20. ESPN Monday Night Football microphone
It was unfortunate that Sam Darnold was mic’d up for the New York Jets Monday Night Football game on October 21 of last year. The young QB had a terrible first half against the vaunted New England Patriots defense. He came off the field after a turnover, the mic caught Darnold telling coaches, “I’m seeing ghosts out there.”
First of all, the clip should never have played during the game. When informed after the game that ESPN showed it, he took it like a man. Darnold told reporters he was honest with his coaches, which was the right thing to do. Obviously, he was having problems out there.
What he meant by the comment was the Pats did a great job of changing their defensive scheme. He was reading things that weren’t happening. What the clip did was make Darnold and the Jets look bad on national television. Shame on ESPN.
Darnold did prove himself to the world later in the season. He led his team to a 7-1 second half of the season. It started with a 34-27 win over their stadium partners in blue. During the run, Gang Green beat a playoff team Buffalo, knocked Pittsburgh out of the playoffs, and beat division rivals, Miami, twice.
Still, the video clip made him and the team look incompetent.