FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Antonio Cromartie has never made a demand of the media during his two stints with the New York Jets. But on Wednesday afternoon, standing smack dab in the middle of the locker room, the veteran cornerback in his usual bombastic way stood and in a booming voice asked for the media to tweet out a message.
The message? That Jets second-year cornerback Dexter McDougle's new nickname is "Cinnamon Badger." Make that a little spice for your locker room concoction.
The name, an obvious rip from the 'Honey Badger' moniker handed out to Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu and Cromartie's message created a series of chuckles from the rest of the locker room and a few cat calls from the half-dozen or so players getting changed at that time. McDougle was not present at the time of Cromartie's request from the media, nearly all of whom dutifully obliged and sent out the tweet.
Cromartie said that the nickname stems from McDougle's hair color, which has hints of red in it. Sort of.
In our quest to get to the bottom of the matter, Metro tracked down McDougle at the tail end of the open-locker room session to reveal the truth of the situation. McDougle was surrounded by teammates near his locker when approached about the 'Cinnamon Badger' nickname.
The group of four young players burst into immediate laughter when 'Cinnamon Badger' was pressed into the conversation.
“Man, it's a little nickname they've been giving me,” McDougle said in an exclusive, hard-hitting interview with Metro. “I don't know why, you have to ask 'Cro.' He came up with it.”
According to WebMD, “Cinnamon is best known as a spice, sprinkled on toast and lattes.”
Now in his second year with the Jets, McDougle declared himself healthy and fit last week at the start of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and showed some serious flashes of speed. Now, he's at the center of a scandal that involves a ridiculous nickname and his dyed hair.
How the might have fallen, in just seven days.
“Maybe it's because of the hair color, I don't know,” McDougle reiterated as Metro pressed for answers. “You have to ask Cro, you have to Cro. I really don't.”
Denial isn't just a river in Egypt, apparently.
McDougle first heard the nickname two weeks ago when he was working out at the facility. While he wouldn't fire back at Cromartie, McDougle seemed a bit embarrassed about it all yet managed to take it in stride.
He said it is business as usual with his teammate and veteran Cromartie.
“I just call him 'Cro.' I just call him 'Cro' or old man,” McDougle said. “Either one.”
Old man? Shots fired, Dex.