Jets quarterback Sam Darnold said he was “seeing ghosts” during a disastrous 33-0 loss to the Patriots on Monday night. Now it seems his team may have seen the end of NFL Films’s famous mic’d up segments.
The already infamous clip, in which Darnold is on the sideline after yet another failed drive against the relentless New England defense, was shown during ESPN’s broadcast of the game after it was picked up on a microphone Darnold was wearing. It’s a familiar part of the broadcast for football fans, as the league’s longtime production company, NFL Films, regularly records in-game soundbites from players.
However, the clips are usually screened so that embarrassing material is filtered out. This didn’t happen in the case of Darnold’s “ghosts” comment.
On Tuesday, the Jets let their frustrations be known.
“We’ll be looking into that pretty hard,” Jets head coach Adam Gase told reporters on Tuesday. “That was one of those things that was really disappointing to hear about after the game. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that where somebody that was mic’d up was basically...a comment like that was allowed to be aired. It bothers me. It bothers the organization. Obviously, we’re going to be looking hard into our cooperation going forward.”
Darnold’s teammate, running back Le’Veon Bell, also voiced anger at the airing of the remark.
“The NFL screwed Sammy over,” Bell tweeted. “There’s not one player in the NFL who’s cool with having every sideline convo broadcasted to millions… There’s a reason we’ve never heard other QBs frustrated on the sideline like that before. That’s crazy. NFL did Sam dirty as hell.”
The NFL screwed Sammy over...there’s not one player in the NFL who’s cool with having every sideline convo broadcasted to millions...there’s a reason we’ve never heard other QB’s frustrated on the sideline like that before...that’s crazy, @NFL did Sam dirty as hell https://t.co/2XmYXNTNoL— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) October 22, 2019
According to New York Daily News reporter Manish Mehta, a representative of NFL Films was at the game with the specific job of clearing certain mic’d up segments, and did so in the case of Darnold’s soundbite.
“My understanding is that people high on the NFL Films totem pole are not pleased that their on-site rep gave the green light to allow ESPN to air the comment,” wrote Mehta.
Darnold was asked about his “seeing ghosts” comment after the game.
“I think, for me, when I talk to the coaches, I just got to be straight up,” Darnold explained after the Jets fell to 1-5 on the season. “For me, I just got to see the field a lot better. That’s kind of what that means. It was a rough day out there, rough night out there. Obviously, I got to be better.”
ESPN didn’t shy away from discussing Darnold’s remark. It was mentioned in a postgame interview with Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, and SportsCenter shared a reaction to it from fellow New England linebacker Kyle Van Noy.
The Jets play one more game in primetime this season, on Dec. 12 against the Ravens on Thursday night.