NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 23: Jeff Saturday #63 of the Indianapolis Colts congratulates Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints following a game being held at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 23, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Colts 62-7. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
So, if you're a Colts fan, by now you know that Jeff Saturday, a player many of us have great respect for, is trying to worm his way out of comments he made last Sunday following Indy's historical loss to the Saints, 62-7. If you're not a Colts fan, the skinny is Saturday was being interviewed yesterday by Nashville media (the Colts play the Titans this Sunday) and decided to use that time to rant and rave against me personally while, at the same time, digging up a bunch of tired, cliched, backwards stereotypes of 'bloggers.'
Saturday's rant was noted by National Football Posts' Terry McCormick who, among other things, co-owns and publishes the website TitanInsider.com and also has a regular role on local radio and television in the Nashville market. I haven't spoken to Terry, but I assume he was on the a conference call yesterday and heard Saturday make a fool of himself as he tried to backtrack from his Sunday comments.
If you've forgotten what those Sunday comments were, they involve Jeff Saturday going on a local Indianapolis sports show following the Colts loss and saying, among other things, that Jim Caldwell and the Colts coaches were 'out-coached.' The 'out-coached' statement aimed at Caldwell and the Colts coaches was audible by several sources, including Stew Blake of Coltsider.com. I was sent multiple tweets about it the comments Sunday night from many folks who heard them, and all came away with the same feeling: Jeff Saturday just called out the Colts coaching staff.
I wrote an article Monday covering Saturday's comments, which also covered the apology Tweet Jim Irsay sent early Monday morning. Based on the tone of Jeff's 'out-coached' comments, the context he used them in (the team was just friggin blown out 62-7 on national TV), and with the knowledge that many still feel that Jim Caldwell had previously been out-coached by these same Saints in this little game we all remember as Super Bowl XLIV, I wrote this little nugget in that Monday article:
While Irsay is potentially looking for a new general manager, he might have to also deal with his head coach who, slowly but surely, is losing the players. Colts center and player union leader Jeff Saturday went on a local Indianapolis sports show last night following the game and dropped the 'we got out-coached' bomb on everyone.
Even during the 6-10 season in 2001 under Jim Mora Sr., we never saw Jeff call out his coach. He never called out Caldwell in 2009 when the Polians ordered starters would be rested in the final two games; a move Saturday still get red-in-the-face about when people bring it up. But, after losing 62-7, Jeff probably has had enough. Can't say I blame him.
We're now in the finger-pointing phase of the before-mentioned Vortex of Suck.
I used my friend and respected colleague Collin McCollough's tweet as a reference because, like me, he too was getting bombarded with messages Sunday night that Saturday had called out the coaching staff. Full disclosure: Collin used to work with us at Stampede Blue and now writes for Bleacher Report.
Because Jeff Saturday is such a powerful figure in league circles and in the Players Association (Patriots owner Bob Kraft said that, without Saturday, there would still be an NFL lockout), when he goes on any kind of media outlet and says his bosses (aka, the coaches) were 'out-coached' by the opponent, that is a little something we call 'news.'
So, after I published my article, Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk saw it and highlighted it on PFT. When that happened, Jeff's comments went from being small and local to big and national. Now, he's backtracking, and apparently making false statements up in order to save face.
I'm not going to waste anyone's time doing a point-for-point smackdown of Saturday's outburst yesterday to Tennessee media. It would serve no purpose and, while I am disappointed in Jeff, this is the first time he's ever said stuff like this in public. He's not known for being a jerk, and I can understand if he's frustrated with this season and is simply looking for something to take his frustrations out on (a.k.a, me).
However, that doesn't excuse the blatantly fraudulent statements Saturday made when he lashed out at me personally (a 35-year-old professional who lives with his lovely wife in Brooklyn, NY, thank you very f*cking much).
For starters, Jeff can say he was 'misquoted' all he wants, but the fact is he wasn't. By repeatedly charging he was misquoted, Saturday is either blatantly lying to the media to save his ass, or he's just THAT stupid to not know what the word 'misquoted' actually means. Either way, the comment is unacceptable, and, honestly, beneath him. Many people heard him use the word 'out-coached' on the sports show Sunday night when he described the efforts of the Indy coaching staff. There is no debate or doubt as to whether or not he said it. In fact, Saturday himself admitted saying it only to then claim, in the exact same sentence, that he didn't [emphasis mine].
