This one’s been on my mind since last week’s game against the 49ers. Jim Harbaugh is a big fat whiner. He whined about the NFL’s rules on hitting QBs before the game, he whined to the refs (per usual) during the game, and he whined at length about Clay Matthews after the game.
And no, this isn’t in defense of Clay Matthews. He was jacked up. The late hit was stupid. Those 4 additional points are on him, and nobody was more upset with Clay than we were as fans. But one late hit does not a dirty player make. I digress. This is in defense of organizations that keep it classy, take things like men, and just play football.
The Packers response from Mike McCarthy was spot on: “Clay Matthews is not a dirty player, by no means. I addressed Harbaugh’s comments in the team meeting, and as always, we’ll stay above it.” Remember last year when the replacement refs botched the fail mary call? Green Bay fans were upset that Mike McCarthy, Ted Thompson and Mark Murphy didn’t do or say more to voice their displeasure. I’m pretty sure we’d still be hearing about it from Jim if that had happened to the 49ers.
This isn’t just a Jim problem. In the last week alone, Jerry Jones whined about Giants players faking injuries, Mike Wallace whined about not getting enough catches, and I’m sure Pete Carroll whined about something, but I’ve made a point to avoid any of his comments.
From the revered Vince Lombardi himself: “Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” Funny, but Lombardi didn’t mention anything about whining. Nobody likes a whiner, in football or life.
While we’re naming names, it should be noted that a lot of teams, like the Packers, do their best to stay above the fray. And not surprisingly, they are also the organizations that many would recognize as the best in the business — well-run, well-coached, often in contention. The Steelers had a really tough start to their season. Did anyone hear Mike Tomlin whining? Peyton Manning stuck around after a heartbreaking playoff loss, not to whine to the press, but to shake hands with a retiring Ray Lewis. The list could go on.
You can’t teach class. But if there’s no crying in baseball, can we please stop whining in football?Tweet