Josh Freeman

An Apology

September 28, 2012 at 03:17pm by Scott   •  33 Comments »

The other day I wrote an entry detailing an article by Tom Jones and basically disagreeing with most of it. Mr. Jones wrote me today and questioned whether I had, in the article, really called him a prick and told him to fuck himself. And, of course, I had. The reason he wanted to verify that is because his son pointed it out to him. And so now I feel like a huge heel.

As much as I disagree with what these guys are writing or how they’re writing it, I should keep my criticisms and swearing to the articles themselves and not call the authors out personally. “This is an awful article” should be fair game whereas “You are an awful person” is probably out of bounds unless there is some really compelling reason to do it (and just being really funny isn’t reason enough). And there was no reason for me to call out Jones in front of his family in a personal manner. So I’d like to offer my sincere apologies to Tom Jones. He seems like he’s okay with being criticized, just not being berated in public, and I get that.

But feel free to berate the shit out of me in the comments. I obviously need it.

33 Comments to “An Apology”


BaldBuc4055 (September 28, 2012 at 04:44pm:

Perhaps a good rule of thumb is the local guys are off-limits for personal attacks. The national guys, however, are still fair game.


DI (September 28, 2012 at 04:45pm:

Why wont it let me post my comment.


DI (September 28, 2012 at 04:47pm:

Weird, apparently there is a character limit. Let me break it up in pieces.

No offense to Tom Jones but I think that members of the media should be personally accountable for the things that they write. Especially when they start to raise baseless points only to stir up controversy where there is none. Tom Jones is a professional member of the media working for a public news service. You, Scott, are doing this not as a professional, but as a fan and a respected blogger sharing his opinions. But that is where your strength lies. You can share your opinions without restraint. While Mr. Jones has to maintain a level of professionalism, you can freely express yourself the way you so desire.


DI (September 28, 2012 at 04:48pm:

If that involves you colorfully bashing a member of the press because the lack of intelligence found in their writing, so be it. That’s why we are here. That’s who you are. We love your opinion, we love how you deliver it.


DI (September 28, 2012 at 04:53pm:

Ugh, I am not sure why it won’t let me post.

This is still by far one of my favorite places to check for Buc info. I applaud your humility in apologizing to Mr. Jones but he has to realize that being a member of the press means criticism for his work. He has to accept that.


DI (September 28, 2012 at 04:54pm:

Sorry for so many posts. I kept getting 404 errors everytime I posted.


Scott (September 28, 2012 at 05:09pm:

First, I’m not going to censor my opinion. And if Jones had said something like “Schiano sucks” or something personal like that, he would have opened himself up for a similar attack on him. As it is, he was just stating his opinion about what he thinks Schiano is thinking, which I found absurd and baseless. But that doesn’t entitle me to call him a prick in public. It’s not the right response.

Second, this doesn’t pertain to celebrities who intentionally put themselves out there to be judged. If Sapp does something prickish, I have no problem calling him a prick. But writers — at least local writers — don’t open themselves up to that as much. A guy like Peter King has enough notoriety that I feel okay about jabbing him some. But local guys are just doing their jobs and are mostly regular guys. Regular guys that offend me with their writing.

Lastly, the thing with his son got to me a little. I’m sensitive to that. That kid doesn’t deserve to be dragged into this by having someone he doesn’t know dig at his dad on a personal level. Again, kids of celebrities are collateral damage. Their parent(s) chose to put themselves in the spotlight and under scrutiny, so it’s on them to be better parents if they want to avoid the criticism that comes with that. But a local sportswriter? Doesn’t that just make me a big bully?

Keep the opinions coming. This is a good conversation.


DI (September 28, 2012 at 05:15pm:

I am trying to finish my last post but it wont let me. This is annoying


DI (September 28, 2012 at 05:21pm:

Apparently it doesn’t like copy and paste. Well, first off, how old is his son. Why is he on Bucstats? It’s not exactly a kid friendly place. So if he is mature enough to be around clickies and an uncensored tongue than he should be mature enough to hear his dad is a prick. It isn’t like you’re calling out some dude you know on your website and bashing him publicly. You’re bashing someone who is already in the public eye.
Reading through some of the comments of his article there are already people saying what you said about Tom Jones himself not his article, but just in different words. That’s probably because the Times site doesn’t allow such words.


Ryvers (September 28, 2012 at 05:37pm:

So…do you think his son comes here for the clickeys?


Meatmaster (September 28, 2012 at 05:52pm:

Fuck Tom Jones. I’ll call him a prick and not give a shit but I feel that way about everybody equally. You can say whatever you want it’s your right dude. Tell them to calm down if that guy said you were a prick in his article I’m sure you wouldn’t care. Everybody has their panties in a wad about what people say anymore and it’s fucking retarded. Tell them the best way to get your panties out of a wad is to get them wet.


dwtalso (September 28, 2012 at 07:10pm:

I’m sorry, Scott, how are you at fault for Mr. Jones’ failure to defend *his* family from the horrors of the intarweb? Are you the child’s (I assume it’s a child) real father? Mr. Jones might want to review his home policies regarding household access to adult websites.

