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12/15/2011

One take on Jay Ratliff's near physical altercation with a beat reporter

Jay-ratliff-dallas-cowboysIRVING - What happened in the Cowboys' locker room between nose tackle Jay Ratliff and a veteran Cowboys beat reporter on Thursday should not come as a giant surprise. I was there to witness the "fun", which was a tad uncomfortable, and totally predictable.

Ratliff had to be physically separated from long-time Cowboys beat reporter Calvin Watkins, who now works for ESPNDallas.com. Watkins previously worked for the Star-Telegram, Dallas Morning News and has been around this team for years.

On Thursday, Watkins was asking Ratliff about the news regarding former Cowboys receiver Sam Hurd's arrest for drug trafficking. The chat went south quickly; suddenly I see Marcus Spears and Martellus Bennett pushing both Ratliff and Watkins in opposite directions. Some rather unfriendly, and unprintable, words were exchanged. Something like, "You stink." "No, you stink" ... only with saltier language, at a much higher volume.

UPDATE: Per some information from some more people who were there, apparently Calvin was really pushing on this one when Jay told him to "walk away." Calvin did not, and that's when the fun started. 

While most of the media horde was surrounding Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who during this near altercation said, "My money's on Ratliff."

Don't believe that this high-pitched conversation had anything to do with the Cowboys having lost a pair of games, and are in the process of falling apart again in December. How this type of thing has not happened with Jay Ratliff sooner is the real shock. 

For my money, Jay Ratliff is one of these guys who you just really don't want to mess with because you're never sure which Jay Ratliff is there that day.

Don't believe me? Fine. Believe his teammate.

RAtliffIt was DeMarcus Ware who said of Ratliff: "They are two different guys. One is a jokester, and Jay wants to grab and choke you.... You don’t know what to expect from Jay. One day Jay will come in happy and the next day he’ll roll his eyes. And I’m like, ‘We’re going to have a long day.’"

Ware said this a few days after the obscure 7th-round pick out of Auburn was pressed into the starting role in September of 2007 because of a season-ending injury to Jason Ferguson. 

When he is in the right mood, Jay can be charming, funny, bright and very well-spoken. When he's not in the right mood, forget it. There can be level of aggression that this guy projects that is exceptionally uncomfortable for just about any environment other than a football field.

Jay's relationship with the media has always been testy. Something happened with a reporter when he was a teenager and he never really got over it, or at the very least he's leery of us as a whole.

My gut tells me after what I saw Thursday that really hasn't changed too much.

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

kameleon_o

Watkins is a tool. He's not trying to report the news. He's out to create it. That's what you expect from these ESPN hacks. He did the same kind of thing with Wade when he told him he could do a better job coaching the team than Wade could. Just a loud mouth with a little man's complex

jj

For you to say Calvin Watkins is a tool because he is trying to get the answers to some tough questions shows me how ignorant you are. In the end Ratliff should probably act like a professional and not try to fight a reporter who he could probably kill with his bare hands. Act like a professional and if you are playing for America's Team you should expect to be pressed on some tough questions. Especially after one of the former players from last year is allegedly TRAFFICKING COCAINE AND WEED. But in the end Cocaine and Cowboy football players is nothing new.

joseph

JJ--you have a lot to learn about the media. A reporter that resorts to insults and becomes part of the story when his questions are unanswered is NOT doing his job.

Scott S.

All Calvin needs to do is wear a New York Giants #10 jersey. Not a player in that locker room could touch him.

Teddy Ted III

Wow, agree with you Mr Josh. That was girlie-like. Don't over step yourbou dries. These reporters are scumbags who feel they can say whatever they want with retribution ... At 305lbs and unstable, I'd leave those players alone. Don't get into private or personal stuff. That's off limits...IMO
P.S; JJ sorry but it doesn't seem like ppl here agree with you.

dearl

I cannot believe anyone would defend Calvin Watkins or say he is a respectable writer... he is as sorry as they come and hates the cowboys in everyway always trying to push their buttons and misquotes them misleading the article. I personally think he should have been baned fron the locker room years ago. He is more of a tabloid writer trying to cause or make up sensationlism rather than simply be a good reporter and report the truth. Calvin is trash and should be banned forever from cowboys locker room let him report for the giants, he openly admits he is a giants fan and always has been.

GaryReed

Why is JR so testy about the Hurd situation?????

Barry

Sam Hurd has nothing to do with Jay Ratliff and Jay Ratliff has nothing to do with Sam Hurd. Jay Ratliff didn't want to talk about a player who was not on the Cowboys roster. The reporter continued to push and push, trying to get a negative response... reporter got it. What a jerk.

Robbie - Jean-Jaque is on a whole other level from Watkins. They shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence, as JJ is much more professional and objective.

Keith

Title is misleading. It can be read "Jay Beat Reporter Physically". If reading hastily, like most people do when scanning the headlines, the comma is missed. It then appears that Jay beat up a reporter.

Che

Watkins is a huge jerk but so is Jay and he's not a true 3-4 NT. I'm not a big fan of either of the two.

Wendell

I say leave the men alone til they are ready. The guy's are trying to get it together, and I would not be interested what's going on outside of football for whom is not on the team anymore, or might be sad what's going on with their former team mate's. When you have lost some game's upset of course, then you have a guy pushing you with word's. When a man say's step back, that means step back period.

ButchB

Cocaine and the Cowboys are nothing new? Hey, genius, news flash, Hurd isn't a Cowboy. As a matter of fact I don't think the Cowboys have had any problems since Michael Irvin ( drug related ). Go Cowboys, and I wish Ratliff would have kicked that reporters *ss. They are nothing but wimps!

Kenz51

The Tool was Told to back off,he didnt. I wish "Big Cat" Ratliff would have kicked his butt! He deserves it!

Shady

Watkins is no more than a low rate, low rent reporter no class reporter. He will never make the big time ala Peter King.

ross millsaps

Why dont these "reporters" understand atheletes we dont like to discuss much at all after a tough loss let alone something that has nothing to do with the game, Leave them alone when they want to talk to you they will let you know. The NFL already makes certain players make comments after games dont push it your lucky enough to have a gravy job to begin with, I just hope ware gave him a forearm shiver when pushing him away

frank

This is riveting stuff. I wish I had your hair Mac

Eldon Cushing

eviudentily ratliff was a good friend of SH when he was with dallas and that was set him off

Alex

leave ratliff alone man. you got some dumb questions and stories. stop making stuff up and have something real to add

jerald

Should have just walked away and not say anything. Luckily nothing went further.

Out of curiosity

Why do you allow comments if you are not going to moderate them?

I feel stupid for having read the ones underneath this post, and respect the Fort Wort Star-Telegram less for allowing them to be appended to this report.

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