HELMETS OFF

Jets Uproar About Darnold ‘Seeing Ghosts’ Signals They’ll Never Win Big

Oct 24, 2019, 4:33 PM | Updated: 4:38 pm
Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets looks on against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on Octo...
Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets looks on against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on October 13, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – “Seeing ghosts” was spoken by mic’d up Sam Darnold on Monday Night Football as he walked off the field. While the organization is up in arms, this the healthiest comment you could hear from a young NFL quarterback looking to grow.

Darnold was trying to describe how the Patriots defense was utterly embarrassing the befuddled quarterback.

The fact that his coach and the whole Jets organization are up in arms about the rather innocent and refreshing incident is proof the Jets will never be a winning organization.

Look, the unwritten rule in the NFL is – never show weakness. Players, coaches and organizations can’t let the public or the opponent think they might not have what it takes. Worried they will pounce like sharks smelling blood in the water and rip them to shreds.

To some extent this unwritten rule is true, the NFL is a cold hard business that only cares about “what have you done for me lately” and “you play to win the game”, as Herm Edwards emphatically says.

That being said, the fastest way to having consistent and lasting success in the NFL is to possess brutal honesty – even on Monday Night Football in front of millions, with a microphone attached to your helmet.

I thought Darnold’s comment was spot on. It left a lasting image of those ghost chasing legends Shaggy and Scooby-Doo entering a creepy haunted house and out pops Casper, “rutt row raggy”.

I’ve had those moments, “Like Yikes Scooby,” I didn’t see a guy and threw an interception right at a defender.

From the sidelines and the stands, people think, “Where is Velma, put her in?”

From the field, things happen fast and ghosts appear sometimes and scare you.  Exercising the ghosts only happens if you can be honest they exist.

“I have exercised the demons, this house is clear.”

This theory may seem to be a contradiction but in order to be strong you need to first be weak.

Vulnerability, openness and honesty are actually the signs of someone with great strength and character. Own your performance regardless of the results.  The quicker we fail the faster we rise.  It’s a scary thing to take that first leap of faith but if you want to stick in the NFL – jump off the cliff.

I get your lack of faith.  I hear you saying, “Don’t ever let them see you sweat.”

If that is the case then I have another solution – just be like Brett Favre. Give them the awe shucks, sappy, southern drawl “I don’t ev’n know what cov’r tooewe is.”

Run around bumbling and fumbling for twenty years, but if you go that route own it. Farve owned his goofiness, he never took himself too seriously, and it never bothered him that he threw more interceptions than anyone, ever.

If Farve played like Darnold he’d come off the field and not only tell you he was seeing ghosts, but he would tell you their names.

Bottom line folks, own who you are and how you are performing, and above all don’t take yourself too seriously or you will end up like me.

For more from me, Scott Mitchell, check out Helmets Off podcast. I offer my take on all things NFL and College Football. Subscribe wherever you find podcasts or on the KSLSports app.

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