By Adam Hart
"Outrageous!" they cry.
"There's some things you just don't do," they lecture.
"I expected him to behave with more class than that," they gossip from the confines of their knitting circles sports talk radio studios.
And they're right.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin pulled a big no-no by publicly outing his punter as below-average at following directions. Matt Dodge, the punter, told logic to stick it Sunday, punting the ball to Eagles att-lete DeSean Jackson with the game tied and 15 second remaining in regulation. Jackson returned that very bravely punted football for a touchdown.
The Eagles won. The Giants lost. New York now trails Philly by one game in the NFC East standings.
Yeah, not punting it out of bounds was a big "oops." But that's no reason for Coughlin to undress him on the field -- figuratively. And it's certainly not an excuse for bringing it up again in his postgame press conference. What's one game in the standings when a player's feelings are on the line?
And don't make excuses for the coach.
"My high school baseball coach undressed me worse than that for failing to lay down a two-strike bunt. We were up by ten runs."
Why is everyone getting undressed?
Anyway, it won't work here, buddy. This is professional sports, where the athletes have been coddled from an early age, and no Super Bowl-winning coach can change that now. Why? Sports Talk personalities have picked up where the athletes' parents left off. Even if the coach tries, it's likely too late to get a positive reaction:
"Nope. Sorry, Coach. They tell me my feelings are too hurt to punt the ball out of bounds for you."
You reap what you sow, Mr. Coughlin. Maybe next time you should sow candy bars and hugs. And higher ratings. That way the need to manufacture controversies won't exist.