So here we are in mid-February, the most awful time of the sports year. Football season is over, the eternity that is the NBA season is only half-over and we’re still a few weeks away from March Madness.
But despite the fact that nothing that interesting is going on in the sports world, that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of athletes saying stupid things, most notably Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.
After Tom Brady’s receivers (read: Wes Welker) couldn’t quite hang on to his perfect passes on Sunday, Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, was caught on video saying, “My husband cannot f-ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.” To anyone who watched the game, this was a reasonable (albeit passionate) critique of the Patriots’ receivers’ performance.
Enter Brandon Jacobs. During the Giants championship parade on Tuesday, Jacobs offered his critique of Bundchen’s comments, saying, “She just needs to continue to stay cute and shut up.”
You go, Brandon. You’re the man. Everybody knows that when you rush for a whopping 37 yards in the Super Bowl, you get to say whatever petty, sexist things you want to the national media.
After all, Jacobs is the NFL’s arbiter of telling people to shut up. After the Giants beat the Jets in week 16 this season, Jacobs told the media that he told Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan, “Wait till we win the Super Bowl … And I told him I’ll punch him in the face.”
“[Ryan] needs to shut up,” Jacobs added later. “He’s a great coach, I take nothing away from him. He comes from a great coaching family. But he needs to shut up.”
Now, Jacobs has at least stood up and apologized for his comments, but after running his mouth all season long, you’d think that he would know better than to say something so patently stupid to the New York media. He of all people should know just how viral and gossipy things are in the City That Never Sleeps, considering how he set off the Giants-Jets firestorm that dominated ESPN’s airwaves in December.
Personally, I don’t see where Jacobs got the chip on his shoulder that allows him to talk so big. Perhaps he knows that he’s one of the softest running backs in the NFL and needs to justify his awful play on the field with his even worse trash talk. His 571 rushing yards this season were good enough for the 40th-most yards in NFL, well behind guys like Darren McFadden, who played in seven games this year. Jacobs even finished with fewer rushing yards this year than Timothy Richard Tebow (and Jacobs somehow managed to finish with an even worse completion percentage than Tebow as well).
Altogether, Jacobs’ dumb comments should be a reminder to all athletes that you can’t just talk trash about whatever you want. Just like a politician or a businessman, if you talk to the media and you say something that would make a “Mad Men” character blush, you will get excoriated for it, and you deserve to be raked over the coals. Just because you “backed up your trash talk” and ended up with your second Super Bowl ring in five years doesn’t mean you get to say whatever you want—in fact, you should be far more circumspect about what you say to reporters, considering that they are now putting a mic in your face and expecting that you will say something dumb.
So Brandon, I have just one more thing to say. You’ve been running your mouth a lot this year, so let me run mine: Stop acting like a 14-year-old and start using that mouth to kiss the shoes of everybody who actually contributed to the Giants’ Super Bowl run this year. You might want to start with Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, Mario Manningham and Jason Pierre-Paul. Then give your appreciation to Wes Welker, Kyle Williams, Tony Romo and Jason Garrett’s clock management skills.
And after you’re done doing that, you’d be best served to take your own advice: Shut up.
Jack Blanchat knows you won’t excoriate him for his opinions. Ask Jack what “excoriate” means at blanchat “at” stanford.edu or follow him on Twitter @jmblanchat.