Some players and coaches have a certain amount of distain for media people…even a certain amount of disgust (yes, we’re looking at you, Belichick). On more than a few occasions, players have complained that their statements made during an interview were taken out of context, and then they launch a PR effort to try to make themselves look better than what was described in print.
But subjects of an interview will sometimes turn the tables, by setting up how the interview will go and what questions will be asked. In other words, they’re manipulating the media to glorify themselves, eliminate potential damage, and maybe even push their own agenda.
Case in point: Chris Simms, a former NFL quarterback himself, interviewed Colin Kaepernick the other day. And it appeared that the script and questions posed were written by someone other than Chris Simms. That, or there is a very good reason Chris Simms wasn’t very successful in the NFL.
The obviousness of Kaep’s manipulation begins with the lead-in sentence of the video: Simms states that Kaepernick is one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Wait…WHAT? When the hell did THIS happen? Let’s break this down a bit: the basic fact that almost everyone agrees with is that the top four is currently Manning, Brady, Brees and Rodgers, and nobody can agree which of these four are #1. Kaepernick is #5…really, Chris? You sure about this?
A lot of people thought that it was a stretch…while some thought it was crazy…for Russell Wilson to land in the #5 slot in the recent NFL Top 100. Compared to Kaep, Wilson threw for more yards last season with a higher completion percentage, 20% more TD passes, and a vastly superior passer rating (especially for the postseason, where Kaepernick plunged his rating all the way down to 74). One could argue that there are several other QBs to take that coveted 5th spot. But not Kaep.
In fact, in that Top 100 list Kaep doesn’t even finish in the Top 10 for QBs: he ranks 13th. Jaws ranks him 13th. ProFootBallFocus ranks him 17th, but they like to rank based on real statistics, so it doesn’t count in armchair quarterback rankings. In ESPN’s fantasy rankings, Kaep comes in 9th, the only place I found him breaking into any Top 10 list…but even in the wildest of fantasies, Kaep isn’t in the Top 5 (except his own fantasy, apparently).
So Kaep had gotten Simms to make this
absurd unsubstantiated statement, and it’s a setup for what comes at the 1 minute mark: Simms states Kaep has had a lot of unfair criticism, at which point Kaep immediately smiles in such a way as to say, “Oh yeah, you got THAT right!”
In short: Kaep is being unfairly criticized even though he is a Top 5 quarterback.
But what criticism? Neither Kaep nor Chris ever say what it is. ProFootballTalk even stepped through the issue, trying to figure out what this unfair criticism could be, and there isn’t any. If anything, Kaep has ESCAPED widespread criticism for his performance, which he duly deserves.
And why does Kaep think he’s being unfairly criticized? He says it’s due to prejudice, borne from his tats, his attire, and his speech.
Seriously, when you lead an answer with words like “prejudice” and “stereotypes”, the initial thought most people have is that you’re about to play the race card, right? Tattoos: he’s covered in them. Attire: he once wore a Dolphins cap. Speech: has always come across like a nice young man to me. Is any of this unfair? Besides the Dolphins cap episode, is any of this even making headlines? Has anyone even been talking about any of this over the last 12 months?
To wrap up his answer, he makes it clear that he doesn’t want to be judged on his appearance.
But no one is judging him on his appearance.
Kaep is making shit up. That, or he dared not give his true answer, for which he would be publicly shamed and vilified.
The interview was obviously scripted and skewed to make him appear as one of the best while simultaneously making him appear as a victim. He doesn’t meet either criteria.
However, he’s obviously trying to convince people otherwise. What his agenda is, we just can’t be sure, but he’s setting something in motion.