Thursday, September 30, 2010

NFL rookie hazing prank damages players’ reputation, my ego

Football season = fun season in The Unusual Suspects camp (seasonal depression notwith-standing). And with the huge, HUGE Steelers v. Ravens game set to start around 72 hours from now, it’s safe to say I’m in the zone. Is there a bigger rivalry in the sport today? Methinksnot. I would be happy to debate that point with whomever, just keep it clean.

Anyways, as much as I love professional football, there’s occasionally a story that makes my skin crawl – see Roethlisberger’s hijinks, Ray Lewis walking after committing murder and the rampant citations for domestic abuse. Add to that list the story of Dez Bryant, rookie wideout for the Dallas Cowgirls. Boom.

As the story goes, Bryant refused to carry shoulder pads for the team’s veterans after practice earlier this year, which is apparently something all first year Cowboys are supposed to do; a hazing of sorts. The act of rebellion caused a slight stir in the media after those veteran players spoke out against the pompous rookie.

So to get back at Bryant, his teammates did what any reasonable fraternity of overgrown men would do: they stuck him with a team dinner bill of nearly $55,000!! According to Tweets from the players and staff, everything on the menu was ordered (some items multiple times) and many bottles of wine were purchased to go. Obviously, this wasn’t the Olive Garden.

Now I know, who am I to judge how anyone, much less a multi-million-dollar-earning NFL player, spends their money? Typically, I could care less. But there are two things that grind my gears about this situation.

1. There’s a lot of talk about a potential NFL lockout next season if owners and the players union can’t agree on some new terms. One of those terms, obviously, is more money for the players… What kind of message does this prank send the owners? I realize this stuff is common in NFL locker rooms, but giving the owners public PR gaffes like this is just like giving them dozens of rounds of live ammunition at the negotiating table. I don’t want to see replacement players next year and I sure as heck don’t want a lockout.

2. Stories like this expose what a shallow, resentful, jealous person I can be, as I can’t help but gag at the thought of this kid, probably five years younger than myself, shelling out in one night more than I make in a year - as a part of a joke no less! I know these guys make huge bank, but millions of dollars doesn’t mean anything to me… that’s not even real. But to hear $55,000, a hopefully reachable figure at some point in life for the common Joe with a college degree, it’s so… deflating I guess is the best word.

So until next time, let’s keep these fun little stories under wraps, ay boys? My pride needs some time to recover.

See you at 4 p.m. for The Ride Home.

1 comment:

  1. Think about it this way....Bryant is making 300,000 this year with his just his contract. That is roughly 18 percent of his salary. While he still has far more money than I ever will, can you imagine spending 18 percent of your yearly salary on a meal?