New York Jets fans and media members who obsess over Zach Wilson’s mom are failing the integrity test too many can’t pass today.
Three very distinct thoughts should arise after watching the following video to completion.
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First and foremost, is the face of the franchise not wearing his seatbelt? Buckle up, kid; it’s the law.
Secondly, that’s right: The New York Jets quarterback still drinks juice boxes. How could he not while riding the middle row of the family minivan? But as Jerry Seinfeld and the gang once proclaimed over and again in one spectacular episode, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
I’d still drink from the box with the tiny yet bent straw as long as the flavor was right and my mom still owned a minivan … and still lived down the street … and we were on the way to the 2021 NFL draft where I was projected to go No. 2 overall. Hell, let’s go nuts; give me Capri Sun in that never-to-materialize world of mine.
(Imagine Carolina Panthers fans after Week 1 if a juice box-drinking quarterback who looks 16 puts a spanking on the home team.)
Now that we’ve had our fun, the third and much more substantial thought hits home …
Zach Wilson understands today’s world better than most. Among those “most” are the many who fail the Jets media integrity test as it relates to Lisa Wilson—when coverage and curiosity turn into an obsession.
In the above video, the Jets kid quarterback not only provides a look of semi-disdain the moment he realizes what his mom has up her sleeve (a very common son-to-mother look), but he also voices his nervousness over starring in his mom’s much-discussed Instagram account. Remember, this happened prior to draft night—the time in our universe that led to Lisa’s unofficial NFL media introduction.
To Wilson, it’s unnecessary. Sure, the BYU standout has an Instagram account of his own, but his stuff is measured. The tidy projection of his posts keeps it simple and limited, as his girlfriend usually takes a starring role in his rare posting habits.
Gotham Green’s No. 2 is rarely heard from on Twitter, which is a literal gift to the Jets organization from the football gods in today’s world. Wilson has joined the many prominent New York athletes that understood the game heading in.
The organization’s gift is also the fanbase’s negative, however.
If only some fans and media members took a different approach. Perhaps the world would get a better glimpse into who Zach Wilson is as an individual.
So far, we know very little about the kid. Born during training camp time 1999 (Aug. 3) in Draper, UT, Wilson loved basketball growing up. He’s also a football film nut whose commitment stands out.
We also know he offered his mom money to shut down her social media accounts.
“People out there that think I embarrass my son—has he asked me to take down my social media?,” Lisa Wilson said in an Instagram video in early July. “He has before. And he says ‘Mom, if it’s about money, I’ll give you money.’ I said ‘Zach, I don’t need your money.”
#Jets QB Zach Wilson asked his mom to shut down her Instagram page – he said he's willing to pay her.
This is how she responded.pic.twitter.com/YQAfgDmtjF
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) July 2, 2021
Naturally, the NFL media world hopped all over it. From the big boys, all the way to the independents, writers and editors rushed to the keyboards in order to get this timely and spicy social media angle in as quickly as possible.
Of course Wilson’s responsible social media tact isn’t a story. It’s 2021 (damn near 2022 depending on how you view things). Those surprised at that notion might as well change their first name to “aloof” and middle name to “oblivious.”
The Jets fans who claim “nobody cares” about this stuff couldn’t be more wrong if they labeled Rex Ryan the greatest head coach in franchise history. Of course people care. The casual and wide-ranging topic always hits hardest. Mix in the fact that it’s directly related to New York and the tabloids of the world become so feverish that the ink runs off the pages.
The key in it all is how one handles these situations.
Neo’s red pill decision was never about fate. It ultimately came down to choice. Blue or red. Remain a part of the overwhelming problem that’s destroying sports media in order to garner extra clicks, or save at least a little integrity with an eye on the longer-lasting long-term goal?
As of now, blue pill it is.
Moving forward, any of Lisa Wilson’s mildly controversial actions will make the rounds. Even her mere presence on draft day caused quite the stir—something WFAN’s Craig Carton noticed (because Twitter dominates our discourse, of course).
