Maybe Marvin Lewis isn't so different from the fans that call the Bengals home. Most of us agreed that Bengals quarterback quit on the team; and much more emotionally, on all of us. Yet when the head coach was asked when he believes Carson Palmer quit, rather than dropping the question with a diplomatic response, Lewis replied:
"At what point did Carson quit?" Bengals coach Marvin Lewis asks, repeating a similar question. "At some point last year he decided he didn’t want to be here. This didn’t happen at the end of the season. There was a point earlier on when he said, ‘This isn’t the place for me.’ "
Later on Thursday, Lewis appears to have been asked to respond to the story written by Les Carpenter from Yahoo! Sports, which largely features Andy Dalton, saying that his "quotes were taken out of context. It's a non issue. Let it go." Honesty goes a long way with me. And when Lewis accidentally, though as rare as it is, admits something born of emotion, it's a good thing because, frankly, we're tired of the coaches-speak.
Yet this "out of context" thing is out of hand.
Case in point, Stampede Blue (SB Nation's Indianapolis Colts website), quoted center Jeff Saturday as saying that the Colts were outcoached against the New Orleans Saints last Sunday night. Saturday directly addressed their comments with an Indianapolis radio station, saying:
"That was ridiculous. You've got a 45-year-old man who lives with his mom, down in his basement, freaking blogging about something that was a direct misquote. It had nothing to do with what I said," Saturday said. "At 62-7, there was no redeeming qualities in the way any of us participated. And this is a team thing, 100 percent. I made it perfectly clear.
Even Cincy Jungle hasn't been immune from the whole "out of context thing" when one area personality tweeted that he had also heard of existing rumors that multiple Bengals players could be involved in Jerome Simpson's marijuana investigation; the posting we wrote emphasized multiple times the case of rumor, citing the source as something having been heard as rumor. In our case, it was a matter of bad information reaching that person's ears, rather than something we actually wrote because to this day, we're convinced that the content inside the post wasn't actually the instigation of what prompted the contextual issue.
In the end I'm convinced that the standard "out of context" response is nothing more than an error in judgment on a response or a general public comment, but becoming more the norm. Rather than apologizing for poor judgment and rash assumptions, just blame the journalist or the blogger for giving emphasis to the quote, even though context is clearly not the problem.