Adam Schefter was delivering a standard hit Wednesday evening on SportsCenter when he uttered a phrase that has, in all likelihood, never before been heard on ESPN’s airwaves.
Here’s how Schefter replied to a question about whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had buried the hatchet after their public feud over Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension and Goodell’s contract extension:
“I don’t know if that’s exactly the case. I think fining Jerry Jones $2 million is, to steal his own phrase, like circumcising the mosquito. $2 million is not very much, Michael.”
Jones actually has a history with the phrase “circumsizing mosquitos,” which seems to mean worrying about something minute and unimportant. In 2011, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported (and Schefter manually retweeted) that Jones had used those words to refer to the final stages of CBA negotiations.
The line of NFL negotiations came Friday when Jerry Jones – as only he can – told negotiators, "We're down to circumsizing mosquitoes."
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) July 17, 2011
Then, in 2016, Jones used the phrase again on 105.3 The Fan to explain why he did not plan to place Tony Romo on injured reserve. Via VICE Sports:
“You don’t have to spend a lot of time going over and kind of circumcising the mosquito,” he said. “You don’t have to do that over there on him because you look back over on the other side that caused you to make the decision, and there’s nobody good enough to take that spot to give you a chance for that if he can come back.”
So yeah, Schefter wasn’t kidding when he called that Jones’ own phrase. And given that Jones’ net worth is reportedly around $5.6 billion, a $2 million fine is probably small potatoes to him, to use a more wholesome saying. Still, however accurate the mosquito circumcision metaphor may have been, it is certainly not what you expect to hear when you flip on ESPN.