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ESPN's Tom Friend on Shockey


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I got a few laughs out of this ESPN mag piece. Apologies if it's already posted...


Don't be shocked

By Tom Friend

ESPN The Magazine

Friday, August 8

Updated: August 8

3:58 PM ET

Bill Parcells once called one of his receivers a "she.''

Payback's a b----.

Jeremy Shockey's latest comments about Parcells being a "homo'' are crude and inappropriate ... but it's just how he talks, it's just the redneck in him. It's how he talks around his teammates, around his heavy metal buddies, around Ashton Kutcher, around "chicks'' and, more recently, around people with microphones. This isn't about Shockey thinking Bill Parcells is gay, it's about him hating the Cowboys, despising the Cowboys. He's from Oklahoma -- Cowboy country -- and he thought those same Cowboys were going to draft him out of college. But Dallas took Roy Williams with the eighth overall pick instead, and Shockey flipped out. When I interviewed him for ESPN the Magazine earlier this summer, he said, "I wanted to kill'' the Cowboys. "I wanted to run everyone over on the team. Jerry Jones -- I wanted to run him over and step on his face.''

He meant it. In both games against the Cowboys last year, Shockey worked himself up into a pre-game rage. "Dallas, that's always the game for me to get pissed off,'' he said in our interview. "Then I go in and get hurt the first game. Got my foot blown up. Got my ligament tore. My ligament got tore in my foot. I'm like, damn, first game's over with. So I'm getting rehabbed and I start playing pretty good. Second game against the Cowboys comes up, I did okay, but only caught about 3 or 4 passes, I was pissed. After the game, I went in the weight room and just did squats and just benched, did arms. Went in there and tried to kill myself on the machines. Because I was so pissed off. I was sitting out there cussing our tight ends coach Mike Pope out. Like you f---ing, mother------, you didn't get me the ball. You know I wanted to kill these mother-------. I've been working for this for years just trying to hurt these guys. Not hurting them from the standpoint, just catching a couple passes. I wanted to hurt them to their soul. And I wasn't able to do it. I don't know if it was they were keying on me, or we were beating them so bad we were running the ball. So I just came in the weight room after the second game and just did workouts ... Just killed myself, because I didn't feel like I got a workout out there.

"But, you know what, I feel that about every team that passed on me in the draft, so all of them are on pay back. They didn't think I was good enough ... Damn right, that's how I feel. I take it personal. Hey, you didn't think I was good enough to play for your team, you picked somebody else, wait until we play you. I'll make you pay. I'll make you think you should've picked me over your other guy.''

And so that's all why he's ripping into Parcells now -- because Parcells is the new Cowboy coach. Shockey just verbalizes it differently. He used the dumb word he used, but the way Jeremy Shockey degrades someone is to call them a "homo'' or a "faggot.'' It's who he is.

And, you know what, why did Parcells get a free pass? He once called Terry Glenn a "she,'' and everyone decided Parcells was doing what coaches do, being macho. See, this is the football player mentality, this is Jeremy Shockey's mentality. I doubt he'll change.

But the New York football Giants will try to change him. They'll probably sit in on every interview from now on. After his homophobic comments on Howard Stern last season, Shockey says the PR staff "put me on probation for a couple weeks ... They were kind of, 'What are you going on Howard Stern for?' And the next time, they were like, 'Any time you've got off-the-field interviews, you come through us. I'm like, 'aw right.'

But now he's gone off again, and now the bullseye's on him. He'll be a marked man all season. After the Stern comments last year -- when he said he didn't think gays should be in his locker room -- he says defenders were calling him "long hair faggot'' in piles. And that fans were chanting, "Shockey's gay ... Shockey's gay.''

It'll continue now -- and don't think the rest of the league's players mind. He's not very popular out there.

For instance, in last year's Wild Card playoff game, Shockey says a 49er defensive back came up to him after an incompletion and said, "No white guy's gonna catch a pass on me like that.'' Shockey flipped the player off -- everyone presumes it was safety Tony Parrish -- and all the 49ers saw it.

