Michael Crabtree: The Dying Trend Of "Team Player" in The NFL

Gage Arnold@GageArnoldCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  NFL player Michael Crabtree arrives at the 2009 ESPY Awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for ESPY)

Okay, let's start off with an example. You are five years old.

Oh, the memories.

You're out with your best friends, playing your first year of organized baseball. Even though your mind only comprehends up to the speed of a children's television program, you still understand that a team is supposed to work together to win.

It's pounded in your head from birth, basically: If you want to win, you have to work together. As I recall, I don't remember my tee ball coaches saying "You know what Gage, you can go take a seat on the bench, you are pretty good and you've been good in the past so I think you've earned the right to not try."

Now, I know I'm not the smartest man, but I understand the "Team Aspect" theory that is brainwashing children from birth.

So here is where I don't follow.

The biggest headline of the night tonight is as follows: 49ers rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree prepared to sit out entire season if contract is not reached.

Okay, please tell me what is wrong with that?

To me, everything is wrong with that.

Crabtree was a solid college player. He definetely produced, and deserved to be picked fairly high in the draft according to his skill.

So now, as Crabtree steps into the NFL, he is demanding contract requirements. Since when did a rookie who has played absolutely no snaps in the NFL, have the "rights" to demand his "deserved" money? That's so completely backwards. Right now, no one even gives it a passing glance because it's almost too late.

We commend those like Chad Ochocinco for "tweeting". We have Donte' Stallworth getting tried for vehicular manslaughter. You read correctly—killing a man with his vehicle.

Now, Chad Ricosuave and Stallworth are in fact not the same things as Crabtree's contract demands, but they have one common similarity, a continuing trend through the NFL as well as MLB and the NBA: Athletes view themselves as completely above the law and the sport itself, and are taking complete advantage of every single opportunity with it.

This isn't a race problem, this is a pride problem. We as a nation are allowing these athletes to continue to raise themselves. We view it as culturally acceptable because of their "noteriety" and so-called "fame," when (in all honesty) we're functioning completely backwards.

We shouldn't be rewarding someone for not doing anything.

We shouldn't view murder as "just another one of those things" just because it is a famous athlete.

For too long, we have allowed small little steps. Those steps got bigger and bigger, and eventually, we are where we sit now. Perched atop Mt. What-in-the-world-happened.

For too long, we've let these guys run above the standards, and it has completely corrupted basically every sport.

Yet we cry and moan when our favorite team loses on a "bush" play, or because we just think the BCS is a load of BS. It all applies. We tell these guys it's alright to socially whore themselves out, that we'll still accept them no matter what they do.

All that has done is dig the hole deeper and deeper, until our league is full of selfish Michael Crabtrees who have lost the complete aspect of the game and truly only seek self benefit.

Once the game reaches that point, it truly will have lost it all.

So will this change an NFL GM's heart who just skims by this while checking his email?

Probably not.

But this does reveal what a downward spiral the sports world is going in. For that, we should at least be on the lookout for when the game is no longer "the game."


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