Welcome To The League Rookie

Posted: August 1, 2010 in NFL
Tags: , , , , ,

With NFL training camps underway and the sweet smell of fresh-cut grass in the air, it’s safe to say that the football season is upon us.  It’s time to trade in our church clothes, our women and our Sunday garden work for leather couches, beer and chest bumping.  With NFL rookies getting unheralded amounts of money these days before ever taking a snap or touching a ball, one might think there would be some pent-up anger amongst veteran teammates as players report to camp, right?  This is normally where the writer inserts an emphatic WRONG, but unfortunately it is 100% correct.  If you don’t believe me ask the Minnesota Vikings 2nd round pick, Toby Gerhart as he was graciously welcomed to the squad yesterday morning in 11-on-11 drills by 14-year veteran Pat Williams.    

The always fun-loving defensive tackle laid an absolute licking on the former Stanford running back this morning and instead of extending an arm to help his fallen teammate, he instead had some harsh words that included, “I don’t care who it is, man.  This ain’t college no more. They’re grown mans out there. (Expletive.) Paying these college boys like they already played before, so (expletive), we just show ’em. This is a different breed out there. This is grown men. It ain’t boys no more. But they pay ’em like they done played in the NFL now.”  As fans and players marveled over the monstrous hit, the only thing reporters wanted to know afterwards was what was said to Toby while on the ground and Pat emphatically stated, “(Expletive). I don’t apologize to nobody. (Expletive), get your ass up. Let’s go. Point blank. That’s how I roll. I’ve been playing for like 14 years. I don’t complain about nothing. I don’t whine about nothing. I’m just coming to camp to have fun. Same old, same old every year.”  I think it’s safe to assume Toby can cross Pat off as a possible secret Santa candidate this coming holiday season as a potential budding friendship seems a ways off.

As exciting as the hit was for Vikings fans, it clear that although it will never be verbally stated, locker rooms around the NFL will always been divided between veterans and rookies until respect is earned and dues are paid.  With lucrative contracts literally being thrown at unproven players, can we expect veterans who have seen and done it all to prance around camp with a big ol’ smile on their face as snot nose rookies swim in their money?  How would you feel if you worked at a company for 10-years and the boss hired on a kid straight out of college for three or four times the salary you were making?  I can’t imagine you’re going to show up the next day with party hats, confetti and a cake to congratulate your new co-worker, right?  We all complain and rip rookies for getting these ridiculous amounts of money, but at the end of the day we should be turning our blame and scrutiny to the owners who pay the salaries.   I hope something gets figured out and figured out fast to avoid a possible lock-out in the future, but in the meantime no one is going to take the glory and joy out of this upcoming NFL season.  Welcome back my beloved football!

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