Jared Goff: Detroit media members “almost relish in negativity”

Jared Goff: Detroit media members “almost relish in negativity”

Lions quarterback Jared Goff has helped turn the team around. He would like the people who cover the team to start acting accordingly.

“I have this like, I probably need to drop it pretty soon here because I’m hopefully gonna be in Detroit for a long time, but I have this thing with our local media where like they almost like relish in negativity at times,” Goff recently said on the Wilbo Trading Cards podcast, via Mike Payton of AtoZSports.com. “And maybe that’s what gets clicked and that’s what sells, but it’s no longer what they need to live in. Like, hey guys, we have a good team. We’ve had success. We can be happy about that we can celebrate that and not have to write about how we’re constantly the underdog. No, teams are gonna be gunning for us now. We won the division and all that. I’m probably overthinking it in my head and it’s the chip on my shoulder and the competitor in me.”

There’s nothing wrong with Goff reading everything (and they do indeed read everything, even when they claim they don’t) and looking for anything that will provide him with extra motivation. For the Lions generally and Goff specifically, the national media used to be a constant resource for such ammunition. Once the Lions started their turnaround in the second half of the 2022 season, the Lions became the darlings of the sports media that ostensibly covers every team.

Seriously, how much flak did the Lions take from national platforms for blowing a 17-point halftime lead against the 49ers in the NFC Championship? The season was viewed as a rousing success. The Lions, after decades of irrelevance, got to the brink of the Super Bowl. That’s a win, right?

Not for long-suffering fans of the team who were tantalized by the possibility of the franchise’s first trip to the Super Bowl. They were rewarded with the collective psychological scar of having a special season crash and burn in 30 minutes of football, fueled by a still-confounding decision to eschew a chance to go up by three scores after the 49ers had cut the lead from 17 to 14 on the first drive of the third quarter.

The local media gives voice to the things that kept the Lions from taking the next step. The local media is on the lookout for the flaws that might derail the effort to go back to 0-0 and return to that moment again. And, yes, while Goff has every right to dismiss the attitude as “what gets clicks and . . . what sells,” the media companies that cover the teams are indeed businesses. And if negativity regarding the local team is “what gets clicks and . . . what sells,” it shows that they have properly tapped into the Lions fans’ feelings, that they are articulating their concerns, that they are asking the questions the fans would ask.

It’s one of the costs of being a good team. It becomes more expensive to keep the great players who make the team good, and it becomes harder to placate a mob that has gotten a taste of something other than futility.

That said, Goff has every right to use the negativity to his advantage. It’s easy for bad teams to find fodder for the “nobody believes in us” routine. For good teams, it’s a little harder. And if there isn’t much negativity to find on the national scale, Goff needs to look through the nooks and crannies of the local coverage to find the stuff that will help him keep that chip on his shoulder.

So, basically, the local media is right to project concepts that someone like Goff might regard as negative, and Goff is right to seize on it as motivation.

If/when he’s hoisting a Lombardi Trophy, maybe he’ll be thanking them for doing it.

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