowl are Minnesota (with Favre) and the NY Jets. If Favre doesn’t play due to retirement or injury, I like New Orleans to get back. Funny, this is a QB league and Mark Sanchez isn’t a sud (yet). However, the defense may be the best in the league, the offensive line is stacked, the running game is very good and now they have added Santonio Holmes to Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery to the receiving corp. As long as they stay healthy, I think they will win it all.

6 – My Seahawks pick? 9-7 and finish being the Niners. Okay, maybe a little homer in there, but if #8 stays upright, he’s the best QB in the division with Kurt Warner retiring.

Your comments and thoughts are always welcome. Are you ready for some football?

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Monday Morning QB

1 – Rex Ryan is quite a salesman.  He came out at the beginning of the playoffs and said his New York Jets should be favored through the playoffs.  That drew chuckles and smirks from the pundits, realizing Ryan was trying to inspire confidence in his players.  It worked.  The Jets are playing spectacularly winning two road games with a rookie quarterback, the last being against the hottest team in the league who had just won 11 straight games.  They may not get past the Colts, but if you ask Rex Ryan, an Indy win would be an upset.

2 – I love the Minnesota – New Orleans match-up this weekend for the NFC Championship.  New Orleans has never gone the the Super Bowl and the Vikings haven’t been since they were led by Fran Tarkenton and the Purple People Eaters.  Both teams stomped their worthy opponents and are riding in high.  I think this is a tight game and just feel the home-field will give the Saints the edge.  My early line is New Orleans 31 – Minnesota 28.

3 – The Dawgs bark back.  After a woeful stretch of games, the Husky men’s hoops team climbed right back into the race by blistering the Bay Area schools.  Stanford may not be a huge threat, but Cal is the odds on favorite to win the conference.  Neither game was close.  Perhaps the silver lining of those three straight losses will be an inspired Husky team that carries this momentum through the rest of the season.

4 – Pete Carroll is making wise choices.  Yes, he’s brought in a few of his assistants from USC. However, his offensive coordinator, Jeremy Bates has NFL experience with Mike Shanahan.  His new line coach, Alex Gibbs, is highly respected in the NFL and was just pried away from Houston.  And now it sounds like they are talking to former Redskins defensive backs coach, Jerry Gray.  He was the coach given the “interview” to satisfy the Rooney Rule by Washington prior to hiring Shanahan.  Bringing in savvy and seasoned coaches will make the transition that much quicker and smoother.