NFL Films signed off on airing of Sam Darnold’s ‘ghosts’ comment
A firestorm has erupted in New York over how an unflattering comment from a mic’d up Sam Darnold made the air during ESPN’s coverage of the Jets’ blowout loss to the Patriots on “Monday Night Football.”
On Monday, Jets head coach Adam Gase seemingly took aim at ESPN for allowing Darnold’s comments about “seeing ghosts” to hit the airwaves. It turns out that Gase’s ire ought to be directed at NFL Films, not ESPN, according to a report from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
In a series of tweets Tuesday, Mehta laid out the procedures and protocol for how comments from mic’d up players are shared with the viewing audiences in these kind of situations. It merits noting that NFL Films reportedly is not pleased with how their in-stadium rep authorized ESPN to air the comments in question.
Here's how MNF Mic'd process works: NFL Films signed off on Sam Darnold's "ghosts" comment to be aired. They had a rep on site. My understanding is that people high on NFL Films totem pole are not happy that their rep cleared this for air. (cont)— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 22, 2019
ESPN requested Sam Darnold to be Mic'd up. Jets were receptive to that. Welcomed it. NYJ had agreed to have Darnold Mic'd up for the Week 2 primetime game vs Browns, but he got mono.— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 22, 2019
Jets did not have a rep sign off on "ghosts" comment to be aired.
Finally, ESPN doesn't have any control over what gets aired or not from the Mic'd player. This was a decision made by an on-site NFL Films rep.— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 22, 2019
Bottom line: Players say things like this on sideline a lot. Jets –and Darnold– got screwed here. The organization should be pissed
One more note on how Mic’d up comments reach air: NFL Films clears a comment for air… ESPN does have the freedom to not use the comment if they choose. In this case, once NFL Films gave the green light on Sam Darnold’s ghosts comment, ESPN decided to use it. Made for great TV— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 22, 2019
Jets running back Le’Veon Bell was among those on social media who have reacted to the reporting on the controversy. Bell took to Twitter to say the NFL “screwed Sammy over” and “did Sam dirty as hell.”
The NFL screwed Sammy over…there’s not one player in the NFL who’s cool with having every sideline convo broadcasted to millions…there’s a reason we’ve never heard other QB’s frustrated on the sideline like that before…that’s crazy, @NFL did Sam dirty as hell https://t.co/2XmYXNTNoL— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) October 22, 2019
As noted, Gase took issue with Darnold’s “seeing ghosts” talk making it on air, indicating the Jets will consider not cooperating with requests to have players mic’d up in the future.
“We’ll be looking into that pretty hard,” Gase said Tuesday. “That was one of those things that was really disappointing to hear about after the game. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that where somebody that was mic’ed up was basically… a comment like that was allowed to be aired. It bothers me. It bothers the organization. Obviously, we’re going to be looking hard into our cooperation going forward.”
All that being said, while it is arguably understandable how the Jets are miffed over Darnold’s comments making it on the air, the case can be made the substance of his “seeing ghosts” chatter should be of even greater concern for the organization.