NFL players are people, too!

Unfortunately, viewers of NFL Network and readers of don’t have the opportunity to sit in on our Total Access production meetings. The production meeting is where we go over the conversations for that day’s show. In many cases, we never get to fully flush out a topic because of time constraints on the show. Today was such a case.

We were discussing the NFL Rookie Symposium. We kicked the conversation around for 20 minutes, and there was a reoccurring theme that kept coming up. The theme was the idea that there is an expectation among the populous that NFL players are supposed to be perfect because they were given the right to play football. THAT NOTION IS LUDICROUS!

Professional athletes, or entertainers for that matter, are people. It is not only unreasonable, but also unfair, to think that twenty-something kids who become millionaires, effectively overnight, will be any different than the guy next door. Deion Sanders has a great adage that says, “Fortune or fame make you more of what you are.”

That’s genius.

I’ve heard this bogus argument dating back to my days on sports-talk radio and even this week on Twitter. The notion that suggests “if I were given that chance, I would do …” It’s easy to say what you would or would not do when you’re not in a particular situation. There is a passage in the Bible where Jesus asks, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Have you ever got behind the wheel after having too many drinks? Have you ever had a one-night stand? Have you hung out late with your buddies to the dismay of your wife?

Everyone should be held to the same standards. Players are just plain old people who happen to have extraordinary talent, like many others do in other endeavors. To think they are somehow not going to be subject to the same human temptations as you is foolish. Talent doesn’t make you immune to being human.

We also have to keep some perspective about this issue. There are approximately 1,600 players in the league. At best, we are talking about 25 players per year that get into significant trouble. That is a far cry from the national average.

What say you (hypocrites need not respond)?

— Jamie Dukes

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