Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bill Polian Goes Off - Bullies New York Jets Official Over...Speakers? - Fox, Jay Glazer

I'm a fan of the Colts organization for two reasons: the incredibly nice way Owner Jim Irsay treated me at my first NFL Owners meeting when I was working to bring the Super Bowl to Oakland; and Head Coach Tony Dungy. But this action -- well, I don't know Polian -- is over the top. Mike Silver of Sports Illustrated has refered to Polian as "The Anti-Christ" and now I'm starting to see why.

Colts GM Polian accosts Jets official

Jay Glazer /

When Colts GM Bill Polian placed defensive tackle Corey Simon on non-football injured reserve this week for an unknown illness it drew raised eyebrows around the league. As it turns out, that was not Polian's most questionable move in the last seven days.

Polian accosted a New York Jets official in the tunnel of Giants Stadium prior to last week's game, several sources and people present on the scene told The Jets have notified the NFL front office to ask what options they have and what action they can take if any.

According to the sources, Polian was upset that speakers were set up too close to the field. After voicing his displeasure, a Jets operations employee talked to Polian about the issue. It's unclear what transpired between the two but Polian eventually grabbed the Jet by the lapels of his suit jacket and jacked him up against the wall of the tunnel.

The team employee, who was quite shaken up by the fiasco, sought out GM Mike Tannenbaum about the matter. Tannenbaum then raised the issue with the league office in defense of the team's employee. It is unclear what action if any the Jets or the league can take in the matter but as one Jets source said, "You should have the right to a safe workplace without worrying that somebody is going to put his hands on you."

It's also unclear if Polian reacted upon getting provoked or Polian overreacted without much prompting.

The story quickly circulated throughout the Jets complex this week and many were appalled by Polian's actions.

Calls to Tannenbaum on Saturday evening as well as calls to Bill Polian's cell phone were not returned.

When contacted regarding the situation, the NFL's spokesman Greg Aiello said he was unaware of the situation and the league would have no comment regarding matters with teams.

It's unclear what the two men said to each other but regardless, Polian should not put his hands on an employee of another team or any man for that matter. Given his position in the league, it makes his actions even more questionable.

What is also unclear, since such matters seem rare in this league, is if any action will be taken by the league office or if Polian should simply issue an apology. According to others inside the Jets, the team employee who was accosted was quite upset by the incident.