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Reggie Jackson Tells Jets, Antonio Cromartie 'Shut Up, Play Football'

Reggie Jackson is telling the New York Jets to 'Shut up, play football.' Reggie Jackson? Really? That had to be some sort of imposter who called into the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio Thursday to lambaste the Jets, and specifically cornerback Antonio Cromartie, for ripping New England quarterback Tom Brady. Didn't it?

Here is some of what an irritated Jackson said:

"What are you talking about? What are you doing? Shut up, play football," Jackson said. "What are you talking about (Patriots coach) Bill Belichick and these people for? Spend your time looking at film, spend your time knocking down a pass. What are you doing? You're not affecting Brady; you're wasting time."

Jackson was particularly pointed in his criticism of Cromartie.

"Go look at the hardware, dude. Walk through the lobby up there and look at the stuff that's there," Jackson said of the Patriots' three Super Bowl wins in the past 10 years.

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

Jackson, of course, was not exactly quiet when he played. The "straw that stirs the drink" said plenty of controversial, memorable things during his Hall of Fame career. The guy never met a microphone he didn't like.

Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra compiled a quick list of some of the things Jackson reportedly said during his career. Here is the list:

  • "After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that."
  • "I am the best in baseball."
  • "Fans don’t boo nobodies."
  • "I didn’t come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me."
  • "I’d like to be able to light the fire a little bit."
  • "The only reason I don’t like playing in the World Series is I can’t watch myself play."
  • "This team, it all flows from me. I’m the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and Munson, but he can only stir it bad."

For all the talking, notice one thing. Yes, there is the slap at Munson. There is not, however, one direct slap or criticism of an opponent.

Reggie Jackson criticizing someone for talking? Interesting. Ironic. Completely unexpected. And probably, 100 percent on the mark in this case.