For some reason, the local media seemed to be infatuated over a bad question to members of the Cleveland Browns offensive line they knew was not going to be answered directly and one they already knew the answer. Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram and Medina Gazette asked Alex Mack and others whether or not Lions defensive tackle was a dirty player. Mack came out and said he was not going to answer it. That for some reason was something seemingly every member of the media decided was worth tweeting out and some have decided to take further. If they want, I can give them a list of questions that everyone already knows the answer to but will not get a straight answer from Browns players.
Suh is a dirty player. He just is. The evidence against him is overwhelming and indefensible. Suh is constantly asked about it, including by these same members of the media on a conference call earlier this week. Suh’s response is always the same. He does not care what people think and he has no plans to change. Evidently, that is not enough. In some kind of boring social experiment, this question they already knew the answer to needed to be asked of the players, who were not going to take it on directly.
As inciteful as that type of journalism is, it is incredibly easy. Hey Alex (Mack), is Brandon Weeden the answer to the quarterback position? Hey Mitch (Schwartz), tell me your thoughts on Mack’s contract situation. What do you think they should pay Alex? Hey Brandon (Weeden), should the Browns draft a quarterback next year?
None of those questions are going to get a straight answer. The Patriots go through this on a weekly basis. They just happen to do it on an even more basic level. Their players and especially their head coach, Bill Belichick never answers anything. People like to notice it to laugh at it and the spectacle it creates at times, but it is certainly not anything newsworthy.
It was an attempt to bait players into saying something stupid or creating so called billboard material for the Lions. I have no idea who is sitting there wondering what any of these guys think about something that has been well established for a while now or why other media members think this is something interesting to discuss. Personally, I would be more interested in hearing what it takes to block players like Suh and Nick Fairley or what they do that makes them challenging to play against. That would offer far more insight and if any of these players want to take the natural leap to say they think Suh is a dirty player, it is right there for them.
Instead, Petrak takes the worst possible path that just annoys players and makes them not want to deal with the media. That is how the ‘local media’ in Cleveland and other places earns that kind of reputation for asking stupid questions and trying to get players in trouble. There are plenty of ways to give players an opportunity to say something potentially controversial without taking them straight to the issue, making it painfully obvious what is happening and highlighting the issue with neon signs. I would like to say these people are better than that, but well… they need to prove it.