The New York Jets lost to the New England Patriots Monday night at home, 33-0. As if that wasn’t bad enough, their quarterback who was exposed on the field, got exposed off the field by ESPN.
The Jets allowed quarterback Sam Darnold to wear a mic for the game as requested by ESPN, who mic up players on a weekly basis for Monday Night Football. After turning the ball over for the third time in the first half, ESPN aired a clip of Darnold on the sidelines saying “I’m seeing ghosts”.
No one wants to be exposed like that publicly and it was a rather foul move on ESPN’s part for airing something private like that. Apparently, some NFL higher ups are not happy with the representatives who cleared the audio clip, but at this point it is already out there. Jets coach Adam Gase wasn’t happy about it, neither was Le’Veon Bell or Sam Darnold or anyone in the Jets organization for that matter.
Adam Gase answered questions from reporters on the ghost comment saying, “Obviously, you never anticipate something like that happening. The fact that it did, it just gives us pause to really cooperate anymore, because I don’t really know how we can allow our franchise quarterback to be put out there like that.” Le’Veon Bell tweeted out in defense of his quarterback as well saying “Sammy got screwed over”.
Ultimately, Darnold’s comments weren’t anything extraordinary. It is common for a quarterback, especially a young quarterback to “see ghosts” on the field when the game is moving really fast. Former Jets’ quarterback Boomer Esiason calls it “‘the ghost syndrome’, it’s when you think you saw something that didn’t happen”. The issue here is not a young QB seeing ghosts against the best defense in the NFL. The issue is that the NFL exposed one of their own players in a negative light. Actions like this will make teams and players reluctant to permit sideline access, which unfortunately will result in a downgraded experience for the viewers.