1. In Friday’s Traina Thoughts, I called Joe Thomas’s lecture on Jeff Saturday’s hiring as Colts interim head coach, via Good Morning Football, “over the top.”
Based on Twitter feedback, many people agreed with my take, while many others thought I was out of line, and there was nothing wrong with Thomas’s opinion.
I can’t wait to see how those people react to seeing what Pat McAfee had to say about Thomas and Bill Cowher, who went off on the Saturday hire on CBS’s pregame show Sunday.
Now, obviously, McAfee has a dog in this fight. He was a longtime Colts player, a teammate of Saturday and has a relationship with owner Jim Irsay. However, you can’t accuse McAfee of sugarcoating his feelings or holding back. On his Monday show, McAfee unloaded.
“It’s been difficult not to just start diving into the hypocrisy of the f—ing losers on television who felt the need to be puppets,” said McAfee.
He then gave the generic “I respect Joe Thomas” line and praised Thomas as a football player before going in on him.
McAfee started by mocking and mimicking Thomas’s over-the-top take. He then played an old clip of Thomas’s saying on McAfee’s show that he would one day like to become the head coach of the Browns. In fairness, it wasn’t apparent whether Thomas was kidding or not in the clip.
After the clip, McAfee turned serious.
“I don’t think Joe Thomas is a bad guy,” said McAfee. “I think he’s a puppet; I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think he felt obligated to say something, because somebody told him how disrespected he felt instead of looking at it from a realistic point of view.
“This is an interim head coaching role. The Indianapolis Colts have underwhelmed everybody on earth including their fan base, literally since the jump this season when they tied the f—ing Houston Texans in Houston, and the Houston Texans are the Houston Texans.”
McAfee then turned his attention to Cowher. Again, McAfee first did the “Have a lot of respect for Bill Cowher, blah, blah, blah” thing before pointing out that Cowher was hired as head coach of the Steelers at just 34 years old.
“He got hired at 34 in his hometown to be the head coach of the f—ing Pittsburgh Steelers, so if he maybe caught a lot of fire whenever he got hired for not earning and deserving the job that he took and he now wants to project that on Jeff Saturday, he can take that up with himself.
But Bill Cowher, shut the f— up, dude. He said why didn’t John Fox get the job. Why didn’t Gus Bradley get the job? It’s their first year in the building, and, to be honest, the team has stunk since they got there.
You think Jim Irsay, who wants to hire an interim coach, goes, ‘You know what, these guys just got here and although they’re doing O.K., the defense isn’t bad. Do I want to hire these guys who don’t know anybody here? They’re just working with the D. They don’t know the building. They don’t know how we operate. They literally just f—ing got here and our team hasn’t been good.’ Jim Irsay says, do I want to hire them or does Jim Irsay say, ‘You know what, give me a guy who played 13 years here. Give me a guy who is in our Ring of Honor. Give me a guy that has won a Super Bowl here. Give me a guy that has sweat, bled and puked on this field for this program, who has built the Lucas Oil Stadium, the stadium in which we call home, alongside Peyton Manning and others. Give me a guy who wants to be a coach, has been a coach and maybe understands what this program is supposed to be and he hires him, and they all take shots.”
McAfee continued for a couple of more minutes, repeating his claim that some people on TV are puppets and parrots, and correctly pointing out that “the backlash was absurd,” before finally ending his defense of Saturday with this:
“It was a wild week last week. Everybody was taking shots at a couple of friends of mine in the organization, and they get a f—ing win, the other quarterback’s crying at a press conference, I mean this is a lot better than where we had been, so congrats to Jeff, and f— off to all you parrots and on TV.”
You can agree or disagree with what McAfee said and you can point out that he’s not objective here, but you can’t deny that he knows how to do compelling TV/radio.
It’s weird, when I watched Thomas’s segment from GMFB, it felt forced and over the top and not completely honest. Meanwhile, McAfee is telling people to F off, and it feels totally natural and honest.
That’s the sign of a great host.
2. If you want to hear someone else completely go off on Bill Cowher and Joe Thomas, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo spent the first 12 minutes of his SiriusXM show Monday doing that.
3. As usual, Bill Belichick is 100% correct.
Not only does it make sense that coaches should be able to challenge plays under two minutes; this rule change would also allow us to watch the hilarity of Belichick pulling out his challenge flag from his sock more often.
4. I had Rutgers on Saturday, so I enjoyed this week’s “Bad Beats” even more than usual.
5. HBO has released the trailer for its upcoming four-part Shaquille O’Neal documentary, and it looks good.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features a conversation with The Ringer’s Kevin Clark.
Clark weighs in on the Colts’ hiring Jeff Saturday as interim coach and whether the angry reaction from across the board was over the top. Clark also shares his thoughts on Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football telecast, the problem with NFL pregame shows, what’s going on with Aaron Rodgers right now, whether the NFL should push back the trade deadline, why he feels passionate about hot chocolate and much more.
Following Clark, Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York joins Jimmy for their weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week, the guys talk about the anarchy on Twitter thanks to the new verification system, read recent SI Media Podcast reviews and more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I don’t condone this behavior in any way, shape or form, but how can you not be impressed that someone can fit 20 Chicken McNuggets in one hand?
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.