If you’re in media, one of the cardinal rules is to never make the story about yourself. It’s also wise to avoid using your platform to grind axes or prolong feuds.
One media member who has shown a blatant disregard for these rules is NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms, who had a brief career as a QB in the NFL.
For the past two years, Simms has led the crusade against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. He continued his charge Wednesday by suggesting that opponents headhunt Hurts to stop the Eagles’ controversial “tush push” quarterback sneak.
Simms’ past takes on Hurts can best be described as comical.
Ahead of the 2021 season, he omitted Hurts from his ranking of the top-40 NFL quarterbacks. Granted, Hurts had only played four games in 2020 and was considered an unknown quantity, but that didn’t stop Simms from ranking rookies Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Kellen Mond ahead of Hurts.
During the Eagles’ run to Super Bowl LVII last season, Simms opined there wasn’t much of a gap between Hurts and New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. He said the Eagles would have been just as successful with Jones as their QB. Simms retracted this claim with a half-hearted endorsement of Hurts, saying that he was “definitely a top-10 quarterback.”
Another lesson of being in media is admitting mistakes. Simms is too sure of himself to eat crow and give Hurts the credit he deserves. Because of this, his takes have risen from comical to threatening.
Consider some of the statements he made:
“Go headhunting on the quarterback.”
“Make him pay.”
“Make him think twice about it.”
The league goes out of its way to combat bad publicity, especially when it comes to player safety. Shouldn’t it say something to one of its largest media partners that employs a hot-take artist who advocates “headhunting”?
Legends of the industry have stood behind the NBC microphone over the years — Vin Scully. Dick Enberg and Bob Costas, to name a few. NBC’s pulpit has been defiled by an analyst who suggested teams hurt a star QB.
The Eagles play Washington on Sunday, and Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has already made his thoughts clear about the “tush push.”
Shame on Simms and NBC.