Matt Millen's faux pas highlights non-draft aspects of draft weekend

With the 2010 NFL Draft now over, everyone (us included) is talking about the guys who were, and weren’t, picked.

But let’s talk about the most memorable moments unrelated to the specific selection of players.  We’ve got five of them. 

And since the title gives away the top of the list, we’ll start with that one.

1.  Matt Millen’s apology.

While engaging in on-air banter regarding fried bologna sandwiches with ESPN colleague Ron Jaworski, former Lions G.M. Matt Millen said, “Ask any Polack from Buffalo how they like them, right Jaws?

Within a half hour, Millen offered up a somewhat disjointed apology:  “Earlier in the telecast of the draft, I made a humorous remark toward Ron Jaworski that could have been misconstrued to people of Polish descent, and I want to apologize because that has absolutely nothing to do.  I’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Ron Jaworski, very playful over the years, and we jab each other back and forth and that has absolutely nothing to do with my comments toward Ron or anybody . . . of Polish descent.  So I apologize.  I meant nothing by it.”

Frankly, we’re not sure how Millen’s specific use of “Polack” would be different than the placement of any other ethnic or racial slur if Jaworski had been, for example, Italian, Jewish, Irish, Muslim, African-American, or gay.  A slur is a slur, and a speedy apology based on a flimsy explanation that the slur was used in jest doesn’t change that.

2.  The Steelers get a preview of coming attractions.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the clock in round one, the NFL got its first taste of the kind of harassment that the team and, more specifically, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will face in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and elsewhere during the 2010 season, and likely beyond.

As Commissioner Roger Goodell walked out to announce the Steelers’ pick, the crowd at Radio City Music Hall loudly chanted “she said no!”  The chant quickly ended when Goodell explained that a young fan would be announcing the pick as part of the Make-A-Wish group. 

Later, the draft’s D.J. played Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator,” which prompted certain smartasses to point out that the Steelers weren’t on the clock.

3.  Antonio Cromartie gets a taste of New York.

Earlier this year, the Chargers traded cornerback Antonio Cromartie to the Jets.  The man who has fathered multiple children with multiple women made an appearance at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday, when the league has a hard time keeping the audience amused during the latter rounds of the process.

And so a small but loud pocket of fans amused themselves by greeting Cromartie with this chant:  “feed your kids!”

Also appearing at the draft was Jets receiver Braylon Edwards, who wore sunglasses indoors — and who managed not to drop the card when reading the team’s fourth-round selection.

4.  Chucky’s day off.

For fans seated in the orchestra level at Radio City Music Hall, the main stage is largely obstructed by the two large, elevated NFL Network and ESPN sets.  And on the first two nights of the proceedings, the ESPN platform was occupied by the periodically scowling face of Jon Gruden.

On Saturday, Gruden was gone.  We assumed it was pre-planned, given that Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, and Steve Young also had made their exits.

But Gruden was supposed to be there.  A “mutual decison” from Gruden and ESPN resulted in the supposedly hard-working Gruden missing four of the seven rounds.

As Rosenthal pointed out, maybe he would have showed up if the third day had begun at 4:00 a.m.

5.  Green Room guest list nearly includes a fourth-rounder.

With 17 players attending the draft, the NFL more than tripled its usual invitation list.  Three players — Rob Gronkowski, Lamarr Houston, and Brandon Ghee — remained after the first night. 

Ghee nearly lasted until the third day, but he was picked by the Bengals late in round three.

Though the league apparently was hoping to include some second-day prospects, the reward that comes from having players in the Green Room beyond Thursday night is outweighed, in our view, by the risk that one or more of them will still be there come Saturday.  Moving forward, we’d limit the list to players widely expected to be first-round picks; if any of them slide out of round one, they’ll be certain to be picked by the time round two concludes.

57 responses to “Matt Millen's faux pas highlights non-draft aspects of draft weekend

  1. Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, and Steve Young also had made their exits.
    After Chucky found out they wouldn’t be here he figured it was appropriate for him to miss it as well.
    He is no Berman or Jackson but is better than Young.

