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BuzzFeed: Future Football Stars: The NFL Is About To Destroy Your Life


The Team Captain
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Aug 3, 2009
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Falls Church, VA

Michigan State

Future Football Stars: The NFL Is About To Destroy Your Life

Former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson has some words of warning for Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III on the day of the NFL Draft.

Dear Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III,

You have been mentioned in the same breath for the last several months. And soon you will go 1-2 in the draft. It's a testament to your fantastic talent that there's still uncertainty – although very little – about where you’ll end up. But once you get drafted and shake hands with Darth Vader, your lives will diverge and you will be immersed fully in the identity of your new employers.

Immediately following the draft, you will board a private jet to your new cities, where you will step off the plane as Hope. The first stage will be a media event. All stages, in fact, will be media events. Whether leading your teams to triumph or failing miserably, every breath will be a public affair. For better or worse, your privacy is gone.

After the necessary posing and hand shaking and I’m-excited-to-be-a-part-of-this-organization-isms, you’ll be escorted into the locker room and shown your new stoop. It will look identical to all other stoops. And until you retire, this will be the only room on the planet where you’re safe, and where your struggle is understood.

Your last name will be unceremoniously taped over your locker and you’ll be gripped once again with the feeling of uncertainty that comes with a new beginning. The NFL is a man’s world, and even when secure in the blossoming of one’s own manhood, the question is unavoidable: Am I man enough?

You’ll be issued your playbooks – if you haven’t already – and you will dive in headfirst. The fate of every professional football player is determined not only by his talent but by his circumstance. The offensive system is not up to the player. The plays that are called: he must run them. The blocking prowess of his lineman: he cannot affect it. The willingness of his coach to cater a rigid offensive system to his unique talents: he does not decide it. His defense: he does not control it. The mental health of the team at large, which will determine the efficiency of the work environment: he does not control that either. He is one man, and on his back the city jumps, expecting that his legs alone will deliver them.

And there will be failures. Andrew, there will be times during practice when you will be outplayed by free-agent camp bodies who will never play a down of pro football. And RG3, there will be times when you will look so ****ty that anyone watching will declare you a bust, and the team’s hopes lost. Yet it is through these tunnels that all players must pass — the Hall of Famer and the Never Will Be. The knowledge of this common struggle will unite a team in defiance of the conventional wisdom that suggests otherwise. Remember for every interception thrown, there is an interceptor in triumph. For every touchdown thrown, there is a defense in defeat. Leadership requires an acceptance of this, and will not work without it. A leader who lacks this perspective will lead no one but himself.

Chances are, you both already know this. But it is a nuance that is lost on the media.

Click on the link for the rest


The Owner's Favorite
Jun 30, 2009
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Raleigh, NC


Powerful piece. Extremely well written and gut-level honest.

I would wish that every player drafted read this. The entire article.

I wish even more strongly for every Redskins fan to read this because it gives an understanding of the pressure these new players face, not just RGIII, but every new face the Redskins bring to camp-it would probably be a good read for all 90 of the bodies at camp actually, IMO.

I especially liked the honesty Nate showed when warning these guys that their every failure will be interpreted by many as a mistake in the decision to choose them-we fans are fickle, impatient, and unforgiving-especially if you're a very highly rated prospect you can't make an error anywhere or you're garbage collected in a piss-poor FO decision. This is a perspective I simply dismiss as ignorant. If they can learn to ignore that and concentrate on doing their best for the team that's all that can be expected-if it's successful or if it fails just do your absolute best.


Camp Fodder
Jul 16, 2009
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Fabulous piece, that needs to be read by everyone connected to the game. The one thing that heartens me is the consistent character we have seen from Griffin, most of that he has already heard from his parents and I expect his family to keep him grounded and avoid most of the misery that comes from being a star.

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