Janée's Blog

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Culture Change

Being a native Washingtonian, I don’t necessarily have to root for the home team, but the least I can do is watch. As I watched the Redskins take on the Rams today, there were quite a few idiosyncrasies that I noticed in regards to the players and the coaching staff that I’m not totally convinced exist in the world of professional basketball. Only two truly peaked my interest. The first characteristic that I noticed was the camaraderie. Of course some level of exists in all team sports; however, it seems more sincere within football organizations. This could be a result of knowing that one’s own personal success is directly tied to the other 10 players on the field, or the idea that it is imperative to operate as one large organism in order to ensure overall success, or most honorably, the notion that “I am my brother’s keeper.” Whatever the reasoning, I witness far less bravado and self-centeredness during a football game than during a basketball game. The second trait that resonated the most was the power of the coach. Far too many times in professional sports certain players totally usurp the power of the coaches. If it is a superstar or a franchise player, the organization will fire the coach in an effort to appease the player. Then organizations are left wondering how did they end up with such maniacal egomaniacs. Well, dear team owners, you became enablers. This is why Jeff Fisher’s decision to sit all-pro running back Steven Jackson, after he incurred an infraction at the beginning of the game, was so impressive to me. Whether or not the infraction was justly incurred is a moot point. The point is he is a vet and obviously knows better. Not to mention, other younger players are looking to him for leadership and, quiet as kept, to see what the organization will and won’t tolerate. And lastly, most importantly, is understanding that being a professional athlete is a privilege, not a right. Professional sports and teams have existed and were profitable before these new batch of athletes arrived and they will continue to thrive after each player of this generation has retired. While I don’t agree that professional athletes should be governed like collegiate athletes, I do think that the levels of hierarchy need to be re-examined and readjusted. Certain levels of accountability need to be upheld on both sides, players and coaches alike. And I don’t expect perfection. But I do expect athletes to appreciate where they are in time and space.

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2012 by and tagged , , .
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