Less than 24 hours after a heartbreaking loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey is adding to the suffering. Early today he posted a tweet notifying the internet that he will be missed when he is gone.
When I’m gone from here, y’all gone miss me. I ain’t even trippin lol— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) November 12, 2018
Not surprisingly the reaction was swift and varied. Responses ranged from “good riddance” to “don’t leave” to “we could use you on our team”.
Bro, you've got 1 INT all year, you think that's hard to replace!?!?!? You won't be missed for shit. You're an overrated ass db who's true colors are being unveiled. Take your baby ass back to Nashville.— David Bernstein (@roodeezy10) November 12, 2018
JALEN, JACKSONVILLE LOVES YOU. PLEASE BE HERE FOREVER— Mitchell Preston (@MitchPreston99) November 12, 2018
Come to Oakland, this offseason gonna be CRAZY. 3 First round picks, shit load of Money. We building a dynasty, Rome wasn’t built in one night— Raiders Rush (@Raiders_Rush) November 12, 2018
Context is always important when something like this is shared, and there is a dire need for clarity. The tweet was followed by a series of motivational verses from the Christian bible, Jalen has not responded to any of the tweet’s comments nor has he offered any follow-up tweets to explain what he meant. The big question for the fan base is what the reasonable response should be to something lacking any point of reference. Is this simply a reaction to negative comments by the fans and/or the media? How much is this related to the emotions from a tough loss? Does this spotlight the selfishness of Jalen?
Ramsey’s historical assertions that he is succeeding at his role, implying the fault is with others, have been interpreted as self-promotion. For those who read this tweet as sour grapes from a selfish player, local radio personality Rick Ballou expressed confusion related to Jalen’s tweet. Ballou serves as an on-field reporter during games, and on his afternoon radio show shared his observations of Jalen’s sideline disposition. He noted the star cornerback’s personality was more about a team player actively engaged with coaches and players. He gave specific examples of the Jalen actively engaged in fixing the bleeding that was the first half.
It is more likely this is an emotional tweet from an immature player after a loss that all but ended the season. Local sports reporter Brent Martineau found this to be the case, and points out the reactions to offload Ramsey are equally as immature.
Jalen has blocked me, he says a lot of stupid things, he's immature in a lot of ways, but if you're in the "get rid of him" camp - I think you're a little football crazy. He's the best football player on the team. #Jaguars— Brent Martineau (@BrentASJax) November 12, 2018
Ramsey has been a lightning rod for controversy since being drafted, most recently because of his curt evaluations of quarterbacks around the league. With the team winning, his words are entertaining for the fans and annoyances for the opponents. A collection of meaty bulletin board material serving to elevate upcoming games. His immaturity was excused because he is such a competitor.
Unfortunately, with the defense playing a first half reminiscent of pre-2017 Jaguars standards, Ramsey can be read as someone incapable of dealing with adversity. Those fans who tolerated Ramsey’s persona are now more comfortable to express just how irritating he is. Furthermore, compared to the team focused comments from Calais Campbell, Arby Jones, and Malik Jackson, telling all who “can” read that they will miss you lacks a maturity to read the room.
“Our margin for error is zero now. But 10 wins in this league gets you to the playoffs and our belief … that’s what we have to believe. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but the fact that we can still do it … that’s what matters to me. That’s what allows you to play deep.” - Calais Campbell
”“We know we can’t get down in the dumps because it’s going to get a whole lot worse [if they do]. We’ve been losing; some game we’ve been blown out, this last one we were fighting. At least we’re fighting. I feel like you’ve got to have the optimism and stuff like that, because if you don’t, next thing you go out there and there’s going to be no more fight. It’s just us getting our butt whooped. That’s [the optimism] there. People are believing, and we’re ready to fight, and we just got to get back to the drawing board and get it done.” - Abry Jones
“If you want to be a loser and act like, ‘Oh, it’s not going my way; it’s not going the way I wanted it to go, shame on me,’ then hell, you can have that scenario, but we’re not like that.” - Malik Jackson
If you consider Ramsey has taken considerable effort to block many people on Twitter, it may be a better read of this tweet if we see it simply as a player responding to fan overreaction. He has not indicated any desire to leave the team, and nothing is being reported of him as a toxic clubhouse element. None of this will mean anything to anyone who has grown tired of his antics and would rather see the team look for a high return on investment. Still, we have no idea what this is in response to, be it something specific or general criticisms, and speculating to the negative seems more about fostering present suffering.
From the front office to the fan base, this has been 180 degrees from where we thought this team would be. We are all probably better served to just let folks express this grief in their own way.
Ask yourself this, is Jalen wrong to say we will miss him when he is gone?