EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Moments after New York Jets receiver Robby Anderson scored his second touchdown Sunday, he spotted a TV camera on the sideline, lobbied for Pro Bowl votes — and sparked a controversy.
“Hey, will y’all vote for me for the Pro Bowl, man? Please?” he said on camera.
Anderson was immediately rebuked by Fox Sports analyst Chris Spielman and, more importantly, his own coach.
“I didn’t see it, but if that’s true, that’s not smart football,” Todd Bowles said after the 35-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. “We don’t want selfish players on this team doing selfish things.”
Anderson was flying high after a 54-yard touchdown reception, which gave the Jets a 17-12 lead in the third quarter. Anderson, an undrafted player who made the team as a rookie in 2016, has scored in five straight games and has seven touchdowns for the season.
Fox aired his Pro Bowl plea when it got back from a commercial break. Spielman, a former player, didn’t hold back.
“How about we worry about outscoring somebody in the fourth quarter and you focus on this game instead of campaigning for Pro Bowl votes?” Spielman said on the air. “Let’s try that first.”
Afterward, Anderson said he was simply caught up in the moment.
“I was just excited, I wasn’t trying to come off in no bad way or nothing like that,” he said. “Just excitement, spur of the moment.
“Everybody knows I’m all for this team in every aspect. I make my life’s decisions based on my team. Everything I do is about being the best I can be for my team. It was nothing malicious or anything like that.”
Teammate Morris Claiborne described it as an example of brilliant marketing by Anderson.
“If I got a pick, I would’ve done the same thing,” the cornerback said with a laugh. “I feel like this game, and dealing with the Pro Bowl, there are different politics that go into it. You pretty much have to sell yourself, market yourself and bring up the conversation. He sparked a conversation to get the ball rolling … and it may come out on his end.
“No publicity is bad publicity.”