The Scariest 5-Weeks of the Year... - 06/19/14
At least if you're an NFL Coach, or personnel man. Why, you ask? Well, each and every player in the league is off for the next month-plus. Time to relax, time to take a break or maybe take a vacation. And time to get in trouble. Therein lies the problem.
For the next five weeks, you'll see NFL players featured all over the country in police blotters. There will be DUI's, DWI's, domestic disputes, weapons violations. Pick a misdemeanor, any misdemeanor, some NFL player will probably be arrested for it. Felonies too.
Every player and coach talks about how they plan on taking it easy during this time. How they just want to "recharge their batteries" or "clear their head" or "refocus" before the start of training camp, when the real grind begins.
The same holds true for the Titans. I heard no fewer than five players and Coach Ken Whisenhunt talk today about being smart during this break. How important it is to do "the right thing". He warned of serious consequences of players made poor choices during the time off. He also said he had confidence that the players were mature and would make good decisions.
Wishful thinking perhaps?
The players all said they were going to spend time with family. Take it easy. There was no mention of a club, bar, or "adult establishment". No talk of partying or even "letting off steam."
There was however, plenty of mention of working out, staying in shape and spending time with friends and family.
It all sounds great. But I'm not buying it. After covering the team for 8-years, I know better. Guys will party. They will go to bars, clubs and perhaps even an "adult establishment."
And I don't blame them. I'd do the same thing. In fact, I did when I was their age. And I didn't have nearly the amount of money they do to enjoy themselves.
What most of them don't get, at least early on, is that they've become a target. A target for social media, a target for people looking to make a quick buck, even a target for police. That's a recipe for disaster.
These days, people live to post pictures of athletes acting like fools, whether they're drunk or not. Some love nothing more than to goad a player into a fight, hoping for a potential payoff. Some Men in Blue actually take pride in taking down the Men in Two-Toned Blue. These things happen. All the time. Particularly during THIS time.
It's also one of the rare times when coaches have no control over their players. Both are creatures of habit. Coaches are all about schedules and routines. So are players. That's out the window for the next month.
So while you're taking your vacation, sitting on the beach or at the lake, traveling with your friends or family, remember so are the Titans. Young men, with lots of money. And time.
Sounds pretty sweet, doesn't it? Not if you're a Coach or personnel man in the NFL. These are the scariest 5-weeks of the year.
Don't forget the sunscreen!