The Suh Snub at Detroit Lions Practice and My Part in the Story


This blog isn’t about me, it’s about the Detroit Lions. I hope that anyone that has read this blog over the past year would readily agree with that statement.

Sure, there are bloggers out there that are about self-promotion and willing to throw crap on the wall to see if it sticks. That’s not my style and it never will be. That being said, I found myself in the middle of something of a media fire storm today and I feel like I should address it here.

The saga began when I started seeing tweets of astonishment from local beat writers that Ndamukong Suh was giving them the cold shoulder. Since I read just about everything that the Lions beat writers put out, it wasn’t hard for me to recall one piece that I consider to be critical of Suh’s previous absences. It just so happens that the author of that piece put out one of the first tweets I saw about this morning’s events. Drawing a connection between point A and point B, I put out the following tweet:

Not sure why anyone who wrote an article criticizing @ndamukong_suh‘s absence would be surprised he didn’t speak with them when present

I could have been completely wrong but Suh’s retweet of my message is a pretty strong indication that my take was correct. Maybe a blind squirrel found a nut or I was able to find some insight that others couldn’t but my tweet obviously resonated with Ndamukong Suh (this makes it not “weak“). Whatever the case, I had become a de facto mouthpiece.

I can feel for the local beat writers, they were just trying to do their job after all. It is true that while all the outlets had reported Suh’s absence from the previous workouts, it was largely done without a judgmental tone and the writers simply relayed the information that readers demanded. Tom Kowalski did a good job explaining that side, as well as reiterating that he has no problem with a player choosing not to talk, during a segment on the Sean, Terp and Killer show heard across Michigan on 1130 AM in Detroit and 96.1 FM in Grand Rapids. That doesn’t mean that Ndamukong Suh took it as innocently, it isn’t our interpretation that matters. I was able to get through on the call-in line to join the conversation. I get on the air at the 19:50 mark of this Sean, Terp and Killer Show Podcast although I recommend listening to the entire clip (about 22 minutes) to get all that Killer had to say.

To summarize: I don’t have an issue with any of the Lions beat writers. I appreciate all the work they do and it helps my life as a blogger tremendously. As I explained on the radio, the tweet/retweet was more about what it revealed about Suh’s actions on the day than my words. I offered what I thought to be an explanation (not a criticism) and the retweet gave it validity; at that point the situation is on Suh, not me. I never condoned Suh’s actions and I would just as soon have removed myself from whatever “Twitter war” ensued.

Kevin Seifert put together what I think is a pretty good take on the situation regarding this situation in particular and the athlete-media relationship in general.

There always came a point in my summer vacations from school when the weather was hot, I got bored and sibling squabbling began. I think we’ve reached that point in the lockout and it is time for everyone to “go back to school”. Here’s to hoping that happens soon/

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Tags: Beat Writers Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh

  • http://www.thelionsinwinter.com Ty

    Zac–

    This was probably the most uncomfortable day of my Lions-blogger life . . . seriously wierd vibes resonating throughout the Lions blogo/Twittersphere. I’m sorry I posted on the whole thing before I heard your call in to WDFN, and I was really glad to hear you, Sean, and Killer’s exchange. You represented yourself well, and Sean and Killer didn’t marginalize you or dismiss you on the radio (in fact, Sean took time out to make sure the URL got pub).

    I really do feel like covering the Lions is something special, a trial by fire, and we can’t all get through it if we don’t all have each other’s backs–be we pro beat writers or totally amateur bloggers. Listening to that segment was a nice little bit of closure for me, even if I have more thoughts on the subject.

    Anyway, long story short, you handled it brilliantly. Well done.

    Peace
    Ty