In the world of professional sports, fans tend to latch on to the players perceived as the stars of their sport. The concept of "team" often comes secondary. People fall in love with stats and flash, and don't pay enough attention to the real reason their favorite team is winning or losing.
It's not surprising at all to me that there are so many in the media calling for Josh McDaniels' head for benching Brandon Marshall. The man who goes by the nickname "The Beast", is just that on the football field. He's a monster. He loves the camera, and the camera loves him. He's a genuine Super Star, and the Broncos' most talented offensive player by most accounts.
But how much should McDaniels tolerate before he says enough is enough? Should Brandon Marshall get a free pass from the coaching staff, simply because he's a fan favorite, with gaudy stats?
My answer would be absolutely not. To win football games, you need to have 11 guys on the field that are committed to the guys lining up beside them. Are people truly naive enough to believe that Marshall's teammates could watch him act like a punk towards their leader, coach McDaniels, and then commit to him on the football field?
They can't possibly trust the guy. They can't possibly trust his motives. Not when the whole world knows that Marshall is in a contract year, and that he wanted to ditch the team last summer. Not when they know that this guy doesn't have their backs, as he's decided that he couldn't possibly take the field with them against the Chiefs, in what could be the final game of Denver's season.
So why is it that Marshall gets the benefit of a doubt with the media and most fans? How is it that Brandon Marshall can pull a hamstring (with negative MRI results) just three days after getting 100 catches for a third straight year, and nobody raises and eyebrow?
Is it possible that "The Beast" is really in too much pain to be productive? Sure. But I'm not buying into it. I'm done sticking up for this guy. He got his stats. He got his pro bowl bid. Telling the coaching staff that he is too injured to help his team against the Chiefs in the season finale seems like a cop out by Marshall. It seems like Marshall felt that he had done enough earn a big contract offer this off-season, and he decided to call it a year, one game early.
That's more than enough to tell McDaniels that he doesn't want the guy around anymore. Would you trust Marshall? It all seems too convenient for him. 100 catchess? Check. Pro Bowl? Check. Big contact next year? Check. Okay, time for vacation.
I really do wish things could have been different, and I am going to miss the excitement of watching Brandon Marshall in a Broncos uniform.
The fact of the matter is that Marshall does not fit with the Broncos. People forget that Shanahan had every intention of cutting Marshall until he got fired, which is saying a lot, considering the lowly characters Shanahan has bent over backwards to bring to the Mile High City, such as Ted Washington and Dale Carter.
Brandon Marshall is no Larry Fitzgerald.