On Monday, the Giants put injured tight-end Jake Ballard on waivers after he failed a physical. On Tuesday, the Patriots picked him up. Ballard won't be able to play until 2013. He caught 38 passes for 604 yards and 4 TDs in 2011. And he cost the Patriots nothing.
Nothing but a few poor attempts by some in the Media to make mountains out of molehills.
Most of the national sports media didn't blink an eye at this story. Belichick was asked about potential "unwritten rules" he may have broken and said that there weren't any. Giants' coach Tom Coughlin was asked about the matter and seemed more angry at his own team for making the move, than at the Patriots for taking advantage of it.
But some members of the media didn't want to settle for the logic and common sense of all that. They wanted to generate a story.
An unnamed Associated Press writer wrote this piece on the transaction.
The piece carried the incendiary title: "Giants, Coughlin unhappy with Patriots grabbing TE." Had the AP writer spelled out TE, it would have been a marginally humorous headline.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from this piece:
"Tom Coughlin was in no mood to be noble toward the New England Patriots for plucking injured tight end Jake Ballard off the waiver wire."
"What was depicted as a 'calculated risk' by New England... was being viewed in some quarters as a vindictive move by Patriots coach Bill Belichick."
In other words, the writer of this story and his media buddies view it as vindictive. Nobody in the Giants has expressed such an opinion.
"Coughlin would not have had Ballard for 2012, but that didn't lessen his feelings on the situation. In the end, though, he had to admit that the Patriots did nothing outside the rules, except perhaps those of front-office etiquette."
So this AP stringer feels he is more of an authority of "front-office etiquette" than Bill Belichick or Tom Coughlin? Coughlin never came close to discussing "front-office etiquette." Only media people are talking about that.
I call what this writer is attempting to do a Smoke-Bomb Story. You know the expression "where there's smoke, there's fire." Well, this is an example of a media guy throwing a proverbial smoke-bomb, then claiming that because smoke exists, there must be a fire. But there is no fire.
It's a generated story. It's a sad attempt by a lame reporter to construct a narrative that isn't based on facts. Tom Coughlin is not upset with the Patriots, yet the headline implies that he is. The Patriots acquired a solid player, yet the story suggests they did so with an ulterior motive.
It's not an anti-Patriots thing, it's a desperate-for-a-story, starving, misguided reporter thing. There is no story here beyond the Giants making a miscalculation about interest in Ballard, and the Patriots acquiring a decent player for 2013.