Paul Posluszny Shows He's a Great Linebacker...and Guy
For football fans, Super Bowl Sunday is the most comfortable day of the year.
Sloth and gluttony are not only tolerated but encouraged, as the opportunity to wallow in an event that could only be made better if Congress would finally make the next day a federal holiday is universally customary.
The only reason to leave the couch is for something cold to drink or hot to eat, and life is at its restful best.
Super Bowl Sunday is for football fans the most comfortable day of the year. Sloth and gluttony are not only tolerated but encouraged, as the opportunity to wallow in an event that could only be made better if Congress would finally make the next day a federal holiday is universally customary. The only reason to leave the couch is for something cold to drink or hot to eat, and life is at its restful best.
This is especially true for NFL players not competing on the day, as they get one last chance to enjoy the game before having to return to preparing for the game. There has to be a good reason for them to forgo their luxuries, and the Buffalo Bills' Paul Posluszny picked a fine one: He went to meet and greet with our servicemen who are facing danger for our benefit half a world away. The linebacker's willingness to head to Iraq with a group of other NFLers and watch the Super Bowl with soldiers is a testament to his altruism, something that makes him a decent teammate and guy.
He spent a week and a half with some fellow footballers traveling to different bases, voluntarily getting out of his comfort zone for others' sake. The opportunity to get an autograph and photo with a favorite athlete is one appreciated by fans everywhere, but it's obviously going to be a particularly treasured moment for anyone who has given up, at absolute minimum, basic comforts.
Players of Posluszny's character are part of what Marv Levy left the Bills: The former general manager was determined in both of his drafts to take on high-quality players and people with the same picks. Instead of bringing convicts and rainmakers to Buffalo, Levy added men like the Penn State product, who embodies the amalgamation of skill and integrity.
He certainly isn't just a swell Eagle Scout-type whose decent feats overshadow the fact he can't compete. Posluszny looked quite sharp in his very limited rookie action: He made 26 tackles in two full games and part of a third before his arm break ended the campaign.
It was a shame that he didn't get a longer chance to put his natural instincts and work ethic on display in a season where injuries seemed to be contagious for the Bills. Considering his college exploits and preseason showings, he seems to be just charged with potential. The fact that he's willing to visit a war zone just makes it that much easier for Buffalo fans to feel comfortable wearing his jersey.
The phrase "It's the least I can do" is often tossed around, but the truth is that the least you can do is nothing. It would have been easy for Posluszny to have passed at the offer; no one would have heard about it, much less made an issue of it. But he stepped up to help just by being present in a place where those he meets will be eternally grateful.
It's less about feeling guilty and more about being appreciative of the sacrifices others make on your behalf. A player taking a break from, among other things, rehabbing his injured limb to visit troops is the kind of behavior you want from a guy on your team.
And it's not just feeling a general contented sense because the roster is stocked with community-minded players, either: This is a display of leadership and unselfishness, quantities which translate onto the field. Those characteristics which lead a famous athlete to venture overseas to boost the morale of service personnel also show up on Sunday afternoons. Posluszny's talents go beyond accumulating tackles.
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