[Editor’s note: The prior version of this article was based on a column by Jim Miller of CSNChicago.com that attributed certain statements to former Vikings quarterback Sage Rosenfels. As explained below, both Miller and Rosenfels have since denied that Rosenfels made the comments, and the column at CSNChicago.com has been revised.]
Just when my Saturday night at the Motel 6 in Midtown Manhattan was starting to get boring, the evening took a turn for the interesting.
I awoke from a late-afternoon/early evening siesta (it sounds so much less lame than calling it a “nap”) to find an e-mail from Jeremy Lynn, the Web Producer of CSNChicago.com. Lynn was alerting me to the latest column from former NFL quarterback Jim Miller, a very nice guy and PFT supporter whom I’ve met during each of the past two Super Bowl weeks. Lynn pointed out that, in the Miller column, “former Viking Sage Rosenfels said Childress is an ‘absolute idiot’ and ‘clueless.'”
I clicked the supplied link, and there the comments were. Sure, they were buried more deeply than we would have buried them, but every editor is different when it comes to picking the icing for the cake.
I cobbled together an item based on the text of Miller’s column, copying and pasting (it’s one of our only real skills) the assertion from Miller that Rosenfels in an interview this week on Sirius NFL Radio called Vikings coach Brad Childress “clueless,” and that Rosenfels “thought Brad was an absolute idiot during his time in Minnesota.”
Then, while working on this week’s PFT mailbag, I received an eyebrow-raising e-mail from Jim Miller: “Hey mike. U have to retract that statement. That is not the article I sent to comcast. They have since changed after I teamed [sic] them that editor changed some things.” (In a subsequent e-mail, Miller said, “What I sent was in know [sic] way what they posted.”)
Within literally 30 seconds after getting Miller’s e-mail, my phone rang. It was Sage Rosenfels. And though he was cordial and professional, Sage wasn’t happy.
In short, he strongly denies saying what the original version of Miller’s column said that Rosenfels said.
“I can’t tell you the last time I did an interview with Jim Miller or on Sirius NFL Radio,” Rosenfels said. “I sure as hell would never as said anything about Brad on the air or off the air. I don’t even know Jim Miller. Why would I want to get myself wrapped up in that whole situation?”
Sage was very passionate and convincing. Even if I hadn’t already heard from Miller, I would have believed Rosenfels. “I never said that to Jim Miller nor anybody else in the media,” Rosenfels said. “I wish the Vikings the best of luck. We had a great year last year in Minnesota. I’ve got a lot of respect for those players and coaches. That’s not my personality.”
Rosenfels also denied that he was Jason Cole’s source for a Yahoo! Sports story in which an unnamed Vikings player said in August that “Brett [Favre] thinks Childress has no clue about offense.”
For now, Miller’s column has been revised to mention no names: “One former Viking I spoke with on Sirius NFL radio this week told me he thought Brad was an absolute idiot during his time in Minnesota. He could not believe Brad called plays as offensive coordinator for the Eagles prior to getting his head coaching job and said Brad was ‘clueless.'” Though some may think that Miller merely yanked Rosenfels’ name because Rosenfels made the comments on an off-the-record basis, Rosenfels was clear — he never said anything like that to Miller or anyone else.
“I didn’t say that to him,” Rosenfels said. “I don’t know him.”
So there you have it. Just another boring Saturday night at the Motel 6 in Midtown Manhattan.