Part of my responsibilities here at This Given Sunday is to cover the AFC North and help with the AFC South, specifically the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts. I enjoy my work, and I say what I feel. I don’t say things I don’t believe in, and I don’t say things just to be inflammatory such as one ESPN First Take analyst. I call it how I see it.
It’s for that very reason that I find Michael Lombardi’s latest piece considerably comical. In his “open letter,” Lombardi points out that he wasn’t attacking Gabbert as a person when Lombardi criticized Gabbert last December. Lombardi says he was only commenting on his play. Then Lombardi does something even more unbelievable. He uses charts and statistics.
I’m no expert, but when you have your research department draw up some charts in what is an “open letter,” you’ve ceased making any effort at being personal. Frankly, open letters are a joke, and they’re completely for the purposes of PR, but that talks for another day. Here’s a couple great tidbits from Lombardi’s letter:
“I realize you have no idea who I am, or care to know, but my critical comments last December were not directed at you as a person, but rather, your performance as a rookie player in the NFL.”
“Young players must understand the difference between coaching and criticism. Coaches strive for excellence because they have a vested interest in their players. Meanwhile, critics just explain what went wrong without caring about the future. I care about you being a good player, not because of how I graded you, but rather, for the good of league.”
“I had our research department go back and pull up the modern-era quarterbacks drafted in the first round who started at least half the games in their rookie season.”
I’ll simply touch on the three comments I pulled out above. The first one is simply telling us all what we already knew. Lombardi is an analyst. Rarely do analysts begin attacking a person’s character due to that player’s level of play on the field.
The second excerpt is my favorite. Michael Lombardi isn’t a coach, and by his own definition, he’s not a critic either. Hmm, I wonder what that actually makes him.
Finally, I pulled out the line where Lombardi says that he had the research department pull up a statistic. I love it. It shows the backbreaking work that Lombardi does day in and day out. Don’t worry though guys, I’m only criticizing Lombardi’s work as an analyst, not him as a person.