After the Jets dispatched of the favored Patriots in the AFC divisional round of the NFL playoffs, Jets linebacker Bart Scott sounded off. Scott started his long post-game rant with, “To all the nonbelievers, especially you Tom Jackson!” aiming his displeasure at the ESPN analysts 30-10 prediction favoring the Patriots.
In an interview on ‘Mike and Mike in the Morning’, Jackson admitted that his prediction “was done premeditated.” The former Pro Bowl linebacker and longtime ESPN NFL analyst’s true intention was to “play a bit of a psychological game with the Jets” and “fire them up”:
“I certainly knew they had a chance to win, and I thought they certainly might win the game. But I know that when they saw 30-10 that I think they would be reminded of what most people were feeling, and I know that they needed to be a little bit angry going on the field.” – ESPN NFL Analyst Tom Jackson on Mike and Mike in the Morning
Jackson has officially lost every ounce of the credibility he built since joining ESPN in 1987. How can he be trusted at his word? Next time he critiques a player is that really what he sees and believes or is he trying to motivate them? The next time he talks up a team is he trying to give them a false sense of hope?
Jackson used the audience as a pawn to serve his own agenda. He used his vast influence and the power of ESPN in an attempt to affect the results of a game because he “knew that they [The Jets] needed to be a little bit angry going on the field”.
This is the very definition of narcissism. His intention wasn’t to educate the audience by giving the best of his knowledge and experience, he tried to motivate one team over another. He lied to you.
“I hope that he [Scott] realizes that I am actually a fan of the Jets and of Rex Ryan and of that defense,” added Jackson.
When you watch ESPN you shouldn’t have to think about who the analysts like or who they don’t, you should be able to trust analysts are telling the truth as they see it.
If Jackson was saving face and didn’t like being called out by Scott after having made a wrong prediction, to backtrack like this is akin to a recent controversy at the New York Times. Columnist William Rhoden wrote a piece titled ““The Day the Patriots Empire Began to Crumble,” which went online the morning of December 6th. When the the Patriots defeated the Jets 45-3 later that evening Rhoden rewrote the article and toned down the criticism he had heaped upon the Patriots.
The New York Times determined that they “let down readers” and apologized, ESPN should follow suit. The NFL might want to take a long look at this as well, the last thing they want is the impression that the media is trying to manipulate results.
Either way he’s lost me, I just can’t trust him at his word anymore.