Garcia's girlfriend, a former Playmate, calls radio show to defend him
Shortly after Garcia's interview with WXYT-AM 1270, his girlfriend former Playboy Playmate of the Year Carmella DeCesare, called the same station to defend her boyfriend. Here is an exact transcript of the conversation.
Host: "Carmella joins us. Camella, I understand you have some relationship with Jeff Garcia?"
Carmella: "I do. How are you?"
Host: "How are you?"
Carmella: "Good. I don't have much to say, but you know I'm just so disappointed. If you want to talk about losing respect, I was at the game yesterday. In all honesty, I lost respect for this town."
Host: "How come?"
Carmella: "I grew up in Cleveland. I grew up on football and watched for years and years and years. I came here with a new start in support of him, and I converted to be a Detroit Lions fan. The main thing that people say…all I hear is 'we haven't had a win in years and years and years' and that's why the fans have such a right to be so disappointed. I don't disagree that they should not be disappointed. But you know what? We didn't have wins in Cleveland for many years and those fans that tailgate at six o'clock in the morning in the freezing cold, watch the game in an outdoor stadium, and back you all the way. I have never in my life seen the things that I saw yesterday."
Host: "The fans still come to the Lions games. They are still loyal and fill the stadium every week."
Carmella: "I don't look at yesterday as loyalty. Before the game even started…and I sat there before the game even started…negativity. It was just horrible. I was so put off by just the way that people act. And it's not just with him. I've sat here and I've listened to other things said about Joey, and yesterday there were more things said about Matt Millen, and I've never experienced this before. I don't think the fans were understanding. Do you have a right to be disappointed? Yes. But you create a mood. You create an attitude with the players on the field. "
Host: "You know Carmella, I may have told Jeff this when he was just on, and I'm going to tell you. I don't think what you saw yesterday, and I came on this show at two o'clock and I said the same thing. I was embarrassed. I didn't think it was a good scene at Ford Field yesterday. And I'm a native Detroiter. I grew up a Lions fan. But I think that the players, and to a certain degree even Matt Millen, are now caught in the middle because this was more or less directed to William Clay Ford, Sr. the owner of the Detroit Lions. It has been a long time for this franchise. One playoff win in 48 years. I know the Cleveland Browns, even if you look at the Baltimore Ravens who were the Browns, and even the Browns now, I mean there appears to be some hope, or there seems to be a plan. I think that fans were more or less just venting their frustration toward ownership than they were towards players and, even as I said, Matt Millen. I think that is what you saw yesterday was fans are just fed up with the Fords."
Carmella: "Well, I don't know where you sit in the stadium, but to hear all the things that I heard about Jeff…I mean it wasn't….for the majority of the crowd it was directed towards Matt Millen, but the things that I heard from the get-go…there were many mean things directed towards Jeff. And if you want to say 'Jeff sucks' or you want to say 'Put Joey in' - fine. But when you start chanting for him to get hurt and stay down for the count, I mean c'mon that is disrespectful."
Host: "It's inexcusable. You're absolutely right. That is inexcusable and those people should be ashamed of themselves. I agree with you completely."
Carmella: "That's not football. You know, this is a football game. People are losing sight of it is a game. I understand you pay money for season tickets. I understand you pay money for tickets to get into the game, whatever. I understand you pay for the memorabilia. It - is - a - game."
Host: "Carmella, that would happen anywhere though. There are fans like that in any town."
Carmella: "Yeah…it's something I've never experienced before. I've gone to Cleveland games. I'll hear you know about particular players, 'you suck', whatever. But it just went further than that."
Host: "So that is the part that bothers you is that they were chanting for him to be injured, to be hurt. Yes."
Carmella: "I think that's what bothers me most. Fans are going to say what they have to say, but they just carried it too far yesterday. And as far as the people calling in and saying 'you know he makes excuses', I heard the interview as well as you did. He's not making excuses. He's accepting responsibility. You ask him a question he's going to give you an honest answer. When you ask what are the problems with this team, he's going to tell you. But, he also admits the things that he has done wrong and will confront the things that he knows that he needs to be better at."
