As a father, the last thing I like to see is my kids fighting. I want harmony in my home, especially between siblings. I know this is virtually impossible, but that’s how I want them to interact.
Even if one of the kids is doing something wrong to one of the others, I want them to point it out and tell me so I can deal with it rather than have an altercation.
As a football fan, it’s different. Even though a team is like a family and chemistry on the field is essential to team success, I don’t mind the occasional skirmish or even an all-out brawl (as long as that fight is about the team).
This is exactly what happened Monday during Cardinals training camp. During a play, Darnell Dockett and Alan Faneca fell down at quarterback Matt Leinart’s feet. Dockett then broke protocol by taking a swipe at Leinart’s feet, causing him to fall down (contact with the quarterback is a BIG no-no in camp).
Left tackle Levi Brown gave Dockett a shove in the shoulder, just to make the point that it is not acceptable. Dockett and Brown then went at it for a few brief moments. It was intense.
It wasn’t the only altercation. There were two other ones.
I like these fights. While I don’t want to see my team’s starting quarterback go down because of something stupid during practice, I do like the roles being played.
I want an offensive lineman to get touchy and angry when a player touches the quarterback. I want a defensive lineman to respond like that. I want him to want to get in there and put the quarterback on the ground.
More than anything, since these guys are grown men, I want them to protect their teammates when someone does something unacceptable.
Even Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t mind it. He said, “I like that. You’re looking for those guys to develop that bond or that territorialism to protect their guy.”
Dockett apologized for grabbing Leinart’s feet, saying that it probably was “a stupid thing to do,” but also defended himself, saying, “You can’t come out here and play 80 percent and hope to win our third division title. It just don’t happen like that.”
So while kids fighting at home is a no-no in my home, I have no problem with it on the football field. That sort of intensity will be what leads the team to another division title and playoff run. It’s just what I am hoping to see.
You can see the fight and what Dockett said here.
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