Tom Jackson says he believed in his Pats pick when he made it

OK, now this is getting confusing.

Earlier today, we linked to an item from Yahoo! Sports regarding the decision of ESPN analyst Tom Jackson to defend his failed pick of the Patriots by explaining that he picked the Patriots as part of a “psychological game” aimed at enhancing the perception that the Jets were being disrespected, so that the Jets would win the game.

Jackson has explained his explanation to Mike Hiestand of USA Today.

“I was shocked and stunned by Bart’s comments, that they were directed at me,” Jackson said, referring to linebacker Bart Scott’s postgame rant, in which he called out Jackson for doubting the Jets.  “So in an effort to make an excuse for the comments, I made comments I shouldn’t have.”

Jackson now says of his pick of the Pats, “[I] thought it could have been worse,” and that he’s “not arrogant enough to think I can affect the outcomes.”

If we assume that Jackson is being honest with Hiestand, then Jackson is admitting that he was being dishonest when he said he was trying to motivate the Jets.  Either way, it’s a mess — and now we’re not sure how to properly assess whether anyone who makes a game prediction on a national platform is simply offering up their honest opinion, or whether there’s another agenda lurking beneath the surface.

For Jackson, it’s a small blip on what otherwise has been a stellar career in broadcasting.  But it makes us wonder whether others in the media have made picks with that motivation in mind, regardless of whether such tactics ever would be or could be successful.

50 responses to “Tom Jackson says he believed in his Pats pick when he made it

  1. So ESPN analysts make their picks in an attempt to influence the game. That’s great to hear. I wonder if that have any money down?

  2. Dude, you’ve been watching football your entire life. Is this seriously the first time you’ve wondered if the announcer really believes what he just said?!

    “Come, check out my molehill! I call it Mount Slow News Day.”

  3. i don’t care for the jets or the pats but i loved that scott called out tom jackson! these “experts” sit in the chairs and call out players coaches owners and just about everyone else i have no problem with it coming back to bite them in the ass. it should happen more often!

  4. Honestly, Jackson deserved to be called out. I’m so tired of listening to Tom Jackson and his opinions on the Patriots. We all know how he really feels; he makes it very obvious.

    I think FireJoeMorgan should become FireTomJackson.

  5. as a fan of the game, its insulting. This happens on all “Pick” segements of websites and shows. they make their picks for other reasons, wether its to motivate a team or to “catch up” to the “lead dog”. we tune in to get your honest opinion as an analyst/professional of the game. Either give me that or dont make a pick, because i dont care about your little agenda or contest as to who can pick the most winners. I want to know who you believe will win the game. Go play hopscotch or something, but be honest about the picks.
    sorry for the rant

  6. Jackson has been a skidmark on ESPN since the fake Rush Limbaugh incident. This is just another piece of ESPN garbage.

  7. What a dick. I picked the Pats too and faced the music when they lost.

    Just like I will if the Packers lose to the Bears.

    Move on.

  8. Nothing that crazy here Mike. Jackson is simply doing what he does best, talking out of both sides of his mouth.


    why is this a story again? i didnt hear any seahawks pissing and moaning when everyone and their mother picked the saints. who gives a crap?!

  10. Jackson is kind of douchey anyway.

    What he should have said is “I picked the Patriots because they thumped you the last time you played and I thought they were the better team, but the jets showed I was wrong”.

    Or tell people what I do… “I don’t mind bravado and confidence, but I am sick of hearing all the Jets yapping. They never shut up. We got a brief respite from baloney when they lulled at midseason, thank goodness. I hope they lose, so I don’t have to hear them for the rest of the year. And I hate the Steelers more than the Patriots..”

    And, heaven help us if the jets go to the superbowl, we’ll have to hear two weeks of non-stop “no one loves us” and “we get no respect, blah blah blah.”

    No, we respect your skills and ability, but we just don’t like you because you act like punks.

    You haven’t been to a superbowl since III. Just shut up and play ball.