"I think he gets away with some stuff that other people wouldn't be able to,'' Parrish said to me about Shockey. "A lot of the stuff he does after the catch and on the sideline ... a prime example here, flipping people off, throwing a cup of ice at those kids. If T.O. did stuff like that, it wouldn't fly. Shockey gets away with things like that ... I think it would be a big issue if it were other individuals. So, take that however it be.

"Honestly, think if T.O. did something like that, what would it turn into? You saw the blowup after the sharpie. I'm saying if you flip off the crowd and threw some water and hit some kids, what do you think it'd turn into? He's got away with some stuff. And I guess some light's being shed on him, so let's see what happens this coming season.''

Shockey heard Parrish's comments, and got ticked off again: "I got fined every week, almost,'' Shockey said. "So I don't know what Parrish is talking about. I'm sure he's not a very intelligent man. He probably don't watch, and he's around T.O ... I guarantee you, if I had pulled a sharpie out of my sock at Giant Stadium and signed a football and threw it to the crowd, they'd probably put me a bigger fine than probably he got ... They didn't even fine him, did they? You know me, I throw a ball in the stands, just throw it to somebody, and I get fined. I wear a Titleist hat at the end of the game, and they try to fine me $15,000, because it's non-NFL apparel, so I don't think they're going to treat me different than him. I'll be more under the microscope because where I play at and more people watch the Giants and it's in a bigger market than San Francisco. So I think I'll probably be under the microscope more ...

"I don't know what Tony Parrish is talking about ... Is that his name? I don't know. Ask me what he's smoking? Because I don't know what he's talking about.''

But this is who Shockey is; get used to it. This is someone who doesn't want to drive Mercedes or BMWs because "if I want to hit somebody else with my car, I don't want to be afraid to hit 'em! If I want to take out a mailbox, I'll take out a mailbox. I don't want a car that you feel bad because you take it to the carwash and you feel it's going to get scratched."

This is someone who wants to go back to the University of Miami at the age of 30 and get his degree "because I'll get to scam college chicks again."

This is someone who just doesn't see the difference between calling someone "homo" and calling someone "jerk." In fact, at our magazine shoot with Shockey, he was photographed by an openly gay photographer who called him "honey", and he acted appropriately. The photographer even invited him to come back and party some time, and he said, "For sure, for sure."

Even gave up his cell number.

Think they'll call?

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Shockey's comments, while they show he ain't to bright when it comes to doing interviews, don't bother me. I use much the same language as he does. The difference is I'm not being quoted in the press and scrutinized by the overzealous PC whiners. Although he does make his teammates a target because of some of the things he says.

My problem is with his field antics. Him, and every other "Look at Me" hot dog in the league. Yes I'm old school when it comes to that bull$hit. Playing with emotion is good, but no one will ever convinced me celebrating a first down in the first quarter with a five yard catch, warrants jumping up signaling a first down and walking back to the huddle beating your chest and screaming like an idiot. Rod Gardner urks the $hit out of me when he signals the first down every time he gets one. (I hope LC and TJ will save the celebrations for touchdowns) And thats mild compared to Shockey. He is begging for someone to cheapshot him. And it will happen.

I never wish for anyone to get hurt, but if and when it happens to guys like Shockey, who will care outside of NY. "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy" will be the most likely response around the league. If he played 25 years ago, he would have already been put in his place. Most likely by his own teammates. He not only puts a target on himself, but also on his team.

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This is the part that kills me. :laugh:

This is someone who just doesn't see the difference between calling someone "homo" and calling someone "jerk." In fact, at our magazine shoot with Shockey, he was photographed by an openly gay photographer who called him "honey", and he acted appropriately. The photographer even invited him to come back and party some time, and he said, "For sure, for sure."

Even gave up his cell number.

How long before we hear Shocky go off on Tom Friend for writing about that?


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