At this stage of his career, does Brandon Marshall play the position of NFL TV Gasbag better than Jets wide receiver?
No. Marshall’s mouth on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” has not quite caught up to the swiftness of his feet.
But how Marshall’s priorities are perceived is an entirely different story. One that is worth watching. For if the Jets continue to lose, the usual suspects in the Valley of the Stupid, and other media precincts, will be turning over every rock, so to speak, to identify what’s wrong.
Focusing on statistics will not be enough to satisfy those paid to find out why the Jets are failing, some who are already kicking Todd Bowles out the door.
Brandon Marshall will face increased criticism for his weekly TV gig if Jets keep losing.
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
If Marshall is dropping passes, or not performing up to his usual standards while losses mount, there is no doubt more than one VOS bloviator will say: Brandon Marshall can’t be totally focused on football while he continues doing a TV show every Tuesday. He needs to quit TV.
This statement has little to do with Marshall’s reality. He has Tuesday off and, like any player, can do what he wants with his time. Yet, those who wind up questioning where Marshall’s real top priority is are dealing with a perception. And in the business Marshall’s in perception usually gains more traction than reality.
The Jets play in Arizona Monday night so it’s unlikely Marshall will appear on “ITN” Tuesday. But if they lose to the Cardinals and follow with another loss against Baltimore on Oct. 23 in Jersey, he will be returning to Showtime on Tuesday (Oct. 25).
(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
By that time, the negative perception could kick in. The Jets would be 1-6 and some might wonder: How can Marshall still yuck it up with his TV team when his real team, the Jets, stink?
How can Marshall be critical of another team, or analyze a specific player, when the Jets are headed for bottom-feeder status? How can Marshall be care-free on TV when his team’s season is headed down the toilet?
These questions, all reasonable, will come from those who cannot separate the “TV” Marshall from the “football” Marshall, those who think millionaire players should not moonlight as TV personalities during the season.
Of course the cast of “ITN” won’t bring this up to Marshall. They can’t, unless they want to be labeled hypocrites. See, Windbags like Phil Simms and Norman Julius Esiason also had an eye on a TV career while they were still playing.
Marshall has (this is his third season on “ITN”) been paying plenty attention to life after football. Now, if the Jets continue losing, that planning could come with a price.
Especially if critics start questioning his commitment to football and the Jets.
STAYIN’ OR COHEN
A play-by-play voice could be hitting the free agent market.
Gary Cohen’s SportsNet New York contract, according to MLB sources, is set to expire by the end of 2016. While Cohen leaving the Mets booth and his partners — Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez — is a longshot, nothing can ever be ruled out until a new deal is signed.
Stranger, much stranger, things have happened in this business.
The sources said Cohen’s representatives and SNY execs have already discussed a new multi-year deal but nothing has been finalized.
Just because a voice is billed as an “expert” analyst does not mean he is required to treat viewers like morons.
That’s what FS1’s Harold Reynolds did during that eight-pitch, ninth-inning showdown between Clayton Kershaw and Bryce Harper in NLDS Game 5 Thursday.
Reynolds kept reminding us how “moments like this make postseason baseball great.” At one point he gushed: “Is this great or what.” Uh, anyone watching could see what was going down.
You know what would’ve been great? If someone in the truck told Reynolds to go silent, let crowd reaction rule. This would’ve allowed a dramatic sequence to breathe, allowed the suspense to build. Instead, Reynolds took all the air out.
This just in: The Rutgers football team found out it’s tough being on the wrong end of a 58-0 (Ohio State) score, followed by another Xerox job, 78-0 (Michigan).
Now there’s a revelation.
Still, imagine calling two consecutive beyond-blowouts. That’s the situation Chris Carlin, the radio voice of RU football, found himself in. What was going on in his head? Visions of listeners bailing? Or an image of one optimistic schlub, the last lonely listener, glued to his radio in a Piscataway basement?
“It doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says, you’ve got a job to do. It’s not always easy, but I’m constantly thinking of the people who are just tuning in for the first time,” Carlin said. “You’ve got to keep the energy up, but I’ve also got guys in Ray (Lucas), Eric (LeGrand), and Fooch (Anthony Fucilli) who keep me going. We pick each other up.”
Nonetheless, Carlin is faced with a major challenge Saturday when the Scarlet Knights face Illinois. If and when it happens, will Carlin actually remember how to say “touchdown Rutgers?”
SAS UP LATE?
Was Stephen A. Smith tipping his hand concerning the next phase of his career.
Hours before he was to appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” SAS said: “I believe late-night (television) is in my future.” He then reassured the zombies watching ESPN’s “First Take” to “not worry, I’m not going anywhere.”
Much has been recently made over Smith switching agents, dumping Headline Media Management and hiring CAA. The quick reaction was that SAS changed agents because he’s looking to get a Skip Bayless-like contract out of the Bristol Clown Community College faculty.
But could it be he went to CAA because it is better positioned to secure that late-night gig? Or assist Smith in getting his own after dark soiree on HBO or Showtime?
Sounds like a plan, right?
SCHMOOZE & SACKS
Strange but entertaining.
That’s the best way to describe Steve Somers’ Wednesday WFAN interview with Mark Gastineau.
Let’s just say Gastineau, whose wife made a cameo during the spot, had plenty to get off his chest. And the artist formerly known as Captain Midnight did a heck of a job bringing the former Jets sack dancer, who was rambling, back down to earth.
Gastineau, an evangelical Christian, ended it all with some extended preaching.
Sure sounded like Somers was ready to convert.
Kenny Albert’s brain is highly compartmentalized.
That’s not exactly breaking news. Another example of his ability to get the most out of his medulla oblongata began Thursday when he embarked on a journey doing all four major U.S. sports in seven days.
Thursday: Nationals-Dodgers NLDS Game 5 (FS1)
Sunday: Washington-Eagles (Fox).
Monday: Rangers-Sharks (MSG Radio)
Wednesday: Knicks-Celtics (MSG TV)
He will not follow this up with a night of stand-up at Carolines.
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DUDE OF THE WEEK: COLIN KAEPERNICK
This isn’t about whether you support or oppose Kaepernick’s initiative to stage a symbolic protest during the national anthem at Niners games. It’s all about the healthy and much-needed dialogue he’s created focusing on a singular issue. In the process, he has taken center stage on the cultural landscape, transforming himself into the highest-profile player in the sport by simply taking a knee. Sunday in Buffalo he actually gets to play QB. For Kaepernick, however, this season continues to be about much more than a game.
DWEEB OF THE WEEK: MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
When you sell out and extract every dollar from the marketplace you wind up being as powerless as MLB was Monday night. Dodgers fans had to wait until almost midnight to find out the game time for Tuesday’s NLDS home game. That’s always the case when MLB lets television executives from multiple networks, whose only goal is to maximize viewership, call the shots on start times. Diehard fans had to wait until the 13-inning Cubs-Giants tilt ended to find out approximately when the first pitch of Game 4 would be thrown.
What Todd Bowles said: “I don’t talk just to talk. If I have something to say I’ll say it. If I don’t I won’t.”
What Todd Bowles meant to stay: “I still would have punted on fourth down against the Steelers.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News