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Mitch Albom Beats Up Roy Williams

In print, that is. If it happened in reality, it would be a much bigger story. But Albom took Williams to task in yesterday’s Detroit Free Press for something Williams after the Bears ass-romping of the Lions on Sunday.

Albom had issues with Williams getting up and celebrating after making a first down catch in the 1st quarter. Williams has always gotten up and celebrated first down catches, and when I say celebrated, I don’t mean that he broke out a 4-minute choreographed dance routine. He gets up, makes some kind of a motion or gesture, and he moves on. Albom didn’t like it because the Bears were down 10-0 at the time.

I don’t agree. Now, granted, I think it’s unspeakably dumb for someone to celebrate when the game has clearly been decided, and they’re on the wrong end of it. If it was 17-0, with 3:21 left to play in the game, and Williams is jumping up and down, then yes, he’s an idiot. But at 10-0 in the first quarter, the Lions hadn’t gotten their asses kicked, nor were they even getting their asses kicked yet. If he wants to get up and do something to fire himself up and fire the team up, I don’t see a thing wrong with that.

The game was not over, and no one on the Lions, at that point in the game, had anything to be hanging their heads about. There was a lot of football to be played. You can still come with it then.

And then there was Williams’ quote, which Albom had some fun with in particular.

“I celebrate first downs all the time. I’m not gonna stop that. I’m an exciting player. If I do something exciting, I’m gonna show my actions.”

“But you were losing, 10-0.”

“What does that mean? … That means nothing to me. The score means nothing.”

Oh. My bad. I thought that’s how they determined who won.

Now, it’s easy to jump on that, but… there’s no way that Williams meant that in the way that Albom made it look like he did. I think Williams meant that the score wasn’t relevant right then to his celebration, as in… the Lions were still in the game, he was still fired up and ready to play, he was still going full throttle. But Albom used it to take a shot at Roy Williams, making it look like he was an ignorant, selfish, me-first jerk, which I don’t think is fair. Mitch Albom just bullied Roy Williams with his typewriter.

Roy Williams cares about the score, and Roy Williams cares about winning and losing. And these are things that Mitch Albom damn well knows. It bugs me because once a guy gets a reputation as a selfish, me-first player, it’s almost impossible to shed. And the media, especially influential members like Albom, can really influence something like that.

There have never been any questions about the work ethic of Williams, or that he’s not a team guy. If you’re looking for Detroit wide receivers that were high draft picks that have those qualities, then they aren’t hard to find. Williams’ pre-game guarantee was silly, and he’s an easy target right now, but he didn’t deserve that.

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Matthew J. Darnell

19 Comments

  1. 1. Albom’s a hilarious bully.

    2. That first down tomahawk chop didn’t really work. The drive sort of went downhill after it ended up 4th and 31.

    3. Who talks worse, wideouts or linebackers?

  2. Agreed. Except I don’t think the Bears were losing 10-0 at any point in the game, except in Bizzaro World, where the Lions don’t suck mule cock, and where Mitch Albom peddles literature and insight, rather than mawkish crap you give to your father-in-law for Christmas.

  3. Great piece, MJD. This post reminds me of the 49ers-Giants playoff game from 2003. Terrell Owens caught a touchdown pass to cut the Giants’ lead to 18 points, and basically went crazy celebrating and yelling at his teammates. The broadcasters criticized TO for showboating and carrying on, since the team was still behind, but there were still 20 minutes to go in the game. When the 49ers came back to win, TO didn’t seem so inapprorpiate anymore.

  4. personally, I think Albom is a self-important bitch, so him taking something out of context to get his name in the national sports radio rotation doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

    Mitch Albom is a smart guy. He knows what Roy Williams meant. He’s also been covering sports for long enough to know that celebrating a first down and trying to get his team hyped up during the first quarter of a 10-0 game is commonplace.

    But he’s also been in the business long enough to know that taking a shot at Roy Williams after his guarantee got blown up gets his name some airtime, and so thats what he did. Which, considering that Roy Williams is one of the few Detroit Lions who plays every down like he gives a fuck, is downright shameful.

    -T

  5. How about the Lions (aka Lie Downs, Motor City Kitties) win a game or two. Then, go ape shit. Differnet coach, same losing tradition. Maybe the Ford family should offer a buyout of the Lions as well.
    Every year, it is the same hype: this is the year, playoffs, winning record, good talent……
    When do the Lions play the Raiders?????

  6. I’ve known Albom for the worthless shell wasting oxygen he is since the “Mayberry” column he dropped on Raleigh during the 2002 Stanley Cup. Then I realized he was a royal fraud when he wrote a column about a Michigan State basketball game and just made up facts about the game. Sometimes I am amazed he keeps his job.