Are you now going to apologize to every other bad parent out there who finds their kid wildly pounding on the mouse to make the clickies appear? Or just the ones you told to fuck off? That’s a slippery slope.

I’d wager Mr. Jones has been called far worse in that job and probably even on the internet. Does he believe his child was never going to discover that people call him names because of his opinion? Seems naive.


Scott (September 28, 2012 at 08:10pm:

Calling him names when I’m talking to friends or whatever is one thing. I don’t mind being a total ass when I’m just hanging out. Come watch a football game with me sometime and you’ll see how every single person of TV magically turns into a fucking asshole. But it’s different when it’s in public.

I know I’m not responsible for his kid or anyone on the internet, but come on. I’m not completely unsympathetic. Besides, “fuck everyone and everything” is pretty one-dimensional. I’m a little more complicated than that. For example, I like both Asian and white blow-up dolls.


Scott (September 28, 2012 at 08:12pm:

I do like the clicky angle. I didn’t ask how old his kid was. He may be an adult… not sure how that would change my opinion.


cubsandbucsfan (September 28, 2012 at 08:32pm:

The second anybody puts their thoughts in public, they are free game to scorn. I am about as opinionated as they come, and thus I am prepared to deal with the backlash of those that don’t like me or my arguments.

If this had been a collegiate debate, you would have points deducted for the ad hominem attack. But its a f—ing blog. Scratch that. Its YOUR f—ing blog. If you can’t say what you want on your own f—ing blog than exactly where can you say it? It may make you a mean person. It may mean that you will not be having dinner at the Jones household anytime soon. But common. If Mr. Jones doesn’t want this kind of attention, he should go teach 3rd grade. Or do the right thing and let Scott screen his OpEd prior to publishing. Clearly he values your opinion.


Meatmaster (September 28, 2012 at 08:39pm:

Dude we all agree. Fuck that guy, you the man Scott! Now we need a celebration clicky, like curious chicks exploring.


Scott (September 28, 2012 at 08:53pm:

I should also make it clear that he did not demand an apology or a retraction. He just said his kid brought it to his attention. I did this on my own. I don’t want to be invited to his house and I don’t care if I’m known as a dick. I also don’t want to be known as this Neanderthal who just shouts shit.

Everyone should know that the blog isn’t going to change. I’m not going to agonize over every word. I wouldn’t have the blog if I had to do that. But I at least want to be a fucking adult and not some mouthy prickish teenager who doesn’t know how to make a point.


Barney_rubble23 (September 29, 2012 at 01:38am:

But did he have any response to the article other than the name calling. Did he defend his article?


DI (September 29, 2012 at 05:44am:

Honestly I don’t believe you honestly believe any of the descriptions you give of Tom Jones, Martin Fennelly or any other moronic sportwriters that you reference and make fun of. Honestly it is how I described it, fun. It is written that way for fun. Crude, yes. But it is meant for fun. There are professionals in the entertainment business who say worse about people to draw a laugh. This is a blog, something where you can freely say what YOU want and if people got a problem with it they are free to leave and never return.

worker b

worker b (September 29, 2012 at 07:02am:

What kind of prick drags his son into a public spat with a backwater blogger?

Mark S

Mark S (September 29, 2012 at 08:03am:

I think we are taking this too seriously. Tom obviously wrote crap and opened himself to that criticism. The comparison of you to him versus him to Schiano is not valid. Schiano was not writing a shit piece on someone else. A shit piece that questioned his competenece and intelligence. I wonder how Schiano’s kid felt after reading that article?


jampersands (September 29, 2012 at 11:07am:

@worker b I don’t think Jones did anything to make it a “public” spat. He communicated privately w/ Scott.

I think Scott’s right in that, while many famous sports writers are used to this kind of criticism and doubtlessly need to prepare their families for typical Internet hate, most local sports writers probably don’t have that expectation. I don’t know how long Jones has been in this business, but it may sort of be a first for him.

Now, the goal of every local sports writer is probably to get famous like the guys everyone else criticizes on a regular basis, so at some point I think Jones was going to have to have this conversation with his son anyway. He should have hoped/expected it would happen, at least. Nevertheless, I understand that Scott doesn’t want/think it’s right to be the guy that introduces every small-time sports writer to the world of harsh Internet criticism.

So in short, Scott doesn’t want to be “that guy” that pours gallons of concentrated hate on local sports writers all the time. I don’t think he is or will be, given his sensitivity to the subject. This is likely an isolated, somewhat unfortunate incident that will help Jones realize that he may need to prepare his family for criticism better than he has up to this point.


