This Sunday an indignity will occur. Despite recently being arrested for a DWI, an NFL player will suit up and play in a game.
His team has chosen not to punish him. In fact, this player will be starting his third straight game!
Wait, what? Rex Ryan said Braylon Edwards was not going to start. Oh, we're not talking about Braylon Edwards are we?
On September 3, Fili Moalo, defensive tackle of the Indianapolis Colts, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. This Sunday, Moala will start his third straight game for the Colts.
Where is the outcry? Where is all the press coverage insinuating that the Colts are running an organization run amok?
Such reports are nowhere to be found. And rightfully so. Can anybody point out the last player to be benched by their team for receiving a DUI or DWI that hadn't killed somebody in the process (I'm looking at you, Donte Stallworth)?
I'll just wait here a moment...
You aren't going to find one.
For all the criticism the Jets face this weekend, their opponents, the Miami Dolphins, will also be suiting up a player arrested for a drunk driving incident earlier this year. Ronnie Brown has played in every game this season.
It is absurd to expect the Jets to take any more of a stand than any other team on this matter. Furthermore, it would be unwise on the Jets part because they need Edwards this weekend.
Let the NFL handle Edwards' punishment later this year. Meanwhile, keep playing him and benefiting from his talent. It won't really matter to the Jets at the end of the season.
What Edwards' arrest does is make the Jets choice between him and Santonio Holmes that much easier, provided Holmes stays out of trouble of course. Edwards will be a free agent, probably facing a suspension from the league office, and the Jets won't sweat for a second over this whole situation, I can assure you of that.
Not letting Edwards start is just a bone the Jets have thrown to the self-righteous among the media who feel the organization needs to operate at some sort of unheard of level of morality to make up for the fact that they are an "out of control team."
But just how truthful are such accusations? The Jets did trade for Edwards, who was arrested in Cleveland for punching a friend of LeBron James, Holmes, who is serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and Antonio Cromartie, who I'm pretty sure impregnated Randy Moss while covering him in the second half of last Sunday's game.
Are the Jets "Raiders East," as I've heard them described the past few days, because of the trades for these maligned players?
The Jets roster is no more ridden with names on the police blotter than any team in the NFL. In fact it may be less so.
Nobody seems to like to point out that the Jets division rival, the Miami Dolphins, had four players arrested this year alone:
- 5/26/2010 - Phillip Merling - Aggravated battery on pregnant girlfriend*
- 3/19/2010 - Ronnie Brown - Suspicion of DUI, BAC of 0.158
- 2/20/2010 - Will Allen - Charged with DUI, BAC of 0.167
- 2/20/10 - Tony McDaniel - Misdemeanor battery charge after getting into a fight with his girlfriend
On top of this, the Dolphins traded for, and signed to an extension, the NFL's leader in domestic abuse arrests, Brandon Marshall.
In comparison, Edwards' arrest is a first for the Jets in 2010 and the first for the organization since 2008. So why are the Jets "Raiders East" while the Dolphins are viewed as a blue-collar team?
It's because of what the Jets have made themselves out to be in the past year.
The Jets are like a child in a department store throwing a fit because his/her parents won't pay any attention to him/her.
They didn't invite the attention so much as they took a camera operator, tied her to a chair, glued a camera to her hands, and held a gun to her head, demanding that she capture them in all their brash, vulgar, inane glory.
And they did this in New York!
Most of the time that is a suicide request. The New York media will eat you up, chew you to pieces, spit you out, and then douse you in gasoline and throw a match on you.
Not as crazy as the New York media.
But the Jets invited this craziness. So no matter what the truth is, they cannot run from the criticism. They welcomed it with open arms. The frenzy surrounding Edwards' arrest has shown what is in store for this Jets team if they falter.
The truly crazy thing is this team and their coach might just be bonkers enough in their own right to make the perfect dance partner for the New York media, sort of like the Yankees in the late 70s or the Mets in the late 80s.
If that's the case, and the Jets are as good as they seem to think they are, then watch out because this team could be legendary.
But if they crumble under the adversity and scrutiny they have welcomed on themselves, well, let's just say a shark-filled feeding frenzy will pale in comparison to what the New York media and other team's fans and reporters will do to the Jets.
*Arrest data taken from http://www.signonsandiego.com/nfl/arrests-database/
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