It's no secret that since his arrival, Reggie Bush has been one of, if not the, most divisive player in Saints history among fans in Who Dat Nation. For the last five years we've all gone back and forth about Bush's value, talent and role in this offense, never once remotely coming to an agreement. Something about him just seems to stir up strong emotions, harsh words and bitter arguments.
But for the most part, the media has stayed out of the way and remained neutral, or at least silent, on the subject. While some Saints fans have demanded Bush to be cut or traded nearly every off-season since 2006, the media has never taken a strong stance on the matter.
During WWL's live radio overage of the draft Thursday night, host Bobby Hebert made no bones about his feelings regarding the former USC running back. Here are a few quotes I pulled from their radio broadcast:
Bellavia: ...when y'a'll always talk about bang for your buck...he [Bush] got way more bang for his buck than what he gave.
Hebert: He stole money. He backed up to that pay window and stole money. Did Reggie Bush produce $8 million of talent last year. No way.
Hebert: When I jumped off the Reggie Bush bandwagon was the damn Dallas Cowboys game [11/25/10] - the hated Cowboys - when Reggie practically gave the game to the Cowboys. He drops the touchdown pass and then he's gonna fumble and give them the ball about the 12-15 yard line. When Reggie did that I go, 'Reggie, you're killing us! You're not helping us! You're supposed to be an asset, not a liability!'
Detillier: Well why don't you tell us what you really think about Reggie Bush.
Hebert: You look at Reggie, all I know is: it should have worked out, it didn't work out. The only one who truly excelled messing with a Kardashian is Lamar Odom...
...Reggie is with Kim Kardashian, all of a sudden they break up and his career goes downhill.
Bellavia: He got back with her when we played the Cardinals in the playoffs two years ago.
Hebert: Well he should have stayed with her.
Detillier/Bellavia: You can't blame it on Kim!
Hebert: No, he should have stayed with her. If he'd have stayed with her like Lamar Odom, maybe get married, then his career would have went to the next level.
Detillier: This train's really derailed.
Then yesterday I caught this article on WWL-TV written by Jim Henderson, the radio voice of the Saints, in which he calls for Bush's release from the Saints:
Like an aging stripper on Bourbon Street long ago, he teases you with glimpses of his talents but he never fully delivers what your customers want to see.
For every one play that makes you see, "Who else could do that?" there are at least 10 plays that have you say, "Who else couldn't do that?"
Ouch. Reading the entire article, you can practically feel Henderson's contempt dripping from each word as if finally releasing years of pent up frustration and anger that he'd been forced to keep quiet within himself.
John DeShazier from the Times-Pic also joined the anti-Reggie campaign this very morning with his own article chiding the Saints for babying Bush:
Specifically, it fell down on the job when, after making a trade and drafting running back Mark Ingram in the first round, it wasted time stroking the ego and easing the apparently hurt feelings of the most famous part-time, situational player in franchise history.
All aboard the Bush bashing train. The impression I get from all of this is that some members of the media would prefer the Saints cut their losses altogether with Reggie as opposed to try and work something out.
Do these feelings come simply from the drafting of Mark Ingram or has Reggie's tweet and poor sport persona left a bad taste in their mouth? Has the media become more outspoken because they know Reggie won't be here much longer and have they been biting their tongue this entire time?