In comparison to an incident that occurred on the very same day -- the face-stomping by Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth on Cowboys center Andre Gurode -- Polian's conduct might seem tame. But Haynesworth's actions occurred between the lines, in the context of a game in which pushing and shoving and hitting routinely occurs. Polian is a suit-and-tie guy; there's no pushing or shoving or hitting at all in his business.
I have often defended Florio, who is to the Internet and football what the National Inquirer is to Hollywood. He is good entertainment, but his "Rumor Mill" should always, always, ALWAYS be taken with a grain of salt. Mike prints rumors as facts. Always has. Florio often commits the cardinal sin of journalism: he quotes unnamed sources and uses them to make general claims. When someone doesn't actually quote their source, it brings into question who that source is. A "league official" could be anyone from Commissioner Goodell to the flippin' popcorn vendor at Giants Stadium.
In any case, regardless of who is source is, Florio is smoking a serious crack rock with this latest claim. To compare Polian's action (which has not been confirmed by anyone) to Haynesworth's cleat stomp is beyond stupid. I say this knowing full well that Florio has actually helped get Stampede Blue on the Internet map. I've done podcasts with Florio. He links to my site, and I get at least 30 hits a day from him. I am appreciative of that.
However, in this case, Mike is wrong. Dead wrong. So wrong it is making him look like an ass. A big ass. An even bigger ass than Polian.
I have no idea why Florio feels the need to attack Polian in this way. If indeed the story is true, and Polian did shove a Jets official after an altercation, does anyone here really care? If a shoving match between two dudes in suits the same as a 300 pound man sticking his cleats in another man's face? Of course not. To suggest that it is would make one (Florio) look like a flippin' moron. The fact that the incident did not draw a fine by the NFL Commissioner, who is fining and suspending people left and right for various reasons, suggests that the incident really was no big deal. The Jets didn't make a big stink about it. They didn't yell at the media or call for a fine or suspension on Bully Bill. From the way it looks, and knowing Bill's track record, it seems to suggest Bill was provoked.
Polian has never physically attacked anyone. He's gotten angry, and is known for his anger. He's even acknowledged it in public, saying Tony Dungy's presence has helped him (and many believe it has). He cursed out Jay Mohr a few years ago when Mohr, quoting "un-named sources," said the Colts tried to force then-RB Edgerrin James to play with a torn-up knee. Polian went nuts with that accusation in a televised interview. It turned out to be completely false. Mohr was fired a few months later. On New York's WFAN last year, Polian was interviewed by Mike and the Mad Dog (Mike Francesa and Chris Russo). Francesa and Russo are known assholes in the media world, especially Francesa. His lips are so firmly placed on the backside of the NY Yankees franchise that you can see pinstripes stretching down Francesa's cheeks. They had Polian on the show right after the Pittsburgh playoff loss, and made comments that the loss was Manning's fault.
Polian hung up on them.
Bill Polian has never won brownie points for his temper or his tact, but if you regularly listen to his weekly radio show (as I do) you will see he is often kind, generous, and thoughtful when fans ask him questions. Not many GMs have call in radio shows the night after a game. Polian does. He had his call-in show the Monday after the Pittsburgh playoff loss, and he answered every question (no matter how stupid).
The bottom line here is Polian has never gotten along with the corporate media that stinks up pro football, and you have to consider Florio part of that corporate media. Florio pimps his Sprint Mobile sponsorship more than Fly Guy pimped hoes in I'm Gonna Get You Sucka.
In any case, we fans don't understand why Mike is harping on this. No one cares! One or two posts about it is one thing, but FIVE? But, then again, we expected this. I truly have no idea why Mike thinks this is "news." Maybe Mike is jealous. Mike sees a guy in Polian who could, potentially, be a bigger ass than he is. So, Mike has to do something about that. He cannot live in a world where one man is more of an ass than he is. Thus, the witch hunt.
If you want my personal opinion (and I know you do), I do not think Bill Polian is a bad guy. I've met him in person, and spoken to him in person and on the radio. I find him to be a thoughtful person who will listen to your questions and comments IF you treat him with respect. He's one of these old school guys; walk in the room, shake his hand, look him in the eye, etc. Modern media clowns like Florio, Francesa, Russo, and even Bob Kravtiz could care about respect. They walk into a room as if they own it. They act like jerks because being a jerk gets you air time and makes you money. With Polian, if you ask dumb questions, or questions that show you don't know what you're talking about, he dismisses you. He also seems to have utter concept for the arrogant, ignorant media that he constantly has to deal with. I can't say I blame him. Establishment sports media, run by corporations, does not represent the thoughts and ideas of fans. They abandoned that a long time ago.
That's why you see so many fans flock to independent sports blogs... like this one.
Update [2006-10-20 11:41:56 by BigBlueShoe]:
The incident involving Polian has, apparently, worried the New England Patriots. They asked for extra security from the NFL for when Polian will visit New England in November when the Colts play the Pats. Seems kind of funny that New England take alleged threats from Bill Polian more seriously than an alleged threat from Al Qaeda. Then again, this is New England, land of whiners (Belichick), punk owners (Bob Kraft) and moron fans who think letting Willie Mcginest, Deoin Branch, and Adam Vinatieri go was a "good idea."