What’s wrong with Darnold seeing ghosts?

Alan Greenwood

The only reason anyone is still thinking about Monday night’s Patriots’ laugher over the Jets concerns the call to let a seemingly benign comment from New York quarterback Sam Darnold go over the airwaves.

Darnold told a teammate that he was “seeing ghosts.” NFL Films, gatekeeper of the audio obtained when a player or coach is mic’d up, saw no problem in letting it fly.

Who could have known the uproar it created. Jets coach Adam Gase growled that it made his young QB look like a frightened kitten, or something along those lines. Teammates jumped on the bandwagon and directed rhetorical death stares at NFL Films, ESPN and the NFL.

Why Darnold’s comment inspired such outrage is bewildering. He didn’t use any of George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say on TV. It didn’t slander anyone. It didn’t threaten anyone’s life, limb or liberty.

It did nothing but reflect the frustration of a kid QB scuffling against a pretty fair defense and coming away baffled.

Old-school football folks, the sort who yearn for the days when players weren’t allowed access to drinking water during steamy double sessions, may think Darnold showed weakness.

If so, there is only one bit of advice for such pseudo-macho men: Welcome to 2019.

TIME TRAVEL: Oct. 25, 1964 – A little off the beaten path, but the following nugget in Fred Dobens’ “Around the Town” column is interesting.

“The sports editor for The Portsmouth Herald has written a column claiming that his team was robbed in Nashua when they played a week ago Friday night.

“He argues that the Nashua player who blocked a kick dropped on it and it was not a ‘live’ ball, which would allow him to run with it. That was one of his complaints. Another was about the ‘dust bowl’ at (Holman Stadium), which he said blocked the view of the officials. It didn’t block his view, though. He saw everything clearly, even things the officials didn’t see. Must have come from the West Coast and be used to smog conditions.

“Comments like that sure help to cement friendly relations between schools and give rise to ugly incidents among crowds of avid supporters. Other schools do not infer they were ‘robbed’ by officials when they against us.

“It is about time that sports writers leave the game to the kids.”

One sports editor’s reaction:


Contact Alan Greenwood at 594-1248,agreenwood@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_AlanG.com.