LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – The Wes Welker foot interview (video below) was one in a series of Jet-Patriots remarks this week. The Wes Welker foot interview followed players bickering in print news and coaches bickering across TV news. Now the NFL is bickering about all this bickering, after the trash-talking, t-shirt wearing, foot-suggesting remarks by players and coaches have built up today’s Jets-Patriots game as one of the best publicized games of the NFL post season.
For this, the NFL is upset? It remains unclear what CBS thinks. CBS is the broadcaster of the impending ratings bonanza game tonight (game start time 4:30 PM EST).
On Saturday, Wes Welker’s foot interview drew criticism, not of Welker, but of the league’s handling of the matter. But is the criticism warranted.
Even more ironic, guess who gets the pre-game interview before the Jets-Patriots game? Rex Ryan grants NFL’s Michael Lombardi a sit down interview airing currently on TV (9 am EST) today.
The week started with Rex Ryan vs. Bill Belichick remarks. By midweek, the trash talking had moved to Antonio Cromartie battling Tom Brady. (Terrell Suggs of the Ravens also inserted his own t-shirt antics against the Steelers as well). Finally, it ended with Wes Welker’s remarks and Bart Scott’s reaction.
How does this all play out? “Note to the NFL: Trash talking is great for your brand. It’s worth millions of $ in attention” tweeted CNBC’s Darren Rovell.
Is Rovell correct? By most accounts, he is. In a season in which everyone is tired of talking about Brett Favre and Jenn Sterger, and T.O. and Ochocinco’s Batman and Robin bits, players disliking other players make games entertaining.
When asked “Can anyone prove trash talking is worth [millions]?”, Rovell responded “I can. Worth newspaper & online ink, TV time.”
Where does the line get drawn? The “issue is physical threats related to on-field conduct”, tweeted NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello to Rovell. Where were the threats this week in the trash talking? The NFL would not clarify, with many contending Scott’s “be careful” remark may have been a threat. Scott said
“I’ll tell you what. Be very careful what you say about our coach. His [Welker's] days in a uniform will be numbered. Put it like that.”