Elliott’s statements a microcosm of our world

Ezekiel Elliott throwing the world under the bus after Ohio State’s home loss to Michigan State is a microcosm of our society.

Blame everyone else.

Give no credit to others.

“I’m disappointed in the play-calling. I’m disappointed in the situations that we were put in, and I wish it all played out differently,” Elliott said. “It is very disappointing. In the one drive that we had where we kind of had some momentum after we scored on the strip-sack, the plays we ran, we ran a lot of gap schemes and we were gashing them. You guys saw that on that drive. We had a lot of momentum.

“Honestly, we didn’t see those plays for the rest of the game. Those plays weren’t called anymore. I asked for those plays to be called, and they weren’t. It just hurts. It hurts a lot because of how we lost. I feel like we just weren’t put in the right opportunity to win this game. We weren’t put in the right situations to win this game.”

I’m not quite sure what “gashing them” means when Elliott was averaging 2.75 yards a carry, while the team averaged 2.97 yards per rushing attempt.

The Buckeyes finished with 132 yards on 45 offensive plays (2.93 per).


Right, wrong or indifferent, it was not the forum for his frustration.

A team wins as a team and loses as a team.

I didn’t see Elliott ripping the defense for allowing 294 yards on 67 plays (4.39), including two long drives for scores immediately after OSU had scored its touchdowns on short fields after MSU turnovers.

I didn’t see Elliott ripping his defensive teammates for allowing Sparty a drive that put the visitors in position to kick a game-winning field goal.

Why not?

He had the coaches in his crosshairs, why not his teammates?

Because ripping his teammates would have meant a new level of decorum not allowed in locker rooms.

Basically, Elliott said “It’s not the Jimmy’s and Joe’s, it’s the X’s and O’s.”

And, head coach Urban Meyer kind of agreed.

“Zeke has always been an extremely loyal person, a great competitor,” Meyer said. “He had an infection in his leg early in the week, and just a very emotional week, obviously, his last time – he’s a very well thought of junior – and he gets a microphone stuck in his face. Obviously we don’t condone that and encourage that; our rule is to always talk about your teammates and move on.

“I couldn’t disagree with his comments. He deserved to get the ball more. But that’s not the place for it.”

And, Joey Bosa, suspended for the first game, chimed in.

“I think he said what a lot of people were scared to say.”

I know it’s very utopian of me, but, how about saying nothing more than congratulate Michigan State for winning the football game, then take care of business behind closed doors?

So, Elliott wanted the ball more, despite not averaging 3 yards a run?

“I think I do deserve more than 11 carries,” he said. “I think I really do. I can’t speak for the play calling, I don’t know what was going on or what they were seeing, but honestly, it didn’t work out. It wasn’t working.”


The only thing you “deserve” when you are on a team is to wear the same color uniform on game day.

You get more playing time based on many factors – athletic ability, work ethic, attitude – none of which includes the word “deserve.”

And, sorry, but his apology was not an apology.

“I am sorry for all those offended by the statements by me Saturday after OUR loss. My intentions were not to point figures at anyone for OUR failure. I was caught up in emotions. I hope everyone can understand how strongly I love this team and this university and how much I wanted to win that game but I do not regret anything I said …”

The only thing missing from that alleged apology was #sorrynotsorry

If you don’t regret anything you said, then what are you apologizing for?

After that, it read like the words from Charlie Brown’s teacher for me.

This is on a level of selfishness that, I believe, gives an insight into the locker room heading up to the game.

Why did OSU struggle so much?

Yet, reading social media, tons of Bucks fans had Elliott’s back.

So sad.

Last time I checked, if I go on the record and rip my bosses, I am fired – and rightfully so.

That’s essentially what Elliott did and he is getting the “it’s OK” treatment.

If that’s what you want in your locker room, good by me. But, a line in the sand has been drawn saying it’s just fine to rip the coaches in the media.

It will be really hard for Urban to justify punishment if another Buckeyes player travels a similar path down the road.

Teams get beat all the time.

Sixteen NFL teams get beat on a full schedule.

Thousands of high school and college teams get beat weekly.

“Fans” in the stands have ever lost a game.

They are perfect.

Yet, have never really won a game either.

Our society has a hard time giving credit to the other team.

You lose a basketball game by 60 and the other team was better.

You lose a basketball game by 5 and there is more than enough blame to go around.

“They aren’t better than us.”

They were when it counted. So, yes, on that given night, they were.

Yet, still no credit.

Not sure where it happened that blame must be placed everywhere on every situation (or so it seems).

Somewhere along the line, bad grades by students were no longer the fault of the students, but of the teachers.

Teachers then get criticized when they won’t allow extra credit work for the students to raise grades when, not doing the original work, got them the bad grades in the first place.

Players are on the bench because coaches don’t know what they’re doing.

Playing time, or lack thereof, is a hidden agenda.

Parents make kids quit because of a parent thing, not a kid thing.

I am not saying that coaches are perfect, because they are not.

Yet, neither are we as parents and adults.

People hate their jobs, they say, because their boss is horrible.

How about changing your attitude?

Not every boss is great, not every shift is fun and sometimes walking into work is the last thing you want to do.

But, most of the time, we walk into work without the greatest of attitudes and that affects the way we are around people.

Negativity brings negativity.

Positivity exudes positivity.

Both can sweep a locker room.

Only one is a good thing for a locker room from the outside.

Teams aren’t very good because, as a whole, they aren’t very good.

Many times it is just that simple.

It doesn’t mean they aren’t very good forever.

That change takes everyone within the program putting their oars in the same water, rowing the same way.

As simple as that sounds, it tends to be quite difficult for many people.

How does Brooke go from 9-21 in three years to 8-4?

How does Weir go from 0-10 to a pair of playoff appearances?

How does Toronto go from 3-7 to 9-1 and the first home playoff game and home playoff win in school history?

How does Indian Creek go from a 2-8 season to 50-20 and three playoff appearances in the next seven years?

It takes everyone.

If someone rows the opposite direction and does it with all their might, the direction of the vessel changes.

Grab your oar.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com, followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike or heard weekday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. with Joey Klepack and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturdays on WEIR-AM).


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