Post Mortem: What To Make of the Media

Eric Weeks , TheJetsBlog.com

Bassett and I had an exchange of ideas regarding the media presence this week doggedly demanding accountability from the Jets. Here’s what we came up with.

They Did What You Asked… — After being told by the media and critics in no uncertain terms to tone down the rhetoric, Rex Ryan and the Jets are now being criticized for clamming up. The problem is that unless a new general manager is announced, he and Woody will offer nothing at their press conference on Tuesday that would be a revelation to any of us. Rex’s hands are supposedly tied until a new general manager is hired so he has little, if any, control over the situation at this time which means his fate is just as unknown as everyone else’s in the organization in spite of Woody’s vote of confidence. Besides that, I don’t need to sit through a presser and hear “Why weren’t you talking this past week”? or “What did Tim Tebow have for lunch today”? I’d much rather Rex and Woody Skype us from the Bahamas instead of listening the same questions phrased differently.

…But (Maybe) Something Should Have Been Said  As pointless as it would have been, since they could have danced around any question, they should have kept to their scheduled conference on Monday as much of what has gone on would have been avoided. Of course this could speak to Rex’s (and maybe even Woody’s) emotional state following a thrashing against the Bills, violations of the NFL’s media policy be damned. We’ll never know for sure but this could be a blessing in disguise. We’ve needed to have this discussion for a while: there is clearly a disconnect between the beatwriters and the fans and it seems to be hashing out on Twitter even as we speak.

Where Are the Xs and Os? — Instead of covering more of the Xs and Os aspect of games and breaking down film, there has been more of a focus on TMZ-esque material–Tim Tebow running shirtless in the rain comes to mind. Over pursuing stories like the Wildcat, like Tim Tebow, like why Rex thinks Sanchez gives them the best chance to win. Why not ask what the design of a particular play was? Where should Sanchez have thrown on an interception?  Why did he make a rookie mistake? There’s never any real teeth to the questions, they let him wriggle off the hook again and again and again. I don’t expect a full-blown BGA but they need to not just scratch the surface and dig a bit deeper.

Anonymous Sources Anonymous — Every good writer has their own sources that they establish by building relationships over time and they have rights to cite them when writing articles. However, I take issue with the fact that some writers insist on overusing them. It’s one thing if you’re talking about potentially hiring Tom Gamble or firing Bill Hughan but it’s entirely different when you use said sources to author what essentially amounts to a character assassination piece, especially since there can be zero accountability for anything that’s then used in a publication.  Everyone’s unhappy and no one understands that better than the fans. We’re the ones that dedicate our time, money and devotion to root for this team. We get it. We also understand there is a palpable frustration within the organization but we don’t need an anonymous source’s bias to ruffle feathers either–if there is that big of a problem with management there are better avenues to vent frustrations but isn’t it the responsibility of a newspaper’s editor to judge what tales are better left untold?

Unprofessional? — While Twitter has become a useful tool in social media, it also has its drawbacks and the beatwriter’s use of it has them come off as unprofessional at times.  Gary Vaynerchuk, a Jets fan with what might be the largest Twitter following, took time to call out the beat the other day.