The media that covers the New York Jets has come up with a few consistent narratives heading into the 2012 NFL season. One of them is building up Tim Tebow’s work ethic and viability as a starting quarterback while simultaneously questioning the same attributes in Mark Sanchez. Quarterback controversies sell. The potential of a Darelle Revis holdout is another one, even though the topic was initially broached by reporters not by a comment from Revis or the team. Finally, Santonio Holmes remains the aloof team villain.
Whether it is the Daily News misconstruing quotes from him or anonymous sources or Rich Cimini commenting during last week’s OTAs “Holmes still in Germany, according to team. Long trip. Maybe he’s looking for Berlin Wall.” when Holmes missed a voluntary practice to visit with American troops abroad, he remains the team’s bogeyman. It is laughable when the reporters characterize his answers to their questions as “testy.” Gee, I wonder why? Maybe he sees what is written about him and is exhausted of the constant questioning of him being the sole reason for the team’s struggles last year.
Let’s give a quick review of what we know Santonio Holmes did this off-season –
1. He worked out in Florida with his strength and conditioning coach, during a time of the year that many NFL players are taking a vacation.
2. He spent 2 weeks in Africa with the Pros for Africa organization visiting with and helping impoverished children throughout the continent.
3. He met with quarterback Mark Sanchez for a few days in Florida to smooth over any differences they had last season.
4. He visited ill and injured troops at USO locations in Germany.
5. He organized a bowling event to raise money for Sickle Cell research.
6. He is working with the F.I.N.E.S.S.E. Foundation Football Camp by sponsoring five kids to attend.
All the positive work that Holmes is doing doesn’t fit in the media’s narrative of him, so it doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. Instead he gets a headline on the Daily News saying “Give Me The Damn Ball!” when the quote was pulled from an anonymous source and not from him…then people like Manish Mehta wonder why they get “testy” answers from him in press conferences.
I am not saying Holmes hasn’t made mistakes on and off the field throughout his NFL career, but who hasn’t? I do know he is far from the villain that the media makes him out to be.