Reggie Jackson slams Jets for smack talk

January, 13, 2011
1/13/11
9:25
PM ET
The man who once called himself "the straw that stirs the drink" in the Bronx is advising the New York Jets to chill out.

New York Yankees legend Reggie Jackson thinks the Jets should shut up and concentrate on getting ready for Sunday's playoff game against the New England Patriots.

Jackson actually called in to ESPN 1050 host Michael Kay's show Thursday specifically to blast the Jets for calling out Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Jackson said it's as absurd as insulting Sandy Koufax or Tom Seaver or Jack Nicklaus before playing them.

"What are you talking about? What are you doing? Shut up! Play football!" Jackson said.

Jackson, a Baseball Hall of Famer, played football at Arizona State before switching full-time to the diamond.

He was particularly agitated by Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie calling Patriots Brady an "ass----" and Jets head coach Rex Ryan for making fun of Brady. Ryan jabbed Brady for seeing the Broadway play "Lombardi" on Saturday night instead of watching the Jets beat the Indianapolis Colts.

Kay asked Jackson if he ever talked smack to an opponent.

"For what?" Jackson replied incredulously. "So that Don Sutton or Tom Seaver or Jerry Koosman or somebody would bear down harder on me? They're tough enough! And what's that make me? It makes me a fool.

"There are only two guys that made predictions. One guy did it every week that he fought in the '60s, and that was Ali, and he was real. He truly was the greatest. The other guy made one prediction in his career. It was a fluke, and it worked: Joe Namath.

"The greatest players in history, Woods, Nicklaus -- name all the greats -- Jimmy Brown, Johnny Unitas, Montana. They don't run their mouth. The wannabes, the imitations do."

Jackson admitted he generally gets a kick out of Ryan, but Mr. October scolded Cromartie like a Mr. December.

"Go look at the hardware, dude," Jackson said of the Patriots' success. "Walk through the lobby up there and look at the stuff that's there. You don't have that. You don't have anything close to it.

"Shut up. You might learn something. Read. You might figure something out. Watch film. You might get educated. If not, you got a chance to get embarrassed on Sunday. I hope you don't because I like the Jets."

Jackson later added: "You don't know what he's talking about because you've never won. So don't tell me how he thinks. You don't know. Acknowledge that. That's not my opinion. That's fact."

I can't wait to hear what Mike Richter has to say about all this.

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