Deny, deny, deny. Composite image by Brandon Strange.
Deshaun Watson spoke to the media Tuesday and repeated his mantra: “I never assaulted anyone. I never harassed anyone. I never disrespected anyone. I never forced anyone to do anything."
What did you expect him to say? Watson is more under wraps by his legal team than the burritos at El Tiempo Cantina. From now until – let’s see what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to say – Watson will be more rehearsed than Shakespeare in the Park. Marshawn Lynch was a quote machine at the 2015 Super Bowl compared to Watson’s legal marching orders. His entire press conference Tuesday was an exercise in saying nothing about nothing. And that’s the way it’s going to stay this entire season – or how much of a season Watson gets to play. It could be all, some, none, but most believe all has left town.
Remember last training camp with the Texans when Houston media chased Watson every step he took and he never said anything? Cleveland, he’s all yours now. Tuesday’s “press opportunity” was just a dress rehearsal.
Q. You’ve said that you won’t offer financial settlements to your accusers. But a report says you offered $100,000 to them.
A. There’s a lot of articles that’s out there and facts and things like that … I can’t really get too far in details with that with the process that was going on before I became a Cleveland Brown. That’s a whole other discussion.
Q. You’ve said that you’ve hired about 45 masseuses over the five years you’ve played in Houston. A New York Times article says you’ve hired 66 masseuses in just 17 months.
A. I don’t know. That’s more of a legal question that I can’t really get into details about. So you probably need to ask my attorneys and things like that to confirm.
Deny, deny, deny. So far, 24 women have filed civil lawsuits charging sexual misconduct against Watson. More may be waiting in the wings. Watson denies every allegation. The cases won’t head into a courtroom until 2023 unless Watson and the women reach a settlement.
Until then, Watson will know less about these cases than Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes, and he knew “nothing.”
Clamming up and “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” isn’t exactly a new tactic. The truth will come out eventually and it’s presumed that Watson is innocent.
Lenny Bruce, the controversial comedian from the 1950s once said, if your wife barges into the room and catches you in bed with another woman, deny it. Just say you’re not there. Once you admit to anything, they’ll never let you forget it.”
That actually was a scene in the 1967 film Advice for the Married Man. In a scene now known as “Deny, Deny, Deny,” a wife catches her husband having sex with a young lady.
Wife: What are you doing?
Wife: There! With her!
Wife: Her! How could you?
During the past two months, we heard Amber Heard go into graphic detail about the physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her former husband Johnny Depp. The actor simply responded, “I have never assaulted any woman in my life.” Sound familiar? A jury believed Depp, didn’t buy Heard’s story and now Heard will have to pay $10 million that she doesn’t have to Depp.
Probably the most unbelievable denial occurred during O.J. Simpson’s civil trial after the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Simpson and waiter Ron Goldman. Investigators found bloody footprints from size 12 Bruno Magli shoes mixed with evidence from the crime scene. Simpson wore size 12 shoes.
Attorney: Mr. Simpson, do you own Bruno Magli shoes?
Simpson: No, I wouldn’t wear those ‘ugly ass shoes.’
Attorney: Well, what about this photo of you wearing those ugly ass shoes?
Simpson: I never wore those shoes.
Attorney: Well, here are 31 more photos, all taken at different times, of you wearing those same shoes.
Simpson: Those aren’t my shoes.
Simpson was found responsible for the murders in that civil case. The jury, so to speak, is still out on Watson.
Per The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Framber Valdez plans on both he and the catcher calling pitches this year. He said he “wants to feel more comfortable,” adding “not that I don't feel comfortable with the catchers, but I want to feel comfortable and throw the pitches with more conviction…to feel like I have the game in my hands.”
Framber Valdez has the PitchCom device on his glove as he warms up before the first inning in West Palm Beach. Yainer Diaz is catching him today. https://t.co/tqgmzwfN7r
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) March 1, 2024
Is that a good thing? Either way, it seems like a return to form for Framber Valdez is the biggest “what if” for the 2024 Houston Astros.
Be sure to watch the video above as ESPN Houston's Paul Gallant & Joe George discuss.