When this photo of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart, and other photos like it, surfaced at TheDirty.com, it seemed like the kind of story that would be picked up by blogs but ignored by the mainstream media and the football establishment.
Well, it wasn't. The photos have been all over ESPN, and Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt spoke publicly about them on Tuesday, saying he was "disappointed" in Leinart.
But if Whisenhunt has no doubts about Leinart's commitment to the team, why does he care about these pictures? If the women in the above picture are 18 or older, he's not doing anything illegal or immoral. The real problem with Leinart is that he hasn't been a particularly good football player. If his partying contributes to that, Whisenhunt has every reason to be disappointed. If not, what's the big deal?
"Matt called me Monday morning and we spoke for a while," Whisenhunt said in a statement from the NFL owners meetings in Florida.
"I reiterated to him the type of behavior that we expect at all times from our players. He understands that as well as the level of scrutiny that he's under because of who he is. It's being handled internally.
"I was disappointed but at the same time have no doubts about his commitment to this football team or his ability to lead it."