Category: Communication & People Skills
As I opened the door to Altitude Sports Radio one morning, our mail lady stood up. She was in tears. I was worried that I had maybe missed a phone call or something else, until she started speaking.
One of my most memorable introductions to how the NFL holds its players accountable came during training camp in my fourth year in the NFL.
Ten rows up from our new rookie, I bellowed “WHAT’S YOUR NAME?” The rookie skits had begun and our new teammates had a chance to introduce themselves to us with name, signing bonus, college and finally by song or skit.
In recent years, no event on the NFL calendar has exploded like the Combine. The whole thing is on TV. Every front office face is there. People agonize over the tests and analyze the numbers until they can’t see straight.
Recently, a white supremacist was describing his methodology, “Hey, listen, I don’t care if you’re black, brown, male or female. Whichever one of you wants power is one less person from my culture in power.”
I was at my first state-level competition in high school. All of us athletes there had won our regionals. Every single kid was a top wrestler in the state of Minnesota, then some won, and some lost.
When I was in the NFL, people asked me for money almost every day. Old friends, strangers, even family would pop out of the woodwork with their hands out. At first I wanted to help everyone, but after a while I smartened up and learned to call bullshit on people with a few key questions.
It was my day off, in the season when we eventually won the Super Bowl, and I was playing with my kids. Enjoying my life. In the middle of family time, I got a phone call from a friend who said, “Man I just heard you got benched.”