When you’re the flagship station of the New York Giants, you certainly want to build up excitement for upcoming broadcasts, specifically games where division rivals are involved.
And when you’re covering the Giants for said flagship station, you certainly want to let listeners know just how much of a chance the team has at winning games against division rivals – even if you have to take potshots at the opponent’s expense.
Paul Dottino, WFAN/New York’s Giants beat reporter, was particularly animated on Saturday morning when previewing Sunday night’s game between the Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
At one point, Dottino pointed out the Eagles’ struggles at offensive line, noting that the substitute for the injured Jason Kelce, Dallas Reynolds, “a four-year practice squad player, is Michael Vick’s center. That is not a good thing if you’re Philly… If I’m [Giants defensive coordinator] Perry Fewell, I’m dialing up all kinds of blitz packages, and I’m going real hard after Michael Vick… The Giants should have a feast on him tomorrow.”
It was at that point that WFAN host Richard Neer mentioned that Eagles coach Andy Reid gave Vick, who after just three games has six interceptions, five fumbles (three of them lost) and had been sacked nine times (five alone in their recent loss to Arizona), assurance that he’s “my number one quarterback.”
“And this comes up after they just signed [Vick] to a huge contract,” Dottino pointed out. “How stupid can Andy Reid possibly be? You know, he’s feeling the heat from [team owner Jeffrey] Lurie, who says an 8-8 season’s not gonna be good enough, so he comes around and blows the heat on his quarterback, when he knows his quarterback is playing behind a Rice Krispie offensive line.
“I mean, think about that,” Dottino continued. “How dumb can Andy Reid possibly be? He’s made a very foolish mistake, and if Vick tries to do too much against the Giants tomorrow, he’s gonna wind up paying for it.”
Boy. Not since Mike Francesa unloading on the Jets on a day ending in “Y” have I heard a WFAN personality rant about a team on the air like that. And consider the significance of a reporter covering the Giants going off on the head coach of a Giants rival on the Giants’ flagship radio station.
It’s bold for Dottino to look at the big picture and come to the conclusion that Reid is transferring pressure from team ownership to his injury-prone quarterback – and as a result, label Reid a jerk and a pompous ass – which, ironically, is what fellow WFAN host Joe Benigno labeled Dottino after he predicted that Benigno’s Jets won’t make the playoffs this season.
So if you’re watching the game on Sunday night, and you hear “snap,” “crackle” or “pop,” that might not be Michael Vick’s ribs.