children of the NFL

The NFL season is approaching, and my post will probably take an NFL slant, I apologize up front. Those who have known me longest are not a surprised if I were male or believed females should be in the locker room I would have attempted to play professionally. I thought about sports journalism; however, I would have had to transfer to UNC – Chapel Hill for that education (see I am not biased, I give credit where credit is due). 😉 Suzy Kolber, Andrea Kramer and Pam Oliver are three women I admire; they have consistently held their own with the boys and men of the NFL.

Why two post in one morning? I can not let another day go by without sounding off on mentioning Michael Vick, I have tried to avoid it, but with the season on the horizon, I have to say something. Off the top let me say, I have never been a Vick fan, not because he does not play for the Cowboys. I have never been impressed, from the sex lawsuit to the current dog fighting indictment my response is Grow Up! American football is my passion, so I have more than a cursory interest in the sport and when players screw up, regardless of the magnitude I get annoyed. The League minimum salary is $225,000.00 annually, and I do not care who you are that is beyond decent money for anyone three years removed from high school (requirement to play in the league). Three years out of high school most folks are 20 or 21 years old, living independently or in college and, for the most part, functioning as adults may be not mature but an adult. So I will not argue that it is too much money (the NBA will give it to a 16-year-old if they have a high school diploma, that I take issue with).

Michael Vick is the latest in a line of NFL children that have frustrated me Michael Irvin, Ryan Leaf, Brian Griese, Lawrence Phillips, Ray Lewis, like Todd Marinovich the list could go on. Drug charges to murder charges and everything in between. They live their lives in fish bowls, under microscopes (they are not role models or even model citizens). I expect more, I expect more because the play the game I love, I wish they expected more of themselves.

Michael Vick is not different from anyone else charged with running or being an integral part of a dog fighting ring. Drug charges, murder charges are all the same it does not matter if it is the well respected MD, Ph.D., homemaker, business man or woman. The collective sigh is that this person has it all and now they are about to blow it. Likewise those who have reached or attained professional prowess that face similar charges blow it all as well, the all being freedom, respect, dignity and so on.

Should Michael Vick be suspended? NFL and NFLPA rules make that scenario a tight one to navigate; however, it would be nice if he would be an adult and voluntarily take some time off, and handle his business. Football is a team sport, every player that crosses the legal line immediately add an ‘I’ where it was never intended. I remember the image like it was yesterday of Troy Aikman in the courtroom with Michael Irvin, one my proudest yet saddest moments as a Cowboys fan. Players that get in trouble regardless of the magnitude say to their organization stop everyone and “look at me.” As a fan, I am tired of looking; I love the game, I so dislike the children.

Brings me right back to love:

1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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