Craig Carton really asked new Jets QB Zach Wilson about his "hot" mom. pic.twitter.com/n6Hug24LC8
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) April 30, 2021
Her headlines haven’t always come via pure happenstance, of course. Social media’s mission statement is to get voices out into the world, swiftly and intentionally.
In mid-May, Zach’s mom went off on Disney while using the “maskhole” expression.
Mom of Jets draft pick Zach Wilson complains that “Disney are a bunch of maskholes” because they were “always up in our business.” pic.twitter.com/K2XEzumQmp
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) May 12, 2021
Are her opinions critique-free? No. Every public opinion deserves a private or even more public reaction. Go ahead, curse a storm and throw labels on the woman for voicing what she decided to—if that’s your cup of tea. It’s fair game once it hits the internet.
What’s not fair is to obsess over it to the point that it becomes connected to Wilson and the Jets. What’s not fair is to place unproven and dubious tags on the quarterback himself. Every preconceived notion added to the pile moves us further away from a level-headed world.
Moreover, believing her social media actions will or should impact the Jets in any serious manner is a laughable notion. Sure, headlines and chatter will ramp up for a few days following even the worst hypothetical rant, but if she’s not discussing her son or the Jets in any newsworthy fashion, where’s the connection?
It comes down to obsession. It zeroes in on malicious intent. It forces folks in a place where superficial satisfaction and integrity are the two choices.
As previously mentioned, what do we truly know about Lisa’s son? He’s a football junkie. He once took two girls to the prom (as friends, so the story goes). We know nothing substantive about his political beliefs or societal views. Save for a couple of social media guessing games from his younger days, that stuff is tucked away quietly and intentionally.
To some on a mission, he must be hiding something. I mean, look at his outspoken and unapologetic mom; of course he’s a good ole boy with thoughts that don’t align with the Twitterverse.
Nonsense—even if his actual thoughts do align with suspicion.
Digging for anything further on the matter when the kid intentionally omits his voice is further garbage better left not described. A glaring problem with today’s news climate is that vulture-approved mindset. The idea that words are even necessary to highlight the fact Zach and Lisa are two totally different human beings is an unmistakable blue-pill environment.
We also didn’t know much about Eli and Peyton Manning’s political and societal leanings. Hell, we still don’t. It turned out pretty OK for the both of them, particularly young Eli who heroically navigated his way through the Big Apple without a Twitter account.
It’s a shame, really. Megastars such as Eli Manning or Derek Jeter intentionally stay away, courtesy of the game away from the game filled with gotchas and innuendo.
Instead of personality showcases, fans get darkness. Instead of engagement, fans receive silence.
Fortunately for Jets fans who only care about on-field progress, Zach Wilson already understands this game, and it’s something flying incredibly below the radar.
Make a note. Report that once in a while. It’s the least Jets fans and media members can do when remarking and/or reporting on his mom’s antics.
After all, in the famous words of Ed Norton, “My mother didn’t raise no stupid children you know.” People do care what Lisa Wilson says. I know it, you know it, and she knows it. If they didn’t, social media wouldn’t have already overtaken the sports media world.
She’s most definitely a topic worthy of coverage. Just don’t always feel the blue pill is necessary—the easy way out en route to short-term gains realized through clicks and attention.
Lisa doesn’t always equal Zach, and the two individuals in tandem don’t always equal the New York Jets as a whole. Realizing nuance allows for the separation of humans on an individual level.
Every so often, opting for the red pill goes a long way in today’s climate.
Coverage is necessary. Obsession is sideways. Indirect attribution is flat-out wrong—especially when Zach Wilson is doing everything he can to stay away from this often vicious and nonsensical world his mom (and millions of others) enjoys so much.
Cover Lisa Wilson. Don’t obsess to the point everything becomes connected.