Turley Gets "Free Pass" for Lack of Class
by Barry Waller
I find it quite upsetting that Kyle Turley’s latest PR tour is getting the hot-tempered athlete any sympathy whatsoever. The fact that ESPN has a desire to feature players who rip teammates and coaches his whole career is certainly subject to question.
Maybe that nosy media should look into Turley’s first divorce before talking about Martz’ “overreaction” to being threatened, when Kyle was slapped with an order of protection for threatening to kill his wife and child, with comparisons to what happened to Nicole Simpson in his message. If Turley were not white, that story would have long been a hot topic in the national media, and Turley would be shunned by his media allies.
Maybe those who play the “race card” are right about one thing, that a famous white bad boy gets away with much more aberrant behavior than a person of color, and past sins are far more easily forgiven. Terrell Owens was on a bench rooting for his mates in the NFC Title game, not doing commentary or complaining, yet he is vilified for almost anything he does, without any of Turley’s off-field, or even some on field for that matter, baggage.
At least Randy Moss keeps trying to play when he obviously shouldn’t, unlike Turley, and his two-second early exit from a loss pales compared to a guy ripping away at everyone he blames like Turley has. Players who argue with an assistant during a game get ripped by the media, most of them black players, but Turley is getting way too much of a pass, simply due to the hatred for his target, who probably did what any head coach would do by getting hot in that meeting with Turley.
Recently upcoming top free agent John Abraham of the Jets, an African-American, was ripped for supposedly protecting his future and “quality of life” rather than playing hurt. Turley mentioned the same “quality of life” in his statements, but gets a free pass. It makes one wonder if racism really is dying in America after all.
Turley was very vocal in his choice as the Rams starting quarterback last year, becoming the biggest backer of Marc Bulger very early, and a big backer of his head coach for changing to and staying with, his guy. Maybe if Turley had blocked the Giant’s Mike Strahan better in his first regular season game for the Rams, Kurt Warner wouldn’t have lost his job, or his ability to think straight for awhile. Turley finished the year against the Panthers Mike Rucker about the same way he started against Strahan.
Dwayne “The Roadgrader” White may have been the example the Rams should use when talking about past free agents that came with baggage, but they made a bigger mistake in trading for, and signing Turley, mainly because of the “bargain” they got. Seeing as how Turley weighs 240 pounds now that he cannot “work out”, maybe there is more behind his strength and over the top temper than we know. Without doubt, the Rams received damaged goods in Turley, who was just average in his only season playing, either mentally or physically or both.
Watching the Rams late in the season, seeing Aeneas Williams practicing when there was no way he could play, and attending meeting with his guys when his season, and maybe career are over, makes one aware of the nature of true leaders. Williams’ talent was sorely missed when he could not play as he had the rest of his Hall-of-Fame career, but his leadership did not waiver; it got stronger away from the field.
Even guard Chris Dishman, who left a high school coaching job he loved to play again for the veteran minimum, only to suffer two knee injuries and other dings in a difficult season, was there, limping off the hard Astroturf after the Jets game. Can you blame Martz for blowing his stack about a guy who didn’t care about what the team did, or about his teammates?
What if you coached guys like Williams and Dishman, or Tommy Nutten, who like Dishman came on board to help the team as best he could and played despite painful joint injuries and turf toe, or Adam Timmerman, who signed a big deal but remained the same guy who played, and practiced, no matter how he felt. That would make any coach go nuts on a selfish prima donna like Turley, at least any coach who wanted to be respected. Too bad it’s Turley that gets so much undeserved respect, and Martz “old school” attitude gets criticized.
For old guys like me, a three time Grandpa now, it seems the meaning of “class” is changing, with the help of the new age media, the kind of class guys like Kurt Warner always showed, even after a newcomer like Turley who never shared in his glory backstabbed the former MVP, class like so many Rams players showed this tough season. That’s a shame for my grandsons, and the rest of us who have to watch as it fades away.
Re: Turley Gets "Free Pass" for Lack of Class
Any other coach this would not be allowed, but with the press's attitude toward Martz, Turley gets free reign.
Re: Turley Gets "Free Pass" for Lack of Class
I don't buy that. What can the Rams do right now? If they fine Turley, he gets more publicity - which is what he wants. Better to take the high road and ignore him until June - then cut him so he can shop his services as a 240 lb. OT with a bad attitude to the many CFL teams that might give him a tryout.