The Jets made headlines for all the wrong reasons in Sunday’s 10-6 loss to Miami when strength coach Sal Alosi stuck out his left knee and tripped Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll as he ran down the sidelines in the third quarter.
Not even Player Protect could have safeguarded Carroll on this one.
Within two hours of the game’s end, Alosi had issued an apology then called both Carroll and Miami head coach Tony Sparano to personally express his remorse for what he called an “illogical act.”
The Jets acted swiftly, working with the NFL and deciding on Monday evening to suspend Alosi without pay for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs. Alosi was also fined $25,000 for the incident.
And yet, the hypocrisy from the Jets in the handling of the situation couldn’t be any more stark. Rewind nearly three months ago and the Jets faced a much more dangerous and serious situation but one of their star players walked away with just a slap on the wrist.
On Sept. 21, Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested in Manhattan early in the morning on a DWI charge. Edwards, who was pulled over by uniformed members of the New York Police Department while driving his SUV, had teammates D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Vernon Gholston in the vehicle with him. The NYPD originally pulled over Edwards for illegally tinted windows but then smelled alcohol on his breath.
Edwards failed the subsequent breathalyzer, blowing a .16, well over the legal limit and a player who is no stranger to legal trouble was arrested. Despite the arrest, Edwards was suspended just the first quarter of the next game, the Jets Week 3 win in Miami.
And while Alosi’s actions were self-described as “inexcusable and irresponsible,” they do not come close to the charges levied against Edwards. Even Wednesday’s revelation that Alosi had lied on Monday to the media and had in fact instructed the inactive players to form a wall to provide a possible stumbling point for players forced out of bounds does not compare to these other incidents.
What Edwards did not only broke the law, it endangered the lives of those in the vehicle with him, not to mention other drivers and pedestrians who were subject to his impaired driving. While Alosi’s actions on the sideline might be construed as assault and battery at their very worst, Edwards was more than double the blood alcohol level allowed for drivers in New York State. His actions off the field had potential life threatening possibilities for himself and those around him.
Alosi’s action, stupid and foolish, was neither premeditated and never threatened the life or well being of Carroll beyond a stunning few moments spent on the turf following the trip.
In a year where the Jets have faced criticism and come under scrutiny multiple times, “trip-gate” is not what this team needs after two straight losses to divisional opponents.
But then again, maybe another off-field obstacle was expected from an undisciplined bunch. After all, it’s been a while since their last distraction.
In early September, New York came under fire for Rex Ryan’s choice language on the HBO reality show “Hard Knocks.” Then in mid-September, a week before the Edwards arrest, sexual harassment claims from Mexican TV reporter Ines Sainz centered on whistles and comments made in the locker room of the team’s practice facility. A month later in mid-October, the Jets were once again back page fodder as news leaked that former quarterback Brett Favre had in sent lewd text messages to then Jets employee Jenn Sterger in 2008.
And perhaps, Alosi is merely the scapegoat for this season now suddenly on the brink. Alosi is the fall man for an organization that, from the outside, appears to have the inmates running the asylum.
While Alosi by his own admission was disgusted by his actions, saying that he clearly “wasn’t thinking,” there is no way that his foolishness, though reprehensible, represent the same caliber and demeanor of Edwards infractions in September. Alosi deserves to be punished and he said he’d take his lumps, whatever they might be, but to make him more of an example then Edwards or those involved in harassing Sainz is just another inconsistent footnote and more proof of the “Same Old Jets” being just that.