We all occasionally make promises we later regret. If we’re lucky, we do this in private. Say, in a bathroom stall, while considering fantasy football matchups. “I promise to devote myself to a life of service and penitence if Calvin Johnson can just get 14 more yards in the fourth quarter.” Don’t tell me you’ve never said that.
This all gets trickier for media members, who sometimes make promises they’ll later regret into live microphones.
Now, in a lot of markets, even this sort of promise is not a huge problem, because a lot of markets are stingy about archiving radio and television interviews.
But this is an especially thorny problem in Washington, where every piece of audio is saved forever, and tweeted about incessantly. And so, if you, say, promise to quit your job if the Redskins sign DeSean Jackson, many people will write about it.
“Here’s one thing I feel good about,” ESPN 980 Redskins reporter Chris Russell said last Friday afternoon. “Listen, and I’ll say this on the radio. And [VP of Programming Chuck] Sapienza might get mad at me, but I’ll quit if the Redskins sign DeSean Jackson, ok?”
Russell also elaborated on his objections, citing the likely money involved, the money already invested in receivers, Jackson’s off-field issues, and other concerns.
“To me, this is the last thing the Redskins – even though it would potentially hurt the Eagles and it could draw [Washington] closer to the top of the division – this is the LAST thing the Redskins, in my opinion, should ever consider or need to take on,” Russell said.
Dang. That’s bold. Thing is, no one had exactly linked Jackson and the Redskins at that point, not in an explicit, reported way. And so hosts Marc Sterne and Thom Loverro later joked with Russell about his promise.
“Listen, I will say this,” Russell said. “I feel very confident in this, ok? Again, you will have to find somebody else to do this job. I’m done if DeSean Jackson is coming here. Done. Done like dinner.”
He paused, and appeared to consider what he had just said.
“This is not gonna work out pretty for me, is it?” he then said.
“It usually doesn’t, does it Chris?” Loverro inquired.
Russell did post a long blog item on the signing very late on Tuesday night. One excerpt:
Let me be clear about this. I am still opposed to this move, and nobody is going to convince me that this will work like a charm. It could work brilliantly for a year, but this is not a one-year trial or getting to know you period.
I hope it works for the Redskins. I just have little faith that it will. The writing is on the wall. DC does stand for “Drama City” as one ex-Redskins player used to say.
Sorry to be so negative, while you are drinking the kool-aid. I have heard from thousands of Redskins fans who already didn’t like me. Having an opinion that is contrary to their vision has done nothing to make them like me. However, the best thing about this – only time will tell.
Not exactly a letter of resignation, though.
And no one get all indignant about this. We love Chris. Maybe just lay off on the promises going forward.