  11. Jackson is a idiot. Never liked him just glad hes finally getting whats been coming to him for all of his stupid comments and predictions. Everybody on that espn panel looks like a true idiot on that game. They ALL talked so much crap besides Keyshawn on how the jets would get killed and how the Pats were so much better. Real experts you have there ESPN. Just still laughing at em all just like all the rest of us jet fans..

  12. Jackson also said “If Hester gets 3 punt returns against Seattle, I guarantee that one of them will be a TD”

    So Hester returns 33% of all punt returns for touchdowns? Really, Tom? That doesnt sound correct.

  13. Tom Jackson is only one example of the stupidity ESPN rolls out on a regular basis.

    ‘The network’ is a joke (as is their magazine), and this is what happens when there is no competition for ratings. Anyone in the Boston market should know what I’m talking about. (See WEEI before the the Sports hub showed up)

    I hope some other all sports network can come along & give them a run for their money. That would force them to re-examine some of the crap they are putting out there.

  14. “For Jackson, it’s a small blip on what otherwise has been a stellar career in broadcasting.”

    “A stellar career in broadcasting”, really?

    He’s a fat pig who consistently spews biased bullcrap, that’s what he is.

  15. Honestly, lets cut some of the fat off of NFL countdown. Keyshawn has never said anything of value to anyone ever. And Tom Jackson is about as reliable as Lindsay Lohan.

    Lets go with Berman, Ditka, Herm Edwards, Carter, and Schefter.

    Also, should exist to.

  16. Are you guys kidding with this “story”? I wasn’t sure. “This is getting confusing.” Really? I guess the electoral college must be way over your head.

    Can PFT set the bar any lower?

  17. It’s amazing how one comment makes you lose total and complete respect for someone. Now all of those years of watching him were a joke. I no longer need to give a damn about his opinion. It’ll be sad when I need to pay attention to Key or Chris more than Jackson on their show.

  18. I’m sorry, this is just the most ridiculous story of the year. What exactly did Tom Jackson do wrong here? It was a pick! Terry Bradshaw did the same thing on FOX — picking Seattle and the Jets to “catch up” to the other analyists. Picks are supposed to be fun. Anyone who actually thinks this is a problem really is overblowing things.

    The real issue should be, why is Bart even watching the pre-game show on Sunday morning and that worried about a pick Tom Jackson made?

  19. Hard to take anything anybody on ESPN says seriously anymore. If you’re such a daft network that you have Millen working for you along with Theisman, enough said.

    Nobody really cares, except Bart Scott. And who even cares what that blowhard has to say anymore. The guy would call out his own Grandma. He’s a tool

  20. Gimme a break like the Jets need Tom Jackson to fuel them with motivation.. HAHA. It wasn’t the fact they were playing the Pats, who had just destroyed them earlier in the season or the fact it’s a divisional round playoff game. Nope, it was Tom Jackson.


    Your life will be soooo much better. I gave them up two years ago and it is great. Turn on the game at kick off and enjoy.

    There are too many people in the media that are still to close to the game. They have axes to grind, people they love and people they hate.

    Don’t waste your time….mow your lawn instead.

  22. Jackson loves himself some Brady and Roethlisberger. It’s disturbing looking at him drool when he analyzes their play. Ex. “Ooh..he’s got that IT factor…” Thank goodness humans can’t read minds.

  23. elgaffo: yeah, it’s real insulting, isn’t it? These infernal pregame analysts with their sneaky “hidden agenda” picks and their macho head games! They should know better than to trifle with the likes of us.


  24. Jackson’s predictions probably had just as much of an effect on the game last Sunday as did the fair-sized dump that I took this morning.

    ESPN analysis is garbage, but it takes a real joke of a human to spend the time and effort to analyze ESPN analysis.

  25. I think you are reading the situation wrong. His first statement indicated he picked the Pats in order to influence the Jets. Now he is retracting that statement, so his pick was purely who he thought would win.

    It was possibly the shock over being called out by Scott, which is pretty bizarre: lots of others picked the Pats too. Jackson is a great commentator, but he seems like he values the respect of defensive players such as Scott. The rebuke probably left Jackson dissembling on his remarks, and he fibbed in justifying them. Not great, but hardly a serious offense.

