Where Is Jerry Maguire When You Need Him?
Anquan. Boldin. Quan (also a term from Jerry Maguire, meaning love, money, and respect all in one). Q.
Whatever you my call him, if you have watched him play, you know Anquan deserves the "quan".
He snagged 500 receptions quicker then any other NFL receiver in the history of the game. This could have been done by many other current receivers if they had half the work ethic that Anquan Boldin has, and that is just one of the reasons why he deserves top dollar.
He dropped in the draft because people said he was too slow. He was criticized right out of the gates.
So what did he do about it? He strapped on his pads and went to work for one of the worst franchises the NFL could remember.
He was drafted by a team who was known for not spending money to keep quality players. Not to mention he was drafted by a team who played in a college stadium. A team whose locker rooms were equivalent to that of neighboring high schools.
Did you hear one word about him having a problem being in Arizona? No.
It's easy for us middle or lower class people to say, "Quit crying and play ball! What's the difference if you are making millions of dollars a year?"
Honestly, it's not about the money. "Q" will tell you that himself.
"Well, we did you wrong and we'll pay you this. It's not about the money. It was always about the principle, guys being true to their word. I guess I was expected to uphold my end of the bargain, and it wasn't reciprocated," Boldin said.
If you have never played a sport, and had someone on your team receiving all the glory, and all the love, when you are just as good—and your stats show it—then try to think of it this way.
Maybe you're a salesperson, maybe you work in a cube, or mabe you are a cashier; whatever you may be, picture yourself at work. Then picture a co-worker who works right next to you, who is also a good friend or yours. Every month you make the same amount of sales, or get the same customer service rating. It's neck and neck and you work as hard as you can, whether that is because you love your job or you love to compete, or both.
Now imagine your friend and co-worker makes almost twice as much as you.
Does it burn yet?
If not, lets remember a few things we briefly touched on earlier. You have worked there for a year longer than your co-worker, and produced even when he or she wasn't there yet. Not to mention, you spent one more year in a poor work environment. (Now I know a college stadium isn't exactly a poor work environment, but compared to most NFL stadiums it is. There is a reason Arizona State plans on putting $150 million dollars in upgrades to their stadium over the next year or so.)
Now here is the key and probably the biggest reason I believe—and you should believe—Anquan Boldin deserves money near the amount that Larry Fitzgerald makes. For over a year the Cardinals told Q that they would redo his contract, and they failed to do so. They then sign Larry Fitzgerald to a contract almost doubling the salary of what they gave to Anquan Boldin.
It's obvious what happens next, right? Anquan holds out until he gets a contract, right?
Nope. He shows up for training camp just like everyone else.
The regular season rolls around and Anquan Boldin is viciously hit coming across the middle. It is late in the game and the Cardinals are getting blown out. He could easily have sat down and took the rest of the game off; but no, he is still running routes down the middle of the field. He gets his sinus fractured and you figure he would just curl up and lay on the stretcher and call it a season.
Rumor has it that Anquan threatened paramedics to let him up so he could continue to play (nobody said he was a nice guy). The fact here is that even with a fractured sinus and a weak contract, the man still wanted to get up and play in a game that only had 27 seconds left on the clock! They were being destroyed, but that didn't matter to him; he just wanted to play.
Any other player—I repeat—any other player probably would have sat out for the rest of the season, especially if they were unhappy with their contract. Again Anquan does just the opposite; he missed only 2 games before coming back.
Are you still questioning whether or not Anquan deserves a top dollar contract? If this doesn't help, I don't know what will.
Here are Anquan's career stats:
Receptions, 502; Yards, 6496; Yards per catch, 12.9; Touchdowns, 40
Here are Larry's career stats:
Receptions, 426; Yards, 5975; Yards per catch, 14.0; Touchdowns, 46
Yes, Anquan has played for one more year, and without injury Larry will surely catch him in yards and receptions, but it's not like he will shatter his current stats.
These two men compliment each other. Neither one of them is as good without the other one there. They both know this. The Cardinals need to offer a contract significant to that of Larry Fitzgerald. If they do, I sure hope Anquan can realize that staying along side of Larry Fitzgerald will only help put him in the record books as one of the greatest receivers ever, right along Larry Fitzgerald.
One last note: players are treated not like family, but as business. So in the end, when players treat teams and owners the same way, you can't blame them. Wherever you go Anquan, I wish you the best and you are one of the few bad asses left in the NFL. I just hope you stay with the Cardinals. Not just for the sake of Cardinals fans, but for the sake of the game.
A true fan can respect the ability of other athletes and appreciate what they do for the game. Whether you hate them or love them, you have to respect them. Larry and "Q" can put their names right up next to Jerry, but I feel that will only happen if they stay together.
Congratulations on your run, Cardinals. We fell short, but thanks for finally proving something. Thanks for finally giving us something to be proud about.
Even if you go 0-16 next season, I will still be there.