I live in Dallas where football trumps just about everything except maybe religion...in some cases. It certainly trumps hair, fashion or beauty issues. When I moved to Dallas close to 25 years ago I immediately learned everything there was to know about the Dallas Cowboys. Then I worked my way down to college, high school and even pee wee football. If you can talk football in Dallas you're set for life.
You think Friday Night Lights is fiction? Think again. It's as real as a heart attack.
(Image of Dez Bryant - Dallas Cowboys - All Rights Reserved)
When the Cowboys report to training camp the city of Dallas perks up. Not only is it news, there is always lots of goings on in the camp which give hints about the upcoming season. The news flows from all angles.
When I read today that Dez Bryant, a lowly rookie at Cowboys camp was ruffling feathers I stopped to check it out. It seems the lowly rookie is not playing by camp rules. Historically all the rookies suck up to the veterans and take a certain amount of hazing. It's tradition for vets to make rookies carry their pads after practice. This practice harks back to the beginning of the NFL.
Sort of like when I was a pledge at Alpha Xi Delta sorority and the actives expected us to do the grunt work for the chapter. We were kidnapped at the crack of dawn and expected to traipse to the nearest pancake house in our PJs looking like hell. Yes us lowly pledges were embarrassed but it was part of the deal to pay your dues. Afterall, once we were actives the next pledge class was all ours. Right?
The same is true in the NFL. Rookies carry pads. Rookies get donuts. Rookies sing their school fight songs in front of everyone. Rookies are in the back of the line for everything.
After practice Sunday, though, a veteran player attempted to give Bryant his pads, but Bryant wasn't having it. He told the longtime Cowboy player he could carry his own pads.
Can anyone say misplaced sense of entitlement?
According to Tim McMahon at ESPNDallas.com Bryant said "I'm not doing it." He said "I feel like I was drafted to play football, not carry another player's pads." He continued "if I was a free agent, it would still be the same thing. I just feel like I'm here to play football. I'm here to try to help win a championship, not carry someone's pads. I'm saying that out of no disrespect to [anyone]."
Every one of the veteran Cowboys players on the team went through their own period of being the lowly rookie and being forced to endure traditional rookie insults and putdown. They all carried the pads for the vets. If Mr. Bryant believes the rest of the players are all of a sudden going to make an exception for him, he has another though coming.
Not to mention the fact Dez is sending a message to the world that he thinks he's better than all the other rookies in the entire football league. Whoa. See what I mean? Drama and it's not even on reality TV.
I'll be sure and let you all know when Dez Bryant winds up taped stark naked to a Dallas monument (and on the national news) in the near future. Cause I can pretty much guarantee that this rookie will be living on borrowed time if he doesn't bend over and pick up those pads.
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