    I understand your beefs with ESPN, and even support some of them. But this one seems like it is stretching the point of credulity. The original story would have been fair game for this type of talk, but that has already been retracted.

  26. Teddy Atlas went on sportscenter after the Hatton v. Pacquio fight saying he picked Hatton to win it because it made for a better storyline/hyped it up more.

    Manny destroyed him in the 2nd round.
    So yea, ESPN will makes picks just to make it more dramatic for the viewing audience.

  27. “But it makes us wonder whether others in the media have made picks with that motivation in mind, regardless of whether such tactics ever would be or could be successful.”


    If that’s true, than maybe Tony Dungy really does like the Saints after all. Thanks for the motivation to go win the Super Bowl, Tony!

  28. Jackson finally cleared up the confusion by revealing that in fact it was his cousin Earl, who looks very much like Tom, “fillin’ in for me” at the studio when the pick was made. “Nice guy, but he don’t know crap about football”, according to Jackson.

  29. The only thing good about ESPN pregame show is the Mayne Event. The “analysts” all have to be right and get pissed when they aren’t, which is pretty much always. I like Ditka, he needs to go on another channel.

  30. LOL why is this a “blip”? pathetic. Hopefully we lose our arrogance and ego next time around.

  31. Bart Scott would be wise to shut it and worry about trying to beat Pitt who will also be picked by most analysts

  32. Said it for YEARS now

    Get rid of Chris Berman AND Tom Jackson!

    If I wasn’t a sports fan an NFL fan, I wouldn’t ever tune in to watch the highlights and game previews.

    btw Im not a saintsfan the username refers to something else.

  33. jetfuel21 says: Jan 20, 2011 1:09 PM

    Gimme a break like the Jets need Tom Jackson to fuel them with motivation.. HAHA. It wasn’t the fact they were playing the Pats, who had just destroyed them earlier in the season or the fact it’s a divisional round playoff game. Nope, it was Tom Jackson.
    Dude, YOUR team’s LB is the guy who was shouting about it like a deranged mental patient after the game. Obviously he was motivated by it. Chances are no one in the world including most Jets fans would have remembered who picked who had Bart “more talk than tackles” Scott not spit in Paolantonio’s face about it after the game.

  34. He has got to be the only Reporter that would respond to being called out for not believing in a team. Its not like Bart insulted his Mother or something.

  35. In college i frankly didnt have much to do so on Sunday i watched the pregame shows religiously Fast forward six years after tha,t i now realize what a waste of time it was. Wake me up @ 1 when the fun starts.

  36. I support Tom Jackson 100% regardless of the intimations in the article. He has added to my enjoyment of the game immensely through his play and as an analyst for ESPN. All predictions are SWAG moments. (Scientific Wild Ass Guess)

  37. Shannon Sharpe did the same thing last week when picking the Eagles over the Packers. He said it looks like hes picking the Eagles but bc everytime he picks against the Packers they win so thats why he was picking the Eagles.

    Its basically the same thing Jackson did and I dont hear anyone complaining about it in Philly or Green Bay. New York just needs to stop being so sensitive.

  38. @ gallyhatch

    FoxSportsNet tried to compete with a nightly “sportscenter” type show and sports related shows (Best Damn…), but they couldn’t crack ESPN, and they “died”.

    Back to ESPN and Tom Jackson, ESPN needs to overhaul it’s gameday hosts. Berman is a caricature of himself now. Ditka is clueless and not interested. Keyshawn–Moron. Tom Jackson–no comment. John Saunders is a hockey guy, isn’t he?

    They have much better talent with Jaws, Bruschi, Hoge, Wingo, even Schlereth, who isn’t that great but better than the GameDay crew. ESPN needs to shake it up. Too bad they didn’t get Rodney Harrison. GameDay would be great with Wingo taking over for Berman with a panel of Bruschi, Jaws, Hoge, and Harrison. Put Steve Young in the studio too. He’s pretty good.

    ESPN! It’s time to move on.

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