As Andrew Whitworth makes the transition from footballer to member of the football media, he has learned a quick lesson in the impact his words can have. And he’s currently trying to get some of those words back in the tube.
In a side interview during Thursday night’s 49ers-Texans game on Amazon Prime Video, Whitworth was asked if his “phone [has] called.”
“It hasWhitworth said in the clip posted to Twitter by Blogging The Boys. “I mean, obviously there’s been some stuff with the Cowboys and they’ve lost.” Tyron Smith. It’s just a terrible deal. Such a great player, and a man I’ve always loved to see play. It’s been a busy day answering phone calls. The problem is they are calling and texting the wrong person. They should text and call Melissa Whitworth and the kids as they have final approval on whether I will ever play football again.”
Whitworth never said who called him or who didn’t call him. His words, as spoken and transcribed, were reasonably characterized as reflecting that he was called out by the Cowboys.
Whitworth took to Twitter to deny having heard directly from the Cowboys.
But that is Surely not what he said. He was asked if his phone was busy. He said, “It has.” He specifically mentioned the Cowboys and Tyron Smith. He said “they are calling and texting the wrong person”, and that they should talk to his wife and children.
When people hear that, they’ll think “they” mean the Cowboys. And if the Cowboys didn’t call, Whitworth shouldn’t have allowed his words to give the impression that they did.
Something similar happened during the pregame show. When Michael Smith finished an assessment of the impact of the Tyron Smith injury, he threw it back to the desk, saying this: “But on behalf of everyone here at Prime Video, Jerry Jones, if you’re listening, don’t even think about it.” calling our man Andrew Whitworth. He is off limits.”
Charissa Thompson then asked Whitworth, “How many texts did you get today?”
‘My phone has been busy,’ said Whitworth, ‘that’s what I say. It has been [a] busy day.”
“There’s always a number,” Thompson added.
“There’s a Melissa Whitworth song,” Whitworth said. “And that’s the problem they have.”
So who are the “they” in that exchange, especially considering the way the conversation was screwed up by Michael Smith? Is “she” a group of random fans who have Whitworth’s number and beg him to play for the Cowboys? Or are “they” the Cowboys themselves?
Whitworth at least boldly tried to give the impression that the Cowboys were calling him when in reality they weren’t. Worst case scenario, the Cowboys called him — and also committed a blatant manipulation violation.
That’s the best reason for Whitworth to claim now that he wasn’t called by any of the Cowboys. Because he is on the reserve list of the Rams, he is off limits to other teams without express permission from the Rams. And considering that the NFL beat or tampered with the dolphins and owner Stephen Ross three weeks ago? Tom Brady and then emphatically reminding all teams two weeks ago to do away with the mess, it wouldn’t be good for the Cowboys to get caught with both hands in the Andrew Whitworth cookie jar.
Anyway, Whitworth said what he said. And what was posted above precisely what he said. Most reasonable football fans would interpret those comments to mean that the calls were not from friends or relatives connecting dots, but from specific individuals who wanted to connect Whitworth on the left side of the team’s offensive line.
Andrew Whitworth pulls out of comments strongly suggesting the Cowboys named him, originally appeared on Pro Football Talk