Living on the Edge with Matt Leinart
The last time I checked, there wasn't a soul in this world that gave a flip about what Steve Behrns did in his free time unless that person knew me.
Wait a minute, I never did bother to check.
I simply don't care what people think about the outlets of recreation that I choose. Similarly, why should we, as total strangers to his life, be inclined to critique or analyze what Matt Leinart does on his own watch?
The darling of the franchise, Leinart was a high draft choice selected to be the face of the new Arizona Cardinals. Granted, the red birds knew well in advance that Leinart had a Hollywood pedigree with a penchant for hanging out in certain crowds that like to party... often. If Leinart's background didn't deter them from ponying up the paper then, are they really any more concerned about his lifestyle today?
Certainly the management of the Arizona Cardinals has a right to be concerned over the recent photos posted online of their franchise quarterback. If I were to invest millions of dollars in a person that was a vital asset to my company's success, then I too would be interested to know whether or not he was keeping their end of the bargain. Nevertheless, the business of professional athletes on their own time is just that... it's their business, not mine. That is to say that what is done outside of the stadium and training facility is no one's concern provided the obligations of the agreement made between the athlete and the owner who signs your checks is not endangered.
Although I personally do not have a problem with Matt Leinart boozing it up with the ladies in his offseason (who can blame him), it would behoove him to reconsider the microscope that he is under. After getting the royal treatment the first half of the 2007 season, Leinart was dethroned from the starting lineup after several games of inconsistent play earned him the bench. Opting in favor of veteran Kurt Warner, coach Ken Whisenhunt reinforced that he is a no-nonsense teacher concerned primarily with doing what is best for the team while creating a winning atmosphere. Leinart certainly took note then, yet that hasn't stopped him from living la vida loca otherwise.
Ultimately, the only issue at hand is responsibility. If Matt Leinart feels comfortable enough that his lifestyle will not interfere with the focus and dedication required of his work, then more power to him. If the Arizona Cardinals feel that his extracurricular activities are a detriment to the team and his own preparation, they should probably sit down and have a chat with Matt. Then again, what can they do?
Similar to the Pittsburgh Steelers experience with Ben Roethlisberger and his love for riding motorcycles without a helmet, if the Cards want to shuffle their deck and play a risky hand without protecting themselves contractually to their quarterback then that is their prerogative. As long as Matt Leinart is not falling over his dog at home, tearing a ligament in a volleyball game at the Pro Bowl, or breaking his wrist during a car wash... then leave the guy alone. If his coaches and owner feel that Leinart's behavior threatens the security and well-being of the Arizona Cardinals and their upcoming season, then by all means they would be justified in taking action. Until that conversation is necessary, who the hell cares what Matt Leinart does for fun?
I don't know Matt Leinart and I don't care if he wants to wreck his liver or be a celebrity pimp. I do, however, know that a man named Brady lives in the limelight and manages to show up on game day.
In the end that's all that matters.
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