Football has to be my favorite sport.  There exists a deep complexity and strategy that co-mingles with brutal strength and force, all coalescing in a grid iron chess match.  Whenever I begin to explain my beloved sport, my father’s words—best I recall them, for I was tike—come to mind. As basic as it may sound, football is the ultimate team sport.  

Each position has an assignment and responsibility.  Some may seem more important than others; some are definitely higher profile; but in the end, if each position doesn’t take care of his individual task, the entire unit breaks down.  The team that does the better job and handles their cumulative tasks wins the battle between the whistles.

However, one thing that I have observed lately in my beloved sport is that many Wide Receivers have become greater than the game…not to mention the team.  I guess I find it troubling of any sport (or anything in general) when an athlete thinks he is greater than the history of the sport; when a president believes he is greater than the office and people he was elected to represent; or a musician behaves like he invented music and anoints himself king (not saying any names…Kanye!).

No matter how successful and great a player may be, how extraordinarily gifted he/she is, one must always acknowledge and be humble enough to know where they stand vis-à-vis  the larger scope of history and tradition of his/her trade.  Grated, that greatness—in any arena—can easily lead to an over-zealous ego and skewed perception…but, at best, any spectacular individuals add history versus an attempt at eclipsing it.

So what is it with wide receivers?  Why can’t they just shut up and play the game?  Maybe it’s one of the only positions out there on an “island,” one-on-one, beat your man and you score.  Perhaps, on running plays, they feel relatively obscure and don’t feel part of the play.  Still, they are just one piece of the puzzle; if not for their offensive line holding its blocks, the running back and tight ends selling the underneath routes, the quarterback making accurate reads so he can deliver the perfect strike…then the T.O.s and Ocho Cincos of the world wouldn’t have any balls to catch. 

But still, why the whole “Look at me, look at me!!” attitude? Why the antics after scoring?  Score a TD and do a little dance…don’t run for the pom poms, a hidden cell phone, or a sharpie.  It might be cliché but why can’t you act like you’ve been there before?  More so, don’t be a wide receiver — be a football player.  If you want to cry, dance, flop around, pout and play the role of prima donna… go be a futbol player.

Allow me explain what a wide receiver who is a football player first is about…better yet – I’ll let Hines Ward do it.

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