Reggie Jackson to Jets: 'Get educated'

Count Reggie Jackson among those who believe the Jets' Antonio Cromartie made the wrong move by calling New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady an "ass----" earlier this week.

Jackson had a simple message for Cromartie when he was asked about the cornerback's comments on Thursday during an appearance on "The Michael Kay Show" on 1050 ESPN Radio.

"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 also said Jets coach Rex Ryan made a mistake when he questioned Brady's decision to attend the Broadway play "Lombardi" last Saturday instead of watching the Jets' 17-16 wild-card win over the Colts.

"This guy is an automatic Hall of Famer, making fun of him is like making fun of Mariano Rivera," Jackson said. "What are you doing? What are you doing?"

Ryan's response? He joked on Friday that he'd like Jackson's bat in the lineup against the Pats.

"That's his opinion, or whatever. You know what? We're gonna always be who we are. Just like Reggie Jackson is always who he was. And, you know, we could use Reggie's bat this week. If he wants to help us out, I'd be happy if that happened," Ryan said with a smile.

Jackson added during the interview Thursday that he enjoyed listening to Ryan and said that the boisterous coach's banter is "basically harmless."

But he didn't have any kind words for Cromartie, who he said doesn't have the credentials to talk about the three-time Super Bowl-winning Patriots.

"Go look at the hardware, dude. Walk through the lobby up there and look at the stuff that's there," Jackson said. "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."

On Tuesday, Cromartie complained to the New York Daily News about Brady pointing to the Jets' sideline after throwing a touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter, which gave New England a 38-3 lead in its eventual 45-3 win on Dec. 6.

"We see that a lot. He does it a lot," Cromartie told the Daily News. "That's the kind of guy he is. We really don't give a damn, to tell you the truth."

Asked what kind of guy Brady is, Cromartie said "ass----," according to the Daily News.


"That's what I think about him. I don't really give a damn about him," he said, according to the report. "I don't have to play against him. I play against the receivers."

Rather than complaining about Brady, Jackson thinks Cromartie and the Jets need to spend their time studying film of the two-time Super Bowl MVP to prepare for Sunday's divisional-round showdown between the Pats and Jets in New England.

"My friend, you need to figure out how to cover No. 83 [Patriots WR Wes Welker] this weekend. You need to figure out how to cover some of those guys [Brady is] throwing the ball to," Jackson said.

Jackson didn't believe that Cromartie's expletive-laden diatribe would affect Brady on Sunday afternoon. He also didn't have a problem with any celebrating Brady may have done after he threw one of his four touchdown passes against the Jets in their last meeting.

"Don't [be] mad because I get excited because I did well. Or try to pretend like I'm acting some way because I dropped 40 on you in the first three quarters," Jackson said. "This guy threw 50 touchdown passes in one year. He won three Super Bowls. Was he embarrassing to people when he was excited because he won? You don't know what he's talking about because you've never won. So don't tell me how he thinks. You don't know. Acknowledge that. That's not my opinion, that's fact."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.