On Monday, we had a little fun with MMQB flunky Greg Bedard, who was filling in for Peter King in his regular weekly nugget dump. In true MMQB fashion, Bedard took the opportunity to trash DeSean Jackson while taking management’s side that the Eagles didn’t do any wrong by him. Bedard also said he hopes the whole episode will serve as a wake-up call to Jackson.
That might have struck some as off-base, but Bedard explains in the Tuesday mailbag that his pissy little lecture was informed by how he’s racked by guilt for not somehow stopping Aaron Hernandez from becoming a (still alleged!) murderer.
My point was that I think the public airing and backlash about some of his activities, both inside the Eagles and in his free time, should at least give Jackson a few moments of reflection to say to himself, “Maybe I need to tighten things up a little bit.”
Most of that comment came from my lingering feelings of guilt about the entire Aaron Hernandez episode, when I was covering the Patriots for the Boston Globe. When I started covering the team in the middle of Hernandez’s rookie season, I was blown away by his talent and wondered why he lasted until the fourth round of the 2010 draft. It couldn’t have just been about the reported marijuana use while he was at Florida. So I called around the league and heard about the concerns some teams had about his associates from his hometown, and that there were possible gang ties. I tried to get something concrete on it, but I couldn’t get any traction with the story (Instagram photos would have been nice). There were no facts, just strong rumors. So I never wrote anything, and then the unthinkable happened.
To this day I think about ways I could have dug harder and published a story that, at least, might have woken Hernandez up (and woken us all up to Hernandez) before he allegedly broke bad. My hope, because Jackson is still young and very talented, is that he learns from his experience with the Eagles, grows from it and realizes his vast potential. But maybe I’m just being idealistic.
Or perhaps you’re just deluded.
This is the fat-ass journalist equivalent of Mark Wahlberg saying he could have prevented 9/11. Bedard seems to be implying that DeSean Jackson is inevitably on the same path as Aaron Hernandez. So don’t hate on Greg for haughtily passing judgment on DeSean for knowing someone who happens to be in a gang. Bedard is just a pre-cog trying to stop future murder.