HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – When NFL players don’t publicly drop the names of supposed dirty players from an opposing team, leave it to a member of the media to stand up for them.
Following the Texans’ 24-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Reliant Stadium, some Houston players were criticized for being “dirty” on the field. Since then, both photo and video sources pertaining to the complaints have made their way around the cyberworld and have sparked a controversy.
Got Your Back, Bro
Outraged, Steve Wrigley – the sports director for Action News in Jacksonville – sent a letter of complaint about their style of play to the Texans fan feedback e-mail address.
Had a great time visiting your city last Sunday. I read coach Kubiak’s comments regarding the accusations the past two weeks about “dirty play”. Coach Kubiak says the Texans are not about to change the way they play. Enclosed is a picture of Brain Cushing with a fist to the throat of Blaine Gabbert and Duane Brown giving Clint Session, “the business”. Clint laughed it off but by the look in his eyes I think it is safe to say that Blaine did not enjoy the trip to Houston as much as I did. Is this the type of message you want to send to the youngsters playing football in Houston? Is this the type of sportmanship the NFL is all about?
Thanks for your time and consideration.
Sports Director, Action News Jacksonville
Deny, deny, deny
Brown has since said he’s not guilty of intentionally punching Session.
“When I was getting up, one of his teammates pushed me,” Brown told SportsRadio 610. “In an attempt to not fall back on top of [Session], my left hand came down and hit him in the stomach area to stop myself from falling on top of him.
“As you saw from the tape, he had no reaction to it and immediately got up and continued to play. I have no reason to apologize, because I didn’t punch him.”
Cushing also denies assaulting any Jaguars players the way some reports suggest.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Cushing said about reportedly punching the Jaguars rookie quarterback. “It wasn’t me.”
Cushing did comment on Gabbert’s use of on-the-field profanity, which was picked up and unfortunately heard on the TV broadcast.
“I think it could have a little better language,” Cushing said. “The competitive environment – it takes it out of some people. I don’t speak like that.”
Becoming The Story
Without hesitation, Wrigley agreed to appear on SportsRadio 610, a CBS radio affiliate and home of the Texans, and continued to express his dislike of what he saw on Sunday.
“The flow of the game was changed by what I think was a cheap shot and a late hit,” Rigley said about the alledged Cushing punch to Gabbert. “I’ve spoken with the NFL office. They’re probably going to fine him.”
Wrigley didn’t just criticize the before-mentioned Texans players. He also articulated resentment for the organization’s “Battle Red Day” theme, while defending the Jaguars’ attendance problems as though he were a die-hard fan rather than a member of the credited media.
“We didn’t have a blackout last year,” Wrigley said to Josh Innes and Rich Lord during the radio interview. “We didn’t have a blackout this year.”
We? Wrigley neither plays nor coaches for the Jaguars, but he still dropped the “We” bomb as though he were an honorary member.
While the NFL is perfectly capable of handling player issues and disputes, Wrigley is clearly becoming his own story.
Journalism 101, buddy.
The Texans (5-3) are 3-0 in the AFC South. The Jaguars (2-6) are 1-1 in the division.