Earlier today, we told you about the New York Post's stupid attempt to turn a completely non-controversial event—a Jets team trip to Dave & Buster's the day before their game against the Bills—into a controversy. That story, by columnist Mark Cannizzaro, was based in part on a quote from Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams, who professed to be offended that the Jets had taken his team so lightly. That's not how the interview really went, though, according to locker-room audio provided by a helpful tipster.
After the game, Cannizzaro asked Williams if he thought that the Jets' trip to Dave & Buster's was disrespectful to the Bills. Here's how he renders Williams's response in the paper:
"Me personally, I feel it was disrespectful. I take my nephew to Dave & Busters,'' Bills defensive end Mario Williams told The Post.
But that's not what Williams said. Someone who was also in the Bills locker room sent us an audio file from the media scrum at Williams's locker. You can listen to the entire interview below, but the exchange between Williams and Cannizzaro starts at about the 2:00 mark.
You can hear Cannizzaro pushing Williams toward the soundbite he's looking for. But Williams, who says he didn't even know about the Dave & Buster's trip "until just a few minutes ago," offers little in the way of outrage: "I would say it's a weird kinda thing. I take my nephews to Dave & Buster's."
It's later, with Cannizzaro still pushing this angle on Williams, that he says he considers the Jets to be disrespectful in general: "Me personally, I feel like they're disrespectful in the first place."
Two separate thoughts are mashed into one in order to prop up the flimsy thesis—that Rex Ryan delivered a "motivational bullet" to the Buffalo Bills when he took his players to an overpriced birthday party venue. Never mind that the only outraged Bills player to be named in the report hadn't even heard about the trip until after the game, and wasn't all that outraged, in any case.
And that's how your sausage gets made: out of ******** and thin air. On the plus side, Cannizzaro's lede is now one of the funniest things you'll read all year:
Sometimes the Jets simply make it too easy. Sometimes they just go ahead and write the narrative for you.