Scott (September 29, 2012 at 11:17am:

If anything, this conversation has proven to me that my readers are superior to any other sports blog’s readers, hands down. And I’m not pandering here, either. You guys rule. Thanks.


manbearpig (September 29, 2012 at 01:51pm:

Dang. I miss one day and look what happens!

worker b

worker b (September 29, 2012 at 01:57pm:

The real take away is that the children of Tampa sports writers have to come to this blog for information and perspective on the Bucs.


DY (September 29, 2012 at 03:41pm:

First off I did not stop to read all 25 comments before me, so if I repeat please forgive.

As a member of the media I can be sensitive to issues like the one raised here, but I cann’t side with Tom Jones on this, and I’ll outline why.

First, the issue of the “Fuck you”. While it may be an inappropriate or unprofessional remark to make, this is a blog and you should be free to say whatever unprofessional thing you want. Your readers come here because we like your comments, and if Tom Jones doesn’t want to be a target of those comments he shouldn’t write opinion pieces. I’m sure he gets paid well for what he does, and with that paycheck comes criticism. If he doesn’t like it, he can find another line of work.

Not to mention you made it very clear what he wrote that upset you, and why you felt it deserved a “Fuck you”. He doesn’t have the right to criticize Schiano, and then cry when someone turns it around on him..even if it is through the use of 4-letter words.

As for the “prick” comment you have NO REASON AT ALL to apologize. You did not call Tom Jones a prick, you said that people who act in a manner that he was acting (through his writing) are pricks. It may seem like a minor difference, but it’s not. You didn’t insult him personally, but simply said at that moment he was acting (judging) in a mannor that you did not approve of. Nothing wrong with this at all, and if Tom Jones had any credibility at all he would be able to see this.

Example: “Boy, Freeman has been making some stupid throws this season.” I’m not calling Freeman stupid at all, I’m simply commenting on some of his throws. There is a difference. He’s NOT stupid, he IS BEING stupid.

Tom Jones is not a prick, but in the article you quoted he was being prick-ish.

My suggestion is Mr. Jones write under a fake name (I use one..) and keep it secret from his son, or else do his best to keep his son off the internet. But for him to email you with this complaint is unprofessional and just plain out of bounds.

By the way, I very much enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work!


BaldBuc4055 (September 29, 2012 at 05:56pm:

Scott, you may call us superior readers, but you are a superior blogger, and that’s why we keep coming back. You’ve handled this whole deal like a champ. Keep up the great work!!


Louie (September 30, 2012 at 12:52am:

Mark S, great comment about what Schiano’s kid thought of Jones’s article! Also, if Jones’s kid is reading Scott’s blog, then he must be a Bucs fan. I wonder if he was happy with what his dad wrote about the Bucs coach.

I just don’t understand how Jones could write such criticism (crap) about Schiano after only 3 games on the job. Last year, the Bucs were out of most games after the FIRST QUARTER. In 3 games this year, they’ve been in each game until the very end. That alone is a MAJOR improvement and is a credit to Schiano. It sure looks like Jones has an axe to grind with Schiano.

Keep up the good work Scott!!!


Aesir_B (September 30, 2012 at 07:12am:

I went back and re-read your post and the posts by DI and especially the last one by DY sums up the way I feel very nicely. No apology necessary, it wasn’t personal. You were calling out the article in question and calling his reasoning, logic and premise prick-ish. Rightly so. You didn’t call him an awful person, you said writing that article, at this early point in the season, based on guesswork assumptions and mind-reading, was the behaviour of a prick.

Also I think when you’ve spent hundreds of words, quoting and detailing while constructing an argument as to why his article is fucking crap, you don’t have to worry anymore about coming off as “a Neanderthal who just shouts shit” or “a mouthy teenager”. No need to second guess or hold yourself back when you’re making valid arguments pointing out bullshit in the media (local or national). They’re getting paid to write that crap, and you’re expressing what we’re all thinking when we read it, + hilarity.


jampersands (September 30, 2012 at 05:39pm:

@Aesir B YES! Well said. This is why I love Bucstats: Scott doesn’t just react to articles he doesn’t like by saying its “bad” or “poorly written” or otherwise whining about someone criticizing the Bucs. He ARGUES for why something is bad. He makes a case, and you can accept or reject his analysis when the reasoning is spelled out. It gives you a chance to engage his argument, and that’s why I keep reading.


Louie (September 30, 2012 at 07:57pm:

Well, that was a team loss. Offense and defense didn’t play well enough to win. Kudos to Conner Barth, Mr. MVP!

It’s still encouraging because you can see flashes of good football, they just need to play that way consistently.

At least the Bucs are still a game ahead of the Saints!


manbearpig (September 30, 2012 at 08:13pm:

That was a brutal loss. So bad I’m in a fight with my wife because I kicked a toy that belongs to my son. Mind you it’s never used. I guess i should calm down.


gatorbait (October 01, 2012 at 12:32pm:

I heard his agent paid women to toss their underwear on stage. You just can’t trust a guy like that.

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