Who ordered the Code Red?!
**UPDATE** The NFL is now investigating the Jets – for the 2nd time this season – regarding whether they’ve been knowingly engaging in illegal sideline tactics. Someone’s getting burned.
No, we’re not talking about Mountain Dew here, people.
We’re talking about Tripgate. I absolutely love this analogy by ESPN. If you missed it, Kornheiser was absolutely hysterical on PTI: “YOU WANT ME ON THAT WALL, YOU ‘KNEED’ ME ON THAT WALL!” Here’s the Podcast if you’re interested.
Let’s take this from the top (no pun intended).
So there was the trip heard round the world. The Jets’ Sam Alosi’s knee intentionally met the oncoming freight train that was Miami’s Nolan Carroll who was defending a punt return. At first it seemed like Nolan Carroll was really hurt. He was on the ground writhing in pain. I know the first thought in my mind was, “Wow, that guy is getting fired.” I can only imagine that the majority of the sporting world was thinking the exact same thing. So we waited for the Jets to announce his termination, and it didn’t take long…
… Come again? I’m sorry, what was that? Suspension for the remainder of the season? A fine of $25 grand? That’s it?! Did anyone in the Jets organization watch the tape or listen to the immediate backlash of disgusted comments?!
I was shocked. I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that this guy was just a strength and conditioning coach. My thought process was: Dirty trip –> Scarring the Jets image even further –> Fired. It didn’t seem like rocket science to me considering the lack of discipline that the Jets have exhibited this year — Hard Knocks, DUIs, Rex’s middle finger, players acting like high school teenagers going through puberty around female reporters. I assumed the Jets would be trying to get as far away from any type of negative press or speculation as possible.
Now, I know we live in a world that has walls, but as the replay seemed to loop endlessly through every media outlet, one couldn’t help but notice the lack of movement by the conveniently placed group of Jets coaches as the players barreled towards them. I think at this point people were starting to realize that deep down in a place we don’t talk about at parties, something seemed fishy.
Then came the news that this was an order; an order to stand as close to the sideline as possible to hinder punt return defense by Miami. But who gave the order? Rex? The special teams coach, Mike Westhoff? *gasp* OF COURSE! It was the lowly strength and conditioning coach who’s already being chastised for the trip itself! And why not? Trip Man becomes Fall Guy. It was perfect. They even got Alosi to confess it was all him – and it would soon become apparent how this was accomplished. Of course, this “new” information caused the Jets to quickly announce that Alsoi would now be suspended indefinitely. BUT… again the words “fired”, “firing”, and/or “terminate” were all lacking in the Jets’ now second punishment explanation.
It all made sense now. Even putting aside the suspicion that a meager strength and conditioning coach — an employee at the bottom of the coaching pole — wouldn’t act in such a way unless directed by a higher power, the Jets’ motives were quite clear. Just think, what do they possibly have to gain by continuing to employ Alosi? Oh yeah, his silence.
Alsoi acted alone? Please… then why not just fire him and rid yourselves of this taint in your organization? Especially after he screwed up royally not once, but TWICE? Perhaps its because if he was let go there would be nothing between him and squealing to the masses about what really happened.
As if things couldn’t get worse for the Jets’ reputation, Westhoff goes off at the mouth and starts pointing fingers. Not at his team, not at his owners, not at his coaches… at other teams. More specifically, the Patriots. Westhoff accused the Pats of doing exactly the same thing after he had watched tape of other teams in an attempt to figure out how “prevalent” this behavior was throughout the league. Are you serious, Mike? What are you 5 years old?
Crap, I got caught doing something I shouldn’t be doing. This is bad… deploy safety measures: DEFLECTION! Look over there! Clearly he though we couldn’t handle the truth. Nice try, Mike. Regardless of whether the Patriots are guilty of this illegal tactic or not, this only makes you look like a snitch; a tattletale who got caught with his pants down and is looking to drag others down with him.
While the Jets maintain that Alosi’s future with them is uncertain and they’re reserving the decision to terminate him for later, I’m not holding my breath. It doesn’t even matter anymore if they fire him or not in the end because the fact that they didn’t initially fire him – especially after he admitted to ordering the wall of coaches – makes it appear as though the Jets’ organization and ownership is tolerant of such behavior.
One thing is certain, though. If the Jets think they can trip their way into the playoffs? I think it’s pretty obvious that they’re the ones who can’t handle the truth.
Bonus Question: How many “A Few Good Men” references did you just read?