New York City lacks patience for losers.
They still call themselves the Mecca of Basketball, the Yankees own 27 World Series championships and Rex Ryan’s no-off-switch-included mouth would still talk trash and preach New York Jets dominance if they went 0-16. The City That Never Sleeps is still awake because they’re too busy trying to win at everything they do, and in that atmosphere there’s no room for quitters.
Santonio Holmes is a quitter, or at least that’s what his teammates would lead you to believe.
After a 19-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins officially eliminated them from the playoffs, tempers were flaring not just because their season that began with Super Bowl expectations was over, but over how it ended. According to Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger, veteran LaDainian Tomlinson wasn’t interested in keeping this beef within the walls of the Jets’ locker room, as he told the media:
Let me just say that there were guys in the huddle that were unhappy with Tone’s demeanor. And when you have a group of guys who are fighting their butts off, and one guy who—for whatever reason, his demeanor isn’t with ‘em—you’ll have guys try to say something to him, just pretty much tell him how they feel. That’s what you got today. The worst thing that can happen, the worst thing, is when your teammates start to question your passion for the game. That’s the worst thing. And I think in that huddle, that’s what you saw. When guys looked in his eyes, and he didn’t have that fire in his eyes, guys were turned off about that...The demeanor is, 'I quit,' or whatever it may be.
Those words came out of the mouth of one of the NFL’s most fierce competitors and a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, so they shouldn't be taken lightly. Tomlinson wasn’t alone, though. Another anonymous player revealed that this isn’t a one-time thing for Holmes, saying: “He quit. It's happened for the past two to three weeks. It's happened all season.”
Tomlinson pinpointed a lack of targets as the reason behind the disappearance of Holmes' heart, saying:
He didn’t catch a ball? Well, you all have experience with receivers. T.O., give me the damn ball, so you know. When receivers don’t catch a ball they don’t feel part of a game. That may have something to do with Tone’s reaction. But even if you don’t get a ball and you’re mad about it, there’s a better way to handle it. And that’s how my conversation with Tone will go.
If the halfback's hunch is true, Holmes quit under even worse circumstances. He didn't simply lose hope and give up because he thought a comeback was out of reach. Holmes wanted the ball and he began to pout like a true champion when he didn't get his looks.
When a member of the press asked LT his opinion about the wide out's future with the team, Tomlinson bolted with a "Thank you, guys."
Holmes deserves the axe. In sports, quitting is the unforgivable sin. He may be clutch, he may be a team captain, but he quit on the Jets in a must-win situation and there’s no way that Ryan can ever allow him to step onto the field wearing a New York uniform again.
David Daniels is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.