Ben-AD-ict Arnold Redux
Over three years ago, we B’More fans were hurt and angered by the words of the newly-former Raven Adalius Thomas. Here at the Nest, we reported the story under the title “Ben-AD-ict Arnold,” referring to Thomas’ nickname of “AD” and the most famous traitor of all-time, Benadict Arnold (no relation – I don’t think). Thomas, speaking to Sports Illustrated, reportedly had this to say about his former home:
“You’ve got to remember, I’m coming in from Baltimore,” says Thomas. “People there wanted the limelight, people sought out the limelight, starting with the head coach. It was a star-studded system. Here it’s about as different as you can get. Everybody here shies away from being the star guy. Nobody on this team beats his chest. They just all go about their business. And win.”
Speaking with Rob Long, the best radio host in Baltimore (more on that later in the week), on his “Way Back Wednesday” segment last week, AD cleared the air. According to Thomas, the SI writer not only completely took his words out of context, but he also totally neglected from his story all the good things AD said about his former teammates and coaches.
Now, we’ve all grown very weary of the endless string of “I was misinterpreted,” or “I was taken out of context” claims from athletes, entertainers, and celebrities of every ilk over the last several years. Every time anybody says something that anyone in our overly “PC” society could take a modicum of offense to, that is their standard defense.
“I was mis-quoted.”
It’s easy to be cynical about that type of retraction. However, listening to AD talk, I was convinced that he was genuinely upset and angered by the way his words were crafted in the article. He stated that he was simply responding to a question about the differences between the football culture in Baltimore and in his new home in New England. Thomas said that the interview was much longer and more intricate than simply that small quote that was attributed to him, and that, despite the way the quote came across, he certainly had no issues with the “beat your chest” mentality of the Ravens.
Long called him out as well, saying that Thomas was known to get up and “beat his chest” and play to the crowd after a big play as much as Ray Lewis or Terrell Suggs. Thomas freely admitted as much, and reiterated that he meant no offense. AD said that he called Sports Illustrated to request the entire transcript from the interview, but he was rebuffed by the writer, who told him that SI’s legal department didn’t think that would be a good idea.
In the end, it’s obvious that it was simply a case of a writer manufacturing a story based on some erratically stitched together words, hoping to generate controversy. And if you remember, it worked like a charm. The “AD Zings Baltimore” story was all over not only the local airwaves, but ESPN as well.
Mission accomplished, shady sports writer.
AD went as far as to say that any media member who does the sort of thing that SI did to him should be banned from one-on-one interviews with athletes. While that certainly has little chance of happening, Thomas’ anger over the whole thing was clear to anyone listening.
Ravens fans, don’t stay mad at Adalius Thomas. We are happy to accept AD’s explanation on the issue, and bury the hatchet once and for all.
As a matter of fact…what’s AD up to nowadays? I know a certain team that is in desperate need of another playmaker on the defensive side of the ball…
At the end of the interview, Long asked Thomas if he would still be able to help a team, should he receive a call from a general manager looking to sign him. “Of course,” replied Thomas, before explaining that, despite being 33 years old, he really doesn’t have the body of a typical 33-year old football player, as he played only sparingly for his first few years in the league, and hasn’t suited up for a full season since 2007.
After that, he implored Ozzie Newsome to give him a call.
Ozzie, listen to the man.