The Rundown: Helter Skelter

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

On Sunday, the Jets are supposed to play the Rams, but it’s now Thursday and Saint Louis is a forgotten team in Florham Park while the Jets are falling into petty infighting, anonymous slagging of fellow teammates, recanting public statements and circling around and around and around the Jets now seemingly epic 2012 implosion.

We all know about the main comments by now.  Shonn Greene (who is about to clarify what he said) was quoted in Yahoo! as saying that players are starting to wonder about a change. Also, The Daily News put together an article of mostly anonymous players bashing their teammate Tim Tebow as an illegitimate option as quarterback for this team.

The Daily News article revolved around only one attributed quote to Matt Slauson, but the centerpiece of the Daily News attack on Tim Tebow has said his comments were used improperly.

While Slauson might contest his use of his comments, others on the Jets are contesting Slauson’s rights to even say them. Believe it or not, a fellow lineman slagged Slauson to Darren Sharper of NFL Network.

“I talked to one of the offensive linemen for the Jets and they said that throughout this season, Matt Slauson has graded out the worst of the offensive linemen that are playing,” Sharper told Andrew Siciliano on NFLN.  Sharper continued by saying that since Slauson doesn’t have any Pro Bowls under his belt,  his teammate might think he’d be best to be quiet.

Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Yesterday LaDainian Tomlinson said on XM that he thought Cro & Bart Scott might be two of the culprits in the bashing of Tebow, via the Post.

Former Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said he thinks he knows who is ripping Tim Tebow.  On his Sirius XM NFL Radio show yesterday, Tomlinson was read the quotes and said he believed cornerback Antonio Cromartie and linebacker Bart Scott were the ones quoted.

Then Costello in the same article got a current player to point a finger at another player.

A current Jets player said the belief around the team is that Cromartie was the player who called Tebow “terrible.” Cromartie refused to speak to reporters at his locker, turning up the volume on his iPod dock when reporters approached.

Does this give you a sense of the wholesale collapse of this organization right now?

At least Rex Ryan puts the ‘fun’ in dysfunction …

When told about the accusations that Tomlinson made of Scott, Scott told reporters that he always puts his name on his comments and that it was absurd as just Tuesday he told reporters about sticking together as a team.  But Scott said on the Jets, it always comes down to some coward who won’t talk openly in the Jets locker room.

“I’ve been here four years,” Scott said. “It’s always an anonymous source. An anonymous source can be the janitor. An anonymous source can be the cable guy. An anonymous source can be the equipment guy. Anybody can be an anonymous source. If you don’t tell them to put their name to it, what credibility do you have?

“I think the anonymous person is probably some smoke in the air or a fart off somebody’s [butt].”

It’s impossible for anyone to police all 53 players and players are going to say whatever they want as they are all (supposedly) grown-ass men.  Beyond that, Scott is actually onto something from a sheer rules of journalism standpoint … but let’s not expect the tabs to be as pure as the driven snow when it comes to anonymous sourcing of quotes.  They are going to do what it takes to sell the broadsheets.

The utility or necessity of unattributed opinions in journalism and specifically sports journalism could be a semester long discussion of which I’m not going to get into now, but I do think that Newsday’s Neil Best has a great point about anonymous opinions — not anonymous facts — and what warrants their use.

The problem is though — and I say this as a Jets fan who loves this team — that majority of the reporters who work on this beat are (for the most part) if they are being honest with themselves not necessarily looking to stay on this beat.  They are looking to make a name for themselves so they can get off this beat.  For a team that isn’t riding to Super Bowls leaves them little chance to do it other than through getting sniping players and fomenting drama.  All the same, the players aren’t doing themselves any favors either and allowing themselves to be used in this way.