I recently saw Prince of Persia in theatres the other day. For those thinking of paying money to see it, don't. It's bad, and I mean real bad. But as terrible as this film was, it did give me one scene that I find myself linking into this very article.
Early in the film, the main character, Dastan, throws what appears to be a rock at the king. After throwing the rock, the king then decides to adopt Dastan into his so-called "royal family" even though Dastan isn't of royal blood.
So how does this relate to the NFL I hear you say?
Well, it may not relate to the entire league, but it does relate to Antonio Pierce's new-found controversial attitude.
It's a common occasion that we see everyday. Cocky athletes talking up a storm about one issue or another. It seems if it isn't trusty, old Terrell Owens, it's Floyd Mayweather or some other form of high-caliber athlete adding his two cents to a situation that more than likely never really needed any further input.
However, in the NFL, a line is normally drawn in the sand that indicates whether or not a player can talk about a certain person, team, or situation. It's called free agency, and if a player is unlucky enough to fall under this category, then you can bet your bottom dollar that you won't hear a peep out of them until their name is signed on a team's dotted line.
Of course there have been past instances when an unsigned and homeless player has spoken out, but the list of names is way too long to list.
Recently, one name appeared that intrigued me—Antonio Pierce.
I've always admired Pierce right from the very beginning. He always seemed hard working, passionate, and despite his mishaps, was always one of the iconic players of the modern day New York Giants that I thought of to be a true team contributor.
That is until Pierce became a free agent, and I, like the rest of the NFL world, forgot all about him as he became overshadowed by bigger and more talented free agents such as Darren Sharper, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Antonio Cromartie.
The difference between Pierce and the players I just mentioned is one simple and obvious thing. They all have teams to call home.
Now I find myself questioning Pierce, as he has recently stated that New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat heading into the 2010 season.
"He's on the hot seat," Pierce said of his former head coach during an interview with NFL Network. "I think everybody in the organization is on the hot seat. You are talking about a team three years removed from the Super Bowl. There are some fires lit underneath people's butts now in that locker room and in that organization. Everybody is on high alert. It is going to be a very interesting 2010 season."
While this is a fact that most of us are well aware of and have heard quite frequently in recent weeks, a question must be asked as to why Pierce feels it necessary to criticize a team and a coach that he no longer plays for.
I guess a small portion of jealousy does come into play as Pierce does have every right to feel like an unwanted tire that has seen his fair share of action, but has finally been tossed aside to make way for newer and brighter talent.
But with this said, a serious cause and effect motion may come out of this story. For you see, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that by speaking out about a team, you are more than likely doing a lot of harm to your potential future in the NFL.
Teams aren't exactly lining up to meet with Pierce, and although he is an experienced middle linebacker, the speculation and debate haven't even begun in regards to Pierce's future.
So why would Pierce go out of his way to criticize the New York Giants?
Well, perhaps he feels that if he criticizes them, somehow he may land a job in a weird, "you have guts, kid, so I'll hire you" kind of way.
Or there is of course the more probable factor that Pierce feels like he is never going to gain a job in professional football ever again, so he has taken it upon himself to achieve a few more minutes of fame leading up to his questionable future.
Whichever reason it is, let me just say, thanks Antonio, for telling us what we already know.
Sure, the Giants posted an 8-8 record last season, but a lot of that was due to youth, inexperience, and a lack of solid coaching. The NFL simply doesn't need a past player to tell us what to think.
To me, this whole situation has been blown out of proportion, but rightfully so. For a former Super Bowl-winning linebacker to criticize the team that has given him so many great opportunities would leave John Madden himself asking, "What the heck is this guy doing?"
It's simple, Pierce wants some form of controversy to spark a team to take on the "challenge" of signing him. It may seem petty, but who knows, it could just work.
If one thing is for sure, criticizing a team that is still a contender in the NFC East may very well come back to bite you. From a Big Blue leader to a Big Fat loudmouth, Pierce may have lost a little respect from his followers.
Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for the Bleacher Report . He is also an NFL writer for Real Sports Net , and Green Bay Packer writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters . Don't forget to follow him on Twitter .
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