You know a story has spun out of control when a governor starts blasting an NFL beat writer. That's what happened Tuesday, when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News to task during an appearance on radio station WFAN-AM.
"Idiot. The guy's a complete idiot," Christie said. "Self-consumed, underpaid, reporter ... the only way he's empowered is because we're spending all this time talking about Manish Mehta this morning."
The Daily News is not taking this lying down.
The coverage of this story became part of the story. ESPN's Keith Olbermann had a long rant on his show Monday night chastising Mehta and other Jets beat reporters. Perhaps that was the intent; the Daily News certainly likes the attention.
Putting in Mark Sanchez late in the fourth quarter Saturday was questionable, but it wasn't the worst decision in football history. Coach Rex Ryan asked a player competing for a starting job to play in the fourth quarter of a preseason game. Sanchez got hurt. It happens.
While we found Mehta's tweets about Ryan's decision to be hyperbolic, no issue should be taken with a reporter asking Ryan fair questions after the game. The reaction to Mehta from Christie and Olbermann feels similarly overwrought. Mehta didn't make the biggest mistake in modern sports history; he had a couple bad tweets.