"I didn’t say that," Saturday said. "I said that as a team we were outplayed, we were outcoached and there was nothing that we did better than they did yesterday."
Again, I don't know if Jeff needs to take a semantics class at IUPUI, or if he's just blatantly lying. Regardless, he was most certainly not misquoted. If he wants to clarify his intent behind the comment, then that's fine. However, it's a bit tricky to 'clarify' comments like that after they are made. I personally don't think Jeff Saturday is dumb. He knows that when a veteran player makes that kind of statement about his coach, it is going to get amplified. That noise will increase 10 fold when the comment is said after a record-setting loss. Thus, any type of clarification for stating your coach was 'out-coached' is going to be met with skepticism.
And if Jeff was originally so concerned about the intent behind the comment, well, I'll just let Collin chime in on that one:
If you're Jeff Saturday and you don't want folks suggesting you're dogging your coach...don't use the word "out-coached".
Local radio sports host and former-Indiana University basketball coach Dan Dakich felt the same way about Saturday's choice of words following the blow-out loss. On his show Tuesday afternoon, Dakich brought up the 'out-coached' comment when talking with Indianapolis Star beat writer Mike Chappell [emphasis mine]:
Saturday can spin this whole 'out-coached' thing however he wants to. He can spin it however he would like. But, I'm just speaking to you as a coach, when that comes out of your mouth, that comes out for a reason. He can spin it, he can say, 'I didn't say that.' Fine! But, it came out of his mouth. So, you might as well just own it.
In a small twist of irony, the man who originally reported Saturday's 'I was misquoted' comments from the conference call with Tennessee media, NFP's Terry McCormick, also saw Collin McCollough's tweet Sunday night, wrote an article about it Monday, and came to the exact same conclusions Collin, myself, and everyone else who heard the comment did. So, I guess when Jeff was ranting and raving about how he was 'misquoted,' Terry just sat there, quiet as a mouse, hoping no one would notice that he did the exact same thing this supposed 45-year-old momma's boy blogger did.
Gee, thanks Terry.
Back to Saturday, instead of doing what Dan Dakich correctly suggested ('you might as well just own it'), instead of owning his words, Jeff decided to take cheap shots. That's petty and sad.
Maybe this is the by-product of an 0-7 season. Maybe this is just what happens to normally good, decent guys like Jeff Saturday when the loses add up. I honestly don't know.
What I do know is that, from the way things have started to disintegrate publicly, the Colts are apparently falling apart internally. Maybe Jeff Saturday's way of rallying the team back together again (and to save face publicly) is to find a common 'enemy.' His comments suggests I, a loyal fan and longtime cheerleader for Saturday, am that enemy.
Again, petty. Sad.
I lost some respect for Jeff after those comments. He basically misused his credibility to attack me, make false statements about how I 'misquoted' him, and even threw in some baseless generalizations about 'bloggers' seemingly for gits and shiggles.
I'll still root for Jeff and the Colts every Sunday. But, I (and several of my colleagues) lost respect for him. Maybe things will change if I get an apology, but I doubt that apology will happen. As a professional, and as a supposed decent human being, Jeff should apologize. Until he does so, I'll have my doubts as to the overall quality of his character, an attribute Saturday routinely sells to the public and media.
At the end of the day, instead of writing quality articles about how the Colts can get better, or how veterans like Jeff Saturday are fighting like dogs to climb out of this 0-7, I have to come in here and, essentially, slap around the starting center for the Indianapolis Colts. I have to defend myself against false attacks, and call the credibility of one of the most beloved players on the Colts into question.
Just when I thought this season couldn't get any friggin worse, or silly.
I'll close this by thanking Stew Blake for writing an excellent response article to Saturday's comments at Coltsider.com. This section from the article sums up my thoughts perfectly, especially the last sentence [emphasis mine]:
Regardless, it would seem that Saturday used "out-coached" in obvious frustration and in a distinct way (enough for people to recognize), and the end result is Saturday trying to patch the road he possibly tore up, by now denying that he ever meant his words to be malicious or indicative of Caldwell/his staff being an incompetent bunch of fools. If he did, in fact, mean it as only to mention the collective effort of suck via Sunday night, he could have just said the usual "we were beat in every aspect of the game" and left it at that. The problem is, he didn’t. Coaches state that they were out-coached all the time, but that’s expected and usually respected. Accountability and accusations do not hold the same definition.