Pic via KevinPayne.com ( <<< My new site! Go to it! NOW! ;-)
What’s goin’ on, Rams Nation!?!
The hot topic going on ESPN the last couple days has been about the Dez Bryant / Roy Williams thing - where Dez didn’t carry Roy’s pads after practice. So I just wanted to chime-in and give my opinion, as well as find out what yours is.
As far as hazing goes, I was never really big on hazing rookies or college freshmen. I know it’s an understood thing to do in the NFL, but I never really cared much about making rookies do this and that for me. I mean, I had to do it -- all the rookies who were there with me had to do it -- but I just so happen to have not done it to any of my younger teammates.
I remember in my first year, Mike Brown told me to carry his pads for him. Doing so was just part of being a rookie, so it wasn’t a problem for me. I picked’em up, carried them, and didn’t say anything else about it. I wasn’t going to tell Mike Brown that I wasn’t going to carry his pads - Ha! I mean, it’s an understood ritual, a sign of respect towards a veteran player. I had a lot of respect for those guys like Mike Brown and the rest of the defensive backs. They’d put in years of hard work into their careers and had been in the NFL doing the things that I wanted to do. So if someone wanted me to carry their pads, I’d do it -- No big deal.
Other than carry some equipment around here and there, all I really had to do when I was a rookie was get the veteran’s food and sing some songs. So I guess you can say I never really got, like, hazed hazed - you know, stuff like having my head shaved bald or something - Haha!
Stuff like getting food and singing songs is cool and all, it’s just that when it comes to making kids do things outside their character is where I draw the line. That’s just my personal feelings on the whole thing. I know I wouldn’t want anybody to shave my head, so I never made anyone else do something crazy like that.
As far as Dez not wanting to carry the pads -- I dunno, man -- I’m really not sure what to say about that. It’s a new day and age out there. I mean, you can’t force him to carry the pads. Me, personally, I did it and didn’t have a problem with it, but everyone is their own man. However, if you don’t cooperate, it might make things worse for the rookie in terms of fitting-in and building camaraderie with the rest of the team. The veterans may give him a hard time after this for not showing any respect to Roy. Everyone has had to go through it in their careers. So for Dez not to do it, he kinda singles himself out.
I’ve never made a rookie carry my pads before. That’s not to say I won’t ever do it (haha), I just haven’t up to this point in my career. One thing’s for sure though: I’d never do anything really crazy to a rookie, because I know I wouldn’t have wanted someone to treat me like that when I was in their shoes.
So that’s my opinion on it -- Who’s to say if it’s the popular one or not? Let know what you guys think here and on my Facebook profile.