[PODCAST] Matthew Stafford’s Hat
Shep talks about Mike Ditka objecting to Matthew Stafford wearing his hat backwards on the sideline, and wonders why analysts don't complain about Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, etc.

In this town, we are obsessed with image. We are also constantly concerned with leadership, or the lack thereof. That, in addition to his on-field mistakes, is why Matthew Stafford is having a hard time winning people over.

Well, the national media has taken our cue. During the season it was Phil Simms, Steve Beuerlein, and Rich Gannon taking their shots at Stafford for wearing his baseball hat backwards, and now it's ESPN analyst Mike Ditka.

To the Detroit Free Press, Ditka said Stafford is "a smart kid, but I wish he'd put his baseball cap on frontwards instead of backwards all the time." He added, "when you're going to go do an interview, put it on like it's supposed to be on."

I like Mike Ditka. He shoots straight and tells you how he feels. He doesn't sugarcoat anything. But he's the same guy who let Jim McMahon wear a headband that took a shot at the NFL commissioner.  He gave William Perry a touchdown carry rather than letting the best running back (at the time) get a shot in a blowout Super Bowl win. He's a guy who had a running feud with his defensive coordinator, Buddy Ryan, for media attention. He drafted Ricky Williams and went on the cover of a magazine dressed as a groom, while Williams was dressed as the bride. 

Do these guys realize Colin Kaepernick, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler and golfer Ricky Fowler all wear their hats the same way? Ken Griffey Jr. and tennis star Andy Roddick did the same.

Photo/Getty Images

Kaepernick did an interview after the Niners beat the Panthers in the playoffs, and his lid was backwards and tilted, while "Beats" headphones hung around his neck. He just did a sitdown with Can Newton for ESPN and the San Francisco QB wore a nice outfit with a leather cap turned backwards and sideways. Where are those articles ripping him? Where is the finger-pointing? Does a guy who wears a cap backwards indicate he lacks maturity or professionalism. Does Lebron James lack it because his entire upper torso is covered with tatoos? or CC Sabathia because he wears his baseball cap tilted?

Look, I don't like it either. I'd rather he wear differently, but I wear my caps backwards when I workout at the gym.  You want to take a jab at home because of his poor throws or reads, fine, but aren't we nickpicking a little when it comes to wearing a baseball cap on the sidelines. It's not like he's a community dedication or black tie ball wearing his hat backwards.

This league is full of diva's who self-promote and others who intentionally try to harm other players and we're obsessed with a guy who wears his baseball hat backwards. This league has guys who've been busted for drugs, DUI's, spousal abuse and manslaughter and we're taking shots at a guy who gives to charities because he does his post game interviews in football pants and t-shirts.  It will all change when and if he wins.  Until then, I guess Stafford has a bullseye on his back and head from local fans and former coaches & players.