It’s hard to say who causes football coaches and players the most grief — the mainstream media or themselves.
They both seem capable. Case in point, Eastern Michigan football coach Ron English, who said at the MAC Media day that when involving players from homes with single mothers “you have to teach that guy how to be taught by a man. That’s part of it.”
After being ripped by a column in the Detroit Free Press, English apologized.
But it’s not always the mainstream media’s fault when a sports figure gets in hot water. All too often it’s the fault of the player or coach himself. Just last week, Boise State coach Chris Petersen banned players from posting messages on Twitter.
Last fall, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach did the same.
San Diego Charger Antonio Cromartie was fined $2,500 last year for using Twitter to complain about the training camp food.
Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini has cautioned his players about using Twitter after cornerback Brandon McDonald tweeted a vulgar message about Cincinnati’s Terrell Owens.
Last week, Brett Favre reportedly texted teammates to say that he was retiring, but later claimed he didn’t.
The point here is that dealing with the mainstream media can be a problem. At times, the media will annoy athletes and coaches and sometimes burn them. But if you think the mainstream media is irresponsible, just put a BlackBerry in the hands of an athlete.
Nobody does more damage to a player’s image than himself.