Training camps are underway, meaning reporters have more access to players than they have the past few months. More access means more chances for leading questions meant to generate headlines.
A popular one this year, or at least one that has been successful generating #content, is asking a new free agent acquisition whether he likes his new team’s fans better than his former team’s fans. So far two players have been ensnared: Mark Sanchez (who later clarified his statement) and DeSean Jackson.
“It is different,” Jackson told CSN Washington comparing Redskins fans and Eagles fans. “They’re very supportive here. You know, they’re open. You know, being out here on the field I’ve been hearing certain things, but they’re good things. In Philly sometimes, things could have gotten a little negative. They booed their own players, but here you don’t really get that. They’re supporting you, they’re out there. Just as many people that’s here in the morning practice, came to our walk-through practice so that shows you something.”
Look, I’m not going to say Eagles fans aren’t capable of being vile to their own team’s players (or other team’s players or opposing fans or Santa Claus), but the same is true of Redskins fans. Or any other fan base. DeSean Jackson was mostly a solid player for the Eagles but he had more than his share of frustrating moments on the field. There’s nothing but promise right now for him and the Redskins. Plus fans get to know their team got a key contributor from a division rival who was released for stupid reasons.
As for Nacho, he’s a former high first-round pick of the Jets who was the liability that kept several stellar defenses from reaching the promised land. Oh, and he buttfumbled. OF COURSE Jets fans would hate him more and treat him worse than Eagles fans. To Philly, he’s just a joke or a slightly embarrassing backup to have around.
So, I don’t know, beat reporters, perhaps wait a year or two to ask the player that sort of thing? It will still be a pointless and needlessly provocative question, but at least the answer might not be so obvious.