Host: "Carmella, we just had Joe Theismann on and we asked him…"
Carmella: "I heard."
Host: " …and we asked him if he ran the Lions what would he do. He said that he would bring Jeff back next year. Do you think Jeff wants to come back to Detroit next year?"
Carmella: "I'm not going to speak for Jeff. I think it needs to be the right fit for this organization and I also think it needs to be the right fit for him as well. I'm not gonna go there and speak for him. I heard Joe's interview. It was great. But I just can't say that right now, you know?"
Host: "Well, what's it been like for Jeff this year in Detroit? Can you at least tell us? Because he's come on every Monday with us. We love to have him on. He is always honest with us. You know, we do respect him for his candor, but how much has this been…I don't know if it's a burden, or fun, or whatever. He obviously plays because he has a passion and love for the game?"
Carmella: "Well, exactly. He does. He takes a lot of pride in his career and his job in football in general. I mean, he's a hard worker. He is a warrior. I mean, not speaking from the aspect of being his girlfriend, being that I did grow up as a football fan…I didn't necessarily watch him in San Francisco…but I mean, he is a warrior. He will fight to the end. And that is what he is trying to do here. I guess that is why I get so upset when I hear the negativity, because we all know it is not a good situation. I mean, what they are doing is not making it better."
Host: "Carmella, as his girlfriend you have to understand some of the things he says there are ramifications in the locker room. Has he come back to you and expressed that guys are upset? Because we've been stunned by his candor, but then people told us he was very honest in his interviews."
Carmella: "He is very honest in his interviews. I am not going to say it hasn't really gotten him into trouble in the past."
Carmella: "I mean, he got a lot of stuff for that because of his honesty. He is very upfront and he says it how it is. I think this year we have been pretty good with that. I haven't heard him come home and say that there were any problems with anything that he said, but I think he's been very fair in all his interviews."
Host: "Well isn't that because most of what he said is true?"
Carmella: "I would say that anything that he tells you would probably be how he feels and what he believes to be the truth. Definitely."
Host: "You know, Carmella, you can be a Cleveland Brown fan but you're not an Ohio State fan are you?"
Carmella: "I wasn't real big on college football, but I'm not a Browns fan anymore. I'm obviously (for) Detroit."
Host: "You're not going to be one for long! (laughter)"
Carmella: "If we're not here next year, you know I'm through."
Host: "You'll bail real quick."
Host: "We've got a dollar three we can make you a Lions fan."
Host: "Well, thank you for calling. We appreciate it. We respect your perspective, obviously being Jeff's girlfriend, but this has been a real miserable situation for decades here in Detroit when it comes to the football team."
Carmella: "I do. I understand, and I sympathize with what these fans have had to deal with. I mean, they want a win. I can completely sympathize. And obviously the team's making changes, whatever the organization feels that they need to do, then they're going to do. But I just don't think that the fans need to lose site of it's a game. It's a game and all the comments about disrespecting him because of the things that he says, he's admitting, you know?"
Host: "Well, the first question we had for him is what grade would you give yourself? And he said…"
Carmella: "He said he failed."
Host: "I know. Yeah."
Carmella: "He said he failed."
Host: "I don't know what else people want him to say…"
Carmella: "That's exactly it. What do they want to hear? He's honest with you. He will admit his own mistakes and he told you the problems that he thinks are involved with this team right now. I mean, I just don't understand. What do they want to hear? I mean, they want to see a winning team. I understand that. And they've got every right to feel that way. But, I mean, I just yesterday was a bit much."
Host: "Well thanks for calling us. Does he know you called?"
Host: "You're gonna hear about it. You know, Carmella, Jeff said he might call us next week. If he doesn't, will you call us?"
Carmella: "I don't know if I'll be allowed to." (laughter)