Late in the second half of the Philadelphia/Seattle football game last Thursday, I thought I heard someone say something. Did I hear DeSean Jackson say, "Word up or something?" Whatever it was, it may not have been "tweetable." It appears that our gravel filled sports media is once again presenting itself as the NFL's equivalent to the "Tea Party."
Seems the NFL hierarchy, like Wall Street and the Republican members of Congress, have determined that the rules for the many vary greatly from the rules for the few. And this event seems to have caused a "work stoppage dispute" and guess which side ESPN is on? The Koch Brothers couldn't have done a better job of throwing the rock and hiding their hands. All that "teammate" mess you know!
DeSean has been encouraged by management to take his measly $500,000 dollar salary and keep quiet. Meanwhile fans "coo" at this sum as though it was anything more than "peanuts." Hey fans..."It's Peanuts!" A deal is a deal though, although the current prevailing business calculus tells us to abrogate any deal at the first sign of disadvantage to self especially if you're say... a bank or large corporation! And DeSean might have fallen for it too, had he not had wise advisors as his own counsel.
You see, DeSean remembered that Jerry Rice helped him train before he ever became one of the elite receivers in the National Football League. Training with Jerry Rice is easily tantamount to getting paid what Wes Welker gets paid. Welker works for one of the cheapest franchises there is! DeSean was thinking, "WAIT, You're paying Wes Welker how much at New England -- a system tailored to his skills and willing to work with his shortcomings? Welker's hands aren't better than mine are! He certainly can't run 40, 60 or 100 meters with me! He doesn't stretch the field like I do! He's never drawn double coverage! DeSean said, "put me in the slot in New England and put Welker at the "wide-out" here and let's see what happens? How much are they paying Welker?"
Then I heard DeSean remember "Sweetness." Best player ever! Once leapt over a stack of players to make a block on the other side! The best... yet he was ravaged by an early death at the hands of the game, management and "the life." He could hear "Sweetness" from his grave saying, "I wish I had all that money that ABC, ESPN and NFL Football spent promoting me after my death and thereby 'honoring' me."
In the NFL you are only as good as your last play and the badgered LaDainian Tomlinson was once quoted as having said that "being a running back in the NFL is like being in sixteen car wrecks per year." The NFL wants a player to sign a doofus contract for three to five years so that the owners receive maximum value in the earliest part of that player's career while paying minimum dollars. Most "skills" careers never last five years. That's what they mean by Not For Long. DeSean said to himself, hell I could lose a wheel just like that and a week later I'm making less money than Coach Reid or Newt Gingrich for that matter. Oh... I forgot... I already am!
And now the wheels are off the wagon in Philadelphia. After holding on to Asante Samuel, acquiring Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Steve Smith and Vince Young and all those other great players, DeSean said, let the rest of the slave mentality hang here if it wants. I'll let this silly system eat itself, and in the process maybe also devour the longest tenured head coach in the NFL. DeSean in one "individual" act has had the impact of not propping up "Oz." What's behind the NFL curtain anyway? If they weren't going to protect Michael Vick like they do Aaron Rodgers, then let those owners (few if any have ever taken a modern NFL hit -- unless it was on a bong in the Hamptons) cook in their self-made stew. You know that fans can be so fickle!
Did I hear someone say that DeSean is one of the premier top five receivers in the league? Did I hear anyone say that the lack of caring for a key player (that's employee to those of you who control other people's salaries and destinies) can be critical, even to a "Dream Team?" This is nothing new! Ask Sarah Palin you old Republican you! Now did I hear anyone utter a "go ahead and pay the guy what he's worth?"
Yes, DeSean remembers the immortal words of "Tomlinson" as the "Hall of Fame" back flipped another football in the end zone... Oh that Charger Blue. But forgive me! LaDainian wears green now and stalks the sidelines in cold New York. He's now a "third down back" (that's the National Football League's lingo that says that you've lost a step and we aren't paying you either if you can't do far better than your last nine years.)
"We're management -- we're about the NOW! Well at least LT gets to end his career in a city. You can't expect to live forever in America's finest town where the franchise owners threaten to move to LA at the drop of a thirteen-dollar Coors-ette. And where the football team's General Manager has no real success that he can call his own but like Napoleon, has named himself "Emperor for Life." Talk about a "hot-dog!" O. G.'s aint just for pizza anymore LT.
So while Vince Young, not a paragon of virtue when it comes to the intricacies of football mentorship or contract management, intoned while attempting to deflect ignominy on nationwide television, DeSean just held course as though to say, "Now this is what a half million dollar wide-out looks like." You get what you pay for I guess! But thanks for standing up for the "little guy" here (pun intended) anyway DeSean. Who will be the first casualty of this "no taxes on the rich" gambit? Andy Reid or Scott Walker? You're like the rest of us un and under employed Americans. You can no longer lose what you do not have.
And you just keep flexing your "Viking" muscles there "Old Management." Does anyone know what a labor dispute really looks like, especially when it's so one-sided and David is somehow still winning? And where is Donovan McNabb when you need him?