  7. Mitch Album, or Condescending Baggins as Uncle Grambo (www.whatevs.org) has named him, has always been a useless killjoy.

    He wrote a hockey fights are bad m’kay think of the children column in 1996-97 after Darren McCarty pounded Claude Lemieux into the ice in the best act of cosmic justice I’ve ever seen. And the Wings won, 5-4, with McCarty scoring the winning goal. And Mike Vernon beat up Patrick Roy.

  8. Williams is either a f’n idiot, or someone who enjoys the attention he gets for sounding like an f’n idiot. After losing 9-6 to Seattle, he was quoted as saying “it was stupid how close we were to putting 40 points on the board.”

    He then pulled a Rasheed, and after the 34-7 ass whoopin which followed refused to accept it as an ass whoopin.

    I guess it’s his gimmick. Portis has costumes. Johnson has dances. Brady has rings. Williams now has f’n stupid comments. Thankfully Albom is sentenced to wasting ink transcribing him.

  9. On the one hand, I know what Roy Williams was doing: he was trying to “Chad Johnson” his team out of the doldrums and into competitiveness. Nice try Roy, but it’s gonna take a lot more than that…and it can’t be just you doing it.

    On the other hand, I know what Mitch Albom was doing: creating controversy, and subsequently readership, that he is so known for. But that’s the best you’ve got, Mitch? Picking on the Lions? Why don’t you also step on an ant to give yourself a power trip?

    Regardless, the Lions don’t need guaranteed victories right now; they need a QB, an offensive line, and a defense that can stop Rex Grossman.

  10. To me, there is a huge difference between guaranteeing a victory in football as opposed to basketball. In basketball, there a five guys on the court, and one player can have a much larger impact. Williams should know better than to guarantee a victory with Jon Kitna throwing the ball to him.
    I was at this game and the only thing those stupid poses did after the catch was rile up both the Bears defense as well as the fans. By the way, nothing Williams did looked very “exciting” on Sunday.

  11. I am a Lions fan (why? kill me now) and I can say after years of watching this sorry franchise disgrace itself every yr, Roy Williams’ antics were icing on the cake. First, someone should put Texas on probation bcuz it’s obvious there’s some grade fixing going on in their math dept (6 pts=near 40?). So Roy was stupid on that end. I can understand him trying to fire up the team and all that, and I’m fine w/ it, God knows the Lions need every ounce of motivation they can get. But the problem is what flies out of Roy’s mouth afterwards. He didn’t guarantee the victory bcuz “the defense is great/our guys want to win/etc etc”, it was “we were ridiculously close to 40″. Then getting bombed 24-0, he’s busy making insignificant 10 yd catches, walking down the field and making smart ass first down gestures instead of getting in his teammates faces or getting fired up. While i know what he meant by ‘the score means nothing’, it would be a non-story had he said “i was trying to fire the team up”…but I really think he was just out there for himself that day. As much as Albom is a shmuck, he may not be right on this article, but he’s definitely not wrong.

  12. Williams chose his words poorly in relationship to not caring about the score. I think MJD was right about intent, but it came out wrong.

    Unless living in the D turned him into a me-first selfish douche, then this is Albom trying to start something. Williams was one of the good guys while at Texas. He was first to stand up and take criticism for not beating Oklahoma when Chris Simms was KILLING the Longhorns in those games.

  13. I was at that Bears/Lions game and I can tell you two things:

    1)at the point that Williams started making catches/celebrations of his first down, the lions were being worked much worse than 10-0 would indicate. They’d alreardy fumbled the ball on the third play from scrimmage which resulted in the first TD. And the Lions offense looked completely incapable of handling the Bears swarming defense. It appeared the Lions were scared shitless.

    2)From the moment his dumbass walked on the field in Chicago, the fans were all over him for his dumb guarantee. We was jawing the fans after run blocks that resulted in a loss. He was jawing every bear who came within shouting distance, and by the time he finally DID make a catch he didn’t merely stand up and point for a first down…he waited, looked around, pointed to the fans and did a, “I told y’all I was gonna destroy you!!!” motion. yeah right dude…

    Albom may be a douche, but that only makes him qualified to point out another douche in action.

    Williams is a huge douche.

  14. Whats more idiotic, offensive players who celebrate their own big plays when they’re getting whipped or defensive players who celebrate after they put a big hit on a guy who just got a first down?

  15. Yeah Im sure he meant….. uh….
    What the hell else could he have meant?

    Roy Williams has been a wash and a complete idiot since coming in to the NFL. What kind of fool celebrates first downs with their team losing?

    Only the fact that Kellen Winslow exists keeps this guy from being the NFLs biggest idiot.

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