Rushing To Fan The Flames

This might be old news to some of you, as this matter was hashed out on message boards all over the place over the holiday weekend, but in his haste to stir up the “border war” between the Patriots and Jets, New York Daily News writer Rich Cimini made a total ass of himself when he published this article on Saturday.

In the piece he attributes a quote to Bill Belichick that appeared in Peter King’s article on the Top 500 Players in the NFL.

King wrote:

Most told me I was loony to have Rhodes ranked in the 20s and Bills tackle Jason Peters in the 30s. I believe Rhodes comes closest to Ed Reed (12), the best impact safety in the game, and I believe Peters, a converted tight end, will be an All-Pro within two years. So I wouldn't move them down even if Bill Belichick called and said, "Neither of those guys could make my team."

So Cimini takes that quote, runs breathlessly to Rhodes, and presents it to him. The Jets safety is incredulous, and gets a big laugh out of the quote, and notes that the Patriots are up next on the schedule for the Jets. Cimini then writes the above article on the episode, noting that Belichick “usually is careful about not providing bulletin-board fodder to the opponent.” he concludes by saying “Another subplot for an already juicy rivalry.”

Did you catch the problem with the above?

Belichick never told King anything about Rhodes or Peters. King writes that he would keep those players ranked where he had them even if Bill Belichick called him.

The supposed Belichick quote even made the Florida Times Union’s weekend NFL notes. (Ironically, right above a correction about another story.)

Cimini was appraised of his mistake, which resulted in a generic retraction by the Daily News, and a mea culpa by Cimini in his Jets blog late Saturday afternoon.

However, the issue was big enough that King himself felt compelled to comment on it in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, and notes:

Geez. And you wonder sometimes why guys like Belichick treat us like vermin.

In a rather rare moment of clarity, Peter King nails it. The danger of rushing to jump on any shred of controversy or conflict is clearly illustrated by this episode. Would the rush be so great if it were any other coach in the NFL?

—————————————————
This wasn’t the only Belichick controversy of the weekend. Vikings coach Brad Childress apparently has some sort of rivalry/fixation with the Patriots head coach.

BostonSportZ has a rundown of the events that took place this weekend as the two teams claimed players from each other.

Priceless is the quote from ProFootballTalk.com which has a source saying the following:

"Why, in God's name, is Brad Childress talking about Bill Belichick to the press? Is [Childress] a complete and senseless moron? He basically insults one of the most powerful coaches in the league by calling him out as dishonest. He's an idiot coach."

————————————————-
Welcome to the big time, Eric Wilbur. When you find your work in the cross-hairs of the FireJoeMorgan gang, you know you’ve arrived. The Boston.com blogger had his recent post Emotional rescue torn to shreds by the FJM crew.

Mike Reiss had a Patriots chat on Boston.com this afternoon.

Gordon Edes has a Red Sox mailbag.

Bob Ekstrom talks to Steve Grogan, Steve DeOssie and Tim Fox among others about the Patriots/Jets rivalry.

Tom Curran says that the Patriots are the top team in the league, but their margin is slim.

Pete Prisco has the Patriots third in his week one Power Rankings.

Michael Silver goes around the NFL in Morning Rush.

Gregg Easterbrook has Tuesday Morning Quarterback for ESPN.com

Peter King has Monday Morning QB, Tuesday edition.

What, now Fast Company is bashing Manny Ramirez? Do these guys have a clue as to what Manny’s work ethic is like? I think not.

————————————————–
Tonight
7:00pm, NESN – Blue Jays @ Red Sox

%d bloggers like this: