Baylor teammates defend the Griffins

December 18, 2013

I don’t usually have a lot of opinions on sportsy things, but I think I have an opinion developing. Here it is: if you’d like to criticize, at great length, a 23-year old athlete for, among other things, being dismissive of criticism and having an overbearing parent, maybe it’d be courteous to attach your name to such criticism.

To recap, here’s a passage from longtime NFL reporter and current journalism teacher Jason Cole’s Bleacher Report report this week:

One source who has known the Griffin family for at least six years recently compared the elder Griffin to the late Earl Woods, Tiger Woods’ father and a man who many believe lived in the reflective glory of his son’s accomplishments….Griffin’s father was something of a stage dad at Baylor, talking to the media, doing videos on how he trained his son and even going as far as stretching his son in the locker room before games. Recently, he was seen in the Washington locker room talking to his son after a loss. Multiple team sources said they believe the father’s influence and interference have made this season more difficult.

While multiple sources were apparently willing to say this to Cole but not to attach their name to the criticism, multiple ex-teammates at Baylor took a different approach.

I promise, I understand that people will sometimes be more honest when they’re granted anonymity; that there are reasons you’d not want to launch public criticism; that you can’t always believe what people say is the truth; that three ex-teammates can’t speak for an entire team. But right now, the anonymous leaks coming out of Ashburn — or wherever they’re coming from — are absurd to the point of cowardice. Like, check out this anonymous quote from Cole’s piece:

“If your footwork isn’t right, you’re going to miss. The ball is going to sail or you’re going to throw it in the ground or whatever.”

I will say that on the record. Chris Cooley will and has said that on the record. Four thousand NFL analysts will say that on the record. Footwork affects quarterback accuracy. Anonymous person saying that: get a bit of a backbone, and say that on the record.

 

AND YET

I clearly have no sources. Much of what’s happening is going over my head. And yet I also wish that the people quoted in our own report on the madness had been willing to go on the record. Like, this:

Three people — speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation — said that Griffin has always been receptive to LaFleur’s insight and that the two have a good relationship.

As a civilian, it’s hard for me to understand why a quarterback being receptive to a quarterback coach’s insight is so explosively controversial that three separate people would be willing to confirm this only under the cloak of anonymity. People in Ashburn: buck up. You can do it. You can say that two adult co-workers have a good relationship without demanding it be anonymous.

 

PENGUIN OF THE DAY

A lifetime ago, I used to go to Georgetown basketball games and marvel at the costumes student fans wore to cheer on the Hoyas. I was at the Elon game on Tuesday night, and sure enough, nothing has changed. No matter what you say, I have nothing but love for anyone who wears a penguin costume to watch the Hoyas beat the Phoenix.

 

EDDIE JOHNSON TO D.C.

Even if you don’t care about soccer, you should care about this story:

D.C. United has acquired U.S. national team forward Eddie Johnson from the Seattle Sounders, a blockbuster move by an MLS club starved for a proven scorer after the worst season in club history….Dynamic and brash, Johnson is a menacing and experienced attacker with pace, a powerful finishing touch and lethal heading ability. D.C.’s natural strikers posted five goals in 65 combined appearances in 2013 as the club finished with 22 goals in 34 regular season matches, the second-lowest scoring total in MLS ever.

 

THE ALL SNYDER TEAM

Ok, enough of the serious Redskins talk, let’s get back to the good old-fashioned jokes. Mike Tanier of Sports On Earth has assembled the all-Snyder team, featuring “the Snyderest of the Snyder acquisitions: the overpriced and over-the-hill, the poor fits with poor attitudes, the stones that other builders rejected which became the cornerstones of a decade-plus of expensive, noisy futility.” Finally, T.J. Duckett, Albert Haynesworth, Adam Archuleta and Shaun Suisham can all be on the same squad.

 

BLEVINS HAS WIZITUDE

New Nats reliever Jerry Blevins is already the best.

 

CHENIER AND FRAZIER

Hard to imagine capturing the personalities of two men better in one photograph.

 

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

The Wizards are in Brooklyn at 7:30 on Comcast SportsNet. All radio and TV listings are here. 

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Mitch Rubin | December 17, 2013