  2. As a person of Polish descent I can’t count how many times I’ve been called a Polack or called someone a Polack…friends and family included. Coming from a friend, it’s not offensive in the least Mike. Are you so politically correct that you never called a paisano, or been called by a paisano, a ginzo or wop? If you deny it you’re lying. It’s how friends talk.
    BTW, I love fried balogna sandwiches on toast with mayo. It’s how my Polack grandfather always made them for us.

  3. Eh, anyone who’d get mad over that comment doesn’t have enough to think about otherwise. He’s a shitty GM, but not a racist judging by that. Settle down everyone.

  4. “Earlier in the telecast of the draft, I made a humorous remark”
    Another misjudgment from the king of them.
    It wasn’t humorous.
    Not saying it was offensive, I don’t know either way because I’m not Polish…..
    But from any standpoint it just wasn’t funny.


  6. Florio…. Please quit! Your posts are so lame anymore its hard to believe you collect a salary from the same network that produced Seinfeld. Oh how the mighty have fallen!

  7. As a “Polack” from Buffalo, I take zero offense to Millen’s comment.
    The best part is that I’m sure 99.9% of Polish people in Buffalo couldn’t care less as well.

  8. Matt Millen making a mistake at the draft?!
    No way! I don’t believe it.
    He probably just meant to call Jaws a fag.

  9. as i said prior to the pitt/det game last year…
    what home team crowds (the 4-5 that are left after the suspension) need to do as ben goes under center is yell one little word…

  10. Mike, I agree in today’s world it is just ignorant to use any reference to someone’s ethnicity. Years ago it was common place and sometimes said in jest with no intended purpose as an ethnic slur. I’m just glad that we live in a new age era, and anytime an ethnic slur occurs we call it, “ignorance”.

  11. BOOM!!! Hilarious, braylon edwards managed not to drop the card! hahhahhaha
    that comment alone makes up for the massive amout of spelling errors, and incorrect words inserted in your posts.
    too funny, it is why I always come back,

  12. The worst part, and many people have mentioned this, is showing the player getting a phone call before his name is called. Kinda kills the buzz.
    Well, that and Steve Young talking over everybody.

  13. While Matt Millen’s apology could have been better, it was timely and directly from him. It was a dumb thing to say. However, unless he repeats the mistake, then let’s move on.
    FYI, the NFL *DOES* most certainly differentiate in categories of racial and ethnic slurs. The mascot for the Washington Redskins would otherwise be a neutral and nonoffensive word like Chief, Brave. Maybe a tribe name.

  14. How is meathead Millen even still in football.
    Worst GM ever.
    By the way, isn’t it Polock?

  15. NFL network and ESPN’s 2nd & 3rd day broadcast was much better. Berman, Young, Tom Jackson (who really needs to retire), and Chucky really took away from the draft for me.
    Are there no producers at ESPN? Berman really couldn’t hold that broadcast together, and was really, really bad. Mel and the others picked up the slack the second day, however.
    /needs to spend less time watching the NFL

  16. “SKINSFANTOM says:
    April 25, 2010 8:49 PM
    Yeah. If there’s one group of people we should all feel sorry for, it’s middle aged white guys.
    They’ve lost their ability to tell good jokes! It’s a travesty!

  17. “dafish says:
    April 25, 2010 9:05 PM
    The worst part, and many people have mentioned this, is showing the player getting a phone call before his name is called. Kinda kills the buzz.”
    I don’t know. I tried to catch some picks in the later rounds, and found it VERY irritating that they would drone on and on for 2 or 3 picks about a player, and completely ignore the picks being made.
    What the hell was that?

