The members of the media that cover a particular team are around them constantly, watching and reporting on their every move. They go to the places the team goes, stay in many of the same hotels the team stays in.
They are not, however, part of the team.
Somebody in the Jets media relations department needs to explain that basic concept to Santonio Holmes.
In an appearance on an NFL.com podcast with Dave Damesheck (and recapped by Newsday’s Bob Glauber), Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes said his relationship with quarterback Mark Sanchez is fine, and their problems last season are behind them.
“One day you have a fight the next day you make up,” he said.
“If you guys want to be, and this is for the New York media, if you guys want to be a part of our team and want to feel so important, be there to support us, not to try to break us down,” Holmes said. “Because [there’s] not one day that we all step in that locker room and we try to break each other down, that we talk bad about the way that person played because it affects the team the way one person plays if they don’t play to perfection.
“If the New York media wants to be a part of our team and wants to continue writing about us, write positive things, stay away from the negative because it doesn’t do anything good for our team that you want to report all the negative things that happen and that’s all you want to talk to us players about. We live for one thing and that’s to play football and not to entertain you people in the media.”
I’ll pause here to give the assembled media a chance to bash their heads against their desks for a moment.
OK, we’re back.
This basic disconnect, sadly, is not rare. When I covered the Panthers, I used to joke that my paychecks were basically the same when the team was 1-15 and when they went to the Super Bowl. Most players got it, not all that many fans understood completely.
The relationships can be cordial, respectful, friendly even. But no professional reporter gives a hoot whether a particular team wins or loses a particular game.
We might pull for a compelling story, or a generous deadline, and especially for no overtime in a night game.
But never for a team.
Since Holmes doesn’t get that, maybe somebody in New York can explain it to him.