Dear NFL Rookie
The time has come for you to know about the thoughts on the minds of the fans for years now. You see the fans, play an integral part of your lives, believe it or not. So I am gonna roll out some issues that are pressing, on behalf of the millions of fans not ginned up enough to write you a blog post.
First things first, let me congratulate you for making it into the NFL, and kudos to you, if your agent was skillful enough to secure your contract, before the start of training camp. You are to be thankful for this big step, because as far as the economy goes, earning a pay check anywhere is a privlege these days.
You have been playing football since the Pee Wee league, and I assume that you have sought after the your career and dreams as a player in the NFL. It is no longer okay to expect that Coaches will give you special treatment, and whining to get to the ball is seriously not an option. College is ways behind you now and darn it guys this is the pros.
Your playbook should be your best friend, as you are still trying to make that 53-man roster. While in camp, working on the things that make you a great player and consummate the skills to make yourself a even better team-mate. Seek counsel from the player(s) who come(s) in early and leave(s) late.
Watching practice or game film is not only for earning you brownie points on “cut day”, but it will get you to a few pro bowls and even to Canton, Ohio. Rest and relaxtion, to an athlete or even a John Doe is a fair blance in achieving success, so enjoy your down time and do not take your eyes off the prize.
There have been a lot of changes to your life since draft day and you will learn to adapt. But as you can see, even the Veterans have major slip ups. Playing in the NFL is a privilege and not a right, and only 1% of the best of the best earns the chance to play. Its a great gig, but you have to chose the song to dance to. Again, the league is full of stars, role models and mentors, so pick, choose or refuse.
With your future and fame comes a lot of high and low points over the duration of your career. Learn to balance the good and bad. See the good in people and allow them to see the good in you. Utilize the elements of trust and allow the process of elimination to rain eternal in all your decision making.
Employ the art of soul searching, give back to your NFL community or the charity of your choice. Look for ways to lead and only follow in the footsteps of the great men who came before you. Enjoy your family and even your extended family, respect yourself and all the people you will come to meet.
Learn to adhere to the conduct policy of the league and get familiar with them. Use your resources in your quest to being that all round player. Respect your team-mates, understand that we all come from different places and backgrounds.
You will meet thousands of women during your careers, please, please respect the word NO for what it means and stands for. Learn to be a leader and a great example to your friends and colleagues off the field, whether they are good, bad or ugly.
Finally, Rookie you owe it to yourselves to protect the NFL Brand. The fans depend on you, because they love their teams and bleed the colors. The most important thing is Rookie is about your team pride.
In closing, I will leave you with the words of my favorite football philosopher, Vince Lombardi who said: “winning is not everything, its the only thing.” Win on game day, win for the fans, win in practice, in the huddle, off the field, as a team-mate and as a friend.
Good luck in camp, project your positive self.