  18. Skinsfantom: I hate when people like you make stupid statements like the ones you made. First of all, Isaiah Washington and Tim Hardaway made offensive remarks about gay people. I haven’t heard a peep from them since their comments. Both of them have been ousted from their professions.
    Michael Richards had his racist tirade, and he was on the Seinfeld reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He REPEATEDLY said the n word, and made other punk comments. Don Imus is back on the air after his stupid comments.
    The sheer existence of Hannity, Limbaugh, and Beck shows you that “middle aged white men” can say things without “repercussions.”
    So you are way off base. BTW, don’t write in all caps. It makes you look like a fool. Actually, your foolish comments make you look like a fool.

  19. This PC world sucks. So somebody got their feelings hurt. Big deal!! Grow up. Sticks and stones, and all that.

  20. “SKINSFANTOM says:
    April 25, 2010 9:36 PM

  21. TFBuckFutter is a buffoon. You, punk, are a racist hustler. And plays on your username have been used a million times and are still not funny.

  22. Excuse me if I’m being ignorant, but isn’t a “Polack” just a person of Polish descent? I wasn’t aware it was a slur (like no different than calling a man who practices Judaism a ‘Jew’- although maybe that is now a slur in this crazy world).

  23. The enlightened or should I say the so called enlightened love free speech until they hear something they don’t like (see Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, etc.) Who are the fascists?
    Furthermore, since when did being a homosexual become a race or ethnicity, last I checked one is not born engaging in homosex. I suppose then being a polygamist, polyandry, zooerasty is a an ethnicity/race as well. What about being a pedophile? I think you get the point.

  24. “Mean D says:
    April 25, 2010 10:08 PM
    TFBuckFutter is a buffoon. You, punk, are a racist hustler. And plays on your username have been used a million times and are still not funny.”
    Haha….I’m racist?
    And my username is stolen from an SNL skit. And I bet you can’t accurate identify what it means (because there is multiple jokes inherent in it).

  25. Picture a world with no humor at anyone’s expense. How dull. Every TV sitcom could be shutdown if we continue to take it to the extreme.
    No lawyer jokes
    No blonde jokes
    No alcoholic jokes
    No jokes about ignorant people
    No fat jokes
    No religious jokes
    No jokes about smart people
    No jokes about divorced people
    No jokes about married people
    Sigh. There is a difference between a humorous racial/ethnic/professional remark and calling for the deportation/execution/abuse of a group of people. Learn the difference.
    Joke of the future: “Two people walk into a building. They have an enlightened conversation. Then they leave.”
    Pretty funny, eh?

  26. Skinfantom: I’m ignorant? Wow, what a comeback! You, sir, are a genius. Your witty retort has caused me to totally rethink my position. Maybe you’re right. If we’re not careful, white men won’t be rich and powerful in the near future.
    Bill Gates and Warren Buffett…BEWARE! All 32 of the white NFL owners are in BIG trouble. If Matt Millen and other dopes have to make innocuous apologies, you will lose your wealth and power!
    Oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. I work in an office next to two people from Poland. They tell the best Pollack jokes ever. They even comment that all the Aggie jokes told nowadays used to be Pollack jokes.
    Jeez, lighten up people. No offense intended should be no offense taken, ex-pecially (thanks Marshall Faulk) if it’s said between friends.

  28. This ridiculous excuse for a football analyst needs to resign now. until then, i’ll be staying off of
    what a farce that network has become to continue to give this meat headed clown a camera

  29. I realize that everyone has the right to be offended. While it may be disrespectful to some, the right to be offended shouldn’t be taken away from anyone. Being offended can reaffirm beliefs, make you think about why you are offended and allow you to teach others about being offended allowing them to change how they offend. Being offended can be a good thing. We need an international ‘get offended’ day.

  30. when you think about it really is kinda funny. the name of our nation’s capital’s football team is the redskins. buffalo could switch from the bills to the pollacks, san fran to the chinks, philly would be the wops. i can’t decided, wetbacks or beaners for san diego. detroit, you get the jist. i guess since we didn’t kill all of those people off it might be a little hard to talk them into it. it would all be really funny though.
    truth be told, i thought millen’s remark was harmless and funny, and his appology was even funnier. DC’s football name is really kind of sad.

