I personally think bulletin board material is extremely overrated and nor do I think Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez’s comments at Monday’s press conference should be blown out of proportion. However, given the fact that Martinez has been described in the past as aloof, he didn’t do himself any favors.
The Huskers face Michigan State Saturday in a pivotal home game against their Legends Division breatheren. While the race will not be decided by who wins Saturday, make no mistake, the winner will do itself a huge favor.
As for Martinez’s comments, he said, "We just have to take each game one at a time. It doesn't matter if we lose this game. Michigan State might lose to someone else. This doesn't have to be a key game for us."
Martinez could have said: "Take one game at a time" and accomplished the same thing. Recognize the importance but don't overhype it.
Some might say Martinez’s statement is bulletin board material for Michigan State, which is nonsense. Bulletin board material might be entertaining during the week but once the game starts it’s about who executed their assignments better not about what someone said during the week.
Though Martinez’s public image has been one who is aloof, I honestly don’t take his comments as someone who is apathetic. Seriously, you don’t play with an ankle injury for half a season and help orchestrate the biggest comeback in school history (27-6 deficit to beat Ohio State) without having some competitive drive.
However, Martinez is not the most media savvy fellow in the world. Since I am a mainstream media member by trade, I have met many players and coaches who are very media savvy and those who are not.
Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini did not do him any favors last season by having him eschew interviews last season. I do not necessarily think a quarterback has to be a martinet to be a leader but he has to demonstrate a form of taking ownership of the team.
That said, while it’s true that Nebraska can lose this game and get the help it needs to win the division, the truth of the matter is, this is an important game. Then again, they are all important. That’s why you play them in the first place.
Because Martinez has been perceived as aloof and has been a polarizing figure among Husker fans, he further opens himself up for criticism if he plays poorly on Saturday, especially if the Huskers lose because he furthers the perception of being aloof. However, if that happens, what he said Monday will have little to do with the outcome. However, often times perception is reality. I can honestly say that I really do not care what any Nebraska coach or player says during a press conference. Just go out and win games as well as represent the program well off the field.