The above video has been bouncing around because of the obvious silliness of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's reaction yesterday to questions about his injured left knee. Hernandez has been out for two games, so his condition is somewhat newsworthy in New England. And after clowning for a bit, Hernandez finally offered a coherent (if meaningless) answer: "I feel pretty good. Just trying to get healthy and take it day-by-day." Yeah, thanks. No shit. Aren't we all? Blah. But then again, it's not like he's required to say anything at all.
Yet even though Hernandez spoke but shed no light on his situation, it was still passed along blandly as straight news by several of the newspapers that cover the Patriots. Not one report below conveys the true tenor of Hernandez's reaction, which is the only part anyone cares about, if any of it was worth sharing at all. Just because that's the way newspapers tend to do these things.
From the Boston Globe, which led its Patriots notebook with the Hernandez exchange:
Aaron Hernandez took the nonverbal approach yesterday when he attempted to describe how his left knee was feeling. The Patriots tight end, who was inactive the last two games after spraining his medial collateral ligament against San Diego Sept. 18, groaned loudly.
Asked if that was any indication of how his knee felt when he got up yesterday morning to report to Gillette Stadium in preparation for Sunday's home game against the Jets, Hernandez acknowledged as much with an even louder groan.
Evidently, Hernandez did not want to leave anything to interpretation when he finally spoke up and replied, "Feel pretty good. Just trying to get healthy, day by day.''
Hernandez's bit, as we can see from the video, was less of a groan (which implies pain and anguish) than it was a sarcastic shout, repeated for comic effect. But you wouldn't know that if all you read was the Globe.
From the Boston Herald, which also led its notebook with the Hernandez interview:
Aaron Hernandez saw a group of reporters waiting to interview him. "What questions do you want to ask," he said.
The Patriots tight end already knew. A sprained MCL that kept him out of the past two games was on everyone's mind, especially with the Jets coming to town Sunday. With a smile, Hernandez acknowledged his health had improved.
"I feel pretty good," he said. "Trying to get healthy, take it day-by-day. Can't wait to get better."
From the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, which had the Hernandez bit as a notebook item but didn't lead with it:
An encouraging sign at practice yesterday was the return of tight end Aaron Hernandez, as well as defensive linemen Albert Haynesworth and Mike Wright. Hernandez, who has missed the last two games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, practiced on a limited basis.
"I feel pretty good," Hernandez said before practice. "I'm just trying to get healthy, take it day by day."
From the Providence Journal, which also placed the conversation in the middle of a notebook:
Hernandez spoke with reporters before practice and looked healthy. He was asked repeatedly about his chances of playing. He seemed to want to say something and spent time joking with a big crowd around his locker. But he followed the company line.
"I take it day by day. We'll see how it feels," he said of his injured left knee.
The Globe dispatch did add the observational detail that Hernandez was seen wearing a brace before practice. But even that was buried beneath that narrative about what Hernandez had to say, which included none of the worthwhile humor of his response, which in words amounted to a whole lot of nothing.