  31. As a Polack, I know some people would be offended, but not those who aren’t easily offended.
    I also love me some friend bologna sandwiches, especially with fried/grilled onions. Good stuff

  32. Matt Millen may be an arrogant jerk who drove a pretty broken Detroit Lions to the wrecking yard but his comment to Jaworski wasn’t a big deal. It is clear that these two DO have a playful relationship. This is another case of P.C. run amok. And it’s a great shame that we’ve allowed it to get to this point.

  33. “As Rosenthal pointed out, maybe he would have showed up if the third day had begun at 4:00 a.m.”
    Whoa, whoa, whoa. There is a HUGE difference between a guy showing up to do his COACHING duties at 4:00 a.m. and not showing up to co-host a mostly not-watched t.v. program.
    Maybe if the PFT staff showed up at 4:00 a.m. every now and again we wouldn’t have non-stories like this one every day.

  34. Did anyone else hear Steve Young’s racist comment? I forget who he was talking to but he asked him if he had just come from the reservation or something like that.
    I really thought one of the commenters on here would have mentioned that.

  35. “FEED YOUR KIDS!!!” “SHE SAID NO!!!”
    Man the chants were hilarious! I gotta see if “FEED YOUR KIDS” is on Youtube. If Braylon was up there alone, it woulda been “CATCH THE BALL!!”

  36. “Moving forward, we’d limit the list to players widely expected to be first-round picks; if any of them slide out of round one, they’ll be certain to be picked by the time round two concludes.”
    Yeah, like Bruce Campbell.

  37. Florio, you make so many decent points – but it rankles me how you’re such a muckraking pussy about things at times.
    Millen used the pollack term? I’ve got a doctor buddy of mine who is Polish. We bust chops with “How the F*** you been you dumb pollack?” and he comes back with, “What do you care, shrimpdick?” And we both bust out laughing, and then we rock the conversation.
    In your world, you portray that in a pious holier-than-thou fashion as if you’re above such contemptible behavior — when all it is – is two morons who are friends who like to clown with each other.
    The PC world of today is a Utopia of sorts ……. for pussies and/or those who crave to cast themselves as VICTIMS.

  38. Skinsfantom-
    You are mind-numbingly ignorant trailer-trash. Half the words in your original post were misspelled.

  39. As a Slovenian (Hunky, if you will) I too enjoyed fried bologna sandwiches as a kid.
    And to thumb my nose at the PC Police:
    What do you call a Slovenian rowboat? Hunky dory!
    What do you call a Slovenian beast of burden? A Hunky donkey, of course!

  40. I am part polish (Grandmothers on my fathers side original last name was Pitas) and I thought it was funny.
    How do you stop a polish tank?
    Shoot the two guys who are pushing it.

  41. Millen is a total waste of space. He was once a good football player but stinks as a leader of people and personnel decision making.
    See if you can stick that other foot in your mouth also.

  42. As a Polock I am not offended by Millen whatsoever. I am offended by Tom Jackson’s racist tendencies when it comes to QBs. He rips Tebow, but continues to carry the flag for guys like Vince Young and Donovan McNabb. Why not some real analysis. Jason Campbell who is asked to do a lot more than McNabb was a better QB than McNabb last year and McNabb had a better team.

  43. Spiteful idiots have always looked for excuses to go on witch hunts, same as it ever was.
    I think MetroNancy’s like PH should grow a pair or at the least shut up.

  44. As a Polack, I am offended alright, offended by non-Poles who want to determine what offends me.
    When did non-Poles get the right to determine what offends us? Ethnic slur my ass.
    I see the term Polack to have evolved into someone of Polish descent who is not from Poland. Calling us Poles is not correct in my view as it reflects someone who is a Polish citizen to me.
    Stay the hell out of our business Florio and the same goes for the dopes at ESPN.

  45. “Polack” isn’t racist – it’s actually the name for the people.
    Why did Millen apologize, and why were people offended? Unless you’re a Polish person living in Buffalo, you aren’t even eligible to be offended.
    this country sucks sometimes. what a bunch of babies.

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