Ed Reed said a bunch of dumb stuff and lashed out at the Baltimore sports media on Wednesday.
And the Orioles got swept in Toronto.
I’m not sure which of those surprises me the least.
Reed, appearing on a Cleveland radio station (don’t ask me why…I have no idea), took a public swipe at Mike Preston of The Sun and mumbled something about reporters “just wanting to make a name for themselves”.
For most of his career in Baltimore, Reed’s star was bright, yet he stayed out of the limelight so much that no one really got to know him all that well.
If what we’ve seen and heard from Reed over the last six weeks is the REAL Ed Reed, I’m sort of glad we didn’t discover this side of the Pro Bowl safety until now. His weekly rants and raves are great for talk radio — it’s MUCH better than fielding calls about a 5-0 Orioles loss, for example — but I can’t imagine the club is thrilled to hear Reed spout off on the radio or in the newspaper, particularly when the tone of his story changes about as often as Gary Thorne says “and the Birds go three-up, three down in that inning.”
Fact: Ed Reed has had a great career.
Fact: Ed Reed’s career – mainly due to injuries – is winding down.
Fact: That’s a shame.
Opinion: Ed’s having a tough time dealing with it.
It was on WNST, you’ll recall, where Reed first started this whole charade about a new contract and his injury and all the rest. Until he appeared on The Morning Reaction a few weeks back, no one knew Reed was disenchanted with his contract in Baltimore. Ed did the Baltimore radio tour to promote his charity golf outing which was held last Friday in Davidsonville. I had no idea Ed was coming on to beef about his contract. I assumed he was coming on the air to try and drum up foursomes for his golf outing. And from there, Reed went on to talk to the newspaper and other radio stations in town.
In other words: Reed started all of this. The Baltimore media didn’t start it. He did.
He brought up the hip procedure. He brought up not knowing when he was going to be able to play. And he brought up the fact that he’d like a new deal with the Ravens.
And then yesterday, he went Al-Pacino-in-Scarface on the Baltimore media:
– “I’m not sure how long I’ll be out. I’m preparing to come back for the first game. I’m just going to take it week-by-week from there.”– “There is a lot of speculation. There are a lot of reporters in Baltimore trying to make ESPN News and report stuff that is not true. They take things out of context. We get that a lot down here, guys are trying to make a name for themselves.”– “I really can’t stand the fact that reporters will report the wrong thing. That’s what they do. Like I said, guys are trying to make a name off of it. What I told them was that I’m preparing to come back for the first game, but I’m not sure if it will be the first game in October, or whether I’ll be back in November or December. I’m not sure when I’ll be back.”– “I’m trying to get back. If I can do it, I will play. I’m not going to come back try to play and still have pain and injure myself again and then I’m out at the end of the season. Come playoff time, I wouldn’t be able to play football anymore. So, you have to be smart about this. I have a career. Hopefully, I can play more after this.”– “There are guys like Mike Preston down here who want to report stuff. He can call it whatever he wants. Ex-sorry-football player who didn’t make it…He has the pen in his hand and he can write any time he wants. We don’t give interviews all the time. I can care less about the guy, but he’s just trying to make a name for himself…He doesn’t understand the business.”
OK, so maybe Ed thinks the first game is in October. He says as much: “I want to come back for the first game, I’m just not not sure if it’s going to be the first game in October, or in November or December.”
Ed must not remember the season starts EVERY SINGLE YEAR in September.
Or he was just being evasive.
Either way, though, this “Ed Reed story” in Baltimore isn’t about Mike Preston or a bunch of people in the Baltimore media looking to “make a name for themselves”.
If you want to know what the story is really about, I’ll say it, but it won’t go over very well. The story is about a guy who is a great football player but a lousy communicator. We occasionally criticize the Ravens for shielding their players from the media or having a PR up-and-comer hover around to make sure the player doesn’t face an awkward question or provide any blackboard material with his answer. In this case, the Ravens would be wise to put a muzzle on Reed and tell him to forward all media inquiries to Kevin Byrne so he can sort out which ones deserve to be addressed and which ones don’t.
I know the Ravens are frustrated with Reed, but I also know they’re counting on him to play this year.
And a happy Ed Reed is a good Ed Reed…on the field.
But this weird Ed Reed…the one who initiated this “media frenzy”…that’s not the Ed Reed we’ve all grown to know and appreciate.
This isn’t on the Baltimore media.
It’s on Ed Reed.