Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Weekend Winner: New York Jets, Enablers

Illustration for article titled Weekend Winner: New York Jets, Enablers

In sports, everyone is a winner-some people just win better than others. Like alleged drunk driver Braylon Edwards, whose blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit not a week before he scored the touchdown that put the Jets ahead for good.


Playing for Rex Ryan is supposed to be a blast. He's one of the guys, knows how to have a good time. But he's also supposed to be a hard-ass when you screw up, and some of that showed through on Hard Knocks. But we had almost forgotten that this is pro sports, and there's the ultimate double standard for players, and good players. If you can help the team win, go fuck up all you want, and they'll find a way to get you on the field.

Team discipline? The Jets got flagged nine times for 81 yards. But that's a symptom, not the disease. Another symptom was the first play of the second quarter, when Braylon Edwards got on the field for the first time. He lined up wide for 34 of the Jets' 57 offensive plays, and caught a 61-yarder in the third quarter that would prove the gamewinner.

Team discipline? Edwards danced in the end zone after his score, just a week after getting penalized for excessive celebration. (That's not a euphemism for driving drunk, although it should be).

Team discipline? Officially, according to GM Mike Tannenbaum, Edwards was benched for a quarter as punishment for being out late Monday night, even though there was no curfew and the next day was an off day. Worth noting, highlighting and circling: Vernon Gholston and D'Brickashaw Ferguson were passengers in Edwards's car, therefore presumably also out late, and they weren't punished.

The Jets claim they can't unilaterally suspend Braylon until his case is heard. That's probably true, but it rings hollow while personal conduct policies exist, and Ben Roethlisberger is suspended without technically having committed a crime. And at least in Big Ben's case, his defense—she said yes—would explain everything. How can Braylon Edwards explain away a breathalyzer reading?

Some nonsense about antibiotics, apparently. I guess when they say antibiotics can increase alcohol absorption, they mean it forces you to double-fist cocktails.


Team discipline? Maybe the Jets can't suspend Edwards yet. But they could have kept him benched, saying he wasn't in their gameplan. With their patchwork receiver corps, it's a ludicrous notion. But not as ludicrous as pretending they care about his DUI beyond how it affects them on the field, then sitting him out for all two drives.