Mitchell's Mouth Can't Be Stopped

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 3, 2005 | Go to article overview

Mitchell's Mouth Can't Be Stopped


Byline: Dan Daly, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - During these mass interview sessions at the Super Bowl, it's all about location, location, location for a player.

If you do your Q and A-ing on the hotel's main stage, you're a major star - usually the quarterback. If you're assigned to a podium, complete with microphone, you're a Pro Bowler/key starter/novelty act (choose one). Separate tables in the ballroom go to the next most important personages, and those lowest in the caste system are asked to share space.

Such as Freddie Mitchell, the Incredible Shrinking Eagle.

You might say Freddie - the mouthiest Mitchell since Martha - has been shunted aside at this year's Roman Numeral Game. Unplugged. Packed off to Elba. After his impolitic remarks last week about the Patriots' secondary, the Eagles have decided their DB-baiting receiver should be seen and not heard.

And so he was splitting a table yesterday with fellow wideout Billy McMullen, the UVa grad who's contributed all of three receptions to the cause this season. Is that any way to treat a guy who scored two touchdowns against the Vikings in the playoffs?

Mitchell was convinced members of the team's PR staff were conspiring against him, damage controllers that they are. But the principal culprit, of course, was his own big mouth.

In the giddy aftermath of the Eagles' NFC Championship game victory over the Falcons, Freddie just couldn't help himself when ESPN's Dan Patrick asked him to name the Patriots' cornerbacks. Rather than say, "Asante Samuel and Randall Gay, both of whom have been playing out of their minds," he pretended to be stumped - like Ken Jennings in his last appearance on "Jeopardy!"

"Wow!" he said. "Can I say their numbers? I know their numbers. Twenty-two, 25, 37 - which is [Rodney] Harrison, and I got something for you, Harrison, when I meet you ..."

Whoops.

Mitchell claims it was all a misunderstanding, that folks "don't get my smart-aleck sense of humor. I was being facetious, and they just took it the wrong way." But regardless of his intentions, he still broke the First Commandment of Super Bowl Week, which is: Thou shalt not give the opposition any bulletin board material.

Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, a cornerback for the Chiefs, made the same mistake at the very first Super Bowl, promising to unload on Packers wideouts Boyd Dowler and Carroll Dale with his feared forearm (the aforementioned "Hammer"). Williamson was last seen being carried off the field after a Green Bay running back knocked him cuckoo. Final score: Pack 35, Kansas City 10.

Then there was Hollywood Henderson, the loquacious linebacker for the Cowboys. …

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