I am sports fan.
I enjoyed participating in sports for many years, and now that my time to play is short (not to mention my skills have faded), I relish in marveling at the athletic abilities of others.
American football or the NFL is my favorite sport.
Now that the season is over, the speculation for fans begins about next year.
What player will my favorite team try to sign? Who will they select in the upcoming collegiate draft in April?
To help the franchises decide which players to draft, the National Football League holds an annual skills combine this week in Indianapolis.
During the scouting combine, future NFL players will lift weights, run, throw, interview, be quizzed, and be poked and prodded in an effort to determine the best athletes.
Guys who underperform are labeled as “having baggage” and will likely see their draft expectations fall or perhaps realize that they will not be drafted at all.
What qualifies as “baggage?”
Some of the players will have some sort of hidden injury that negatively affects their ability to run or excel. Others will fail drug screenings. A few players will score poorly the Wonderlic Test, and be thought of as unintelligent.
Surprisingly, three or four competitors will exhibit a poor attitude, and be labeled as a potential behavioral problems for a team.
Despite all of the expert opinions at the combine, the performances and assigned baggage result in a guessing game as to the players potential.
One excellent collegiate player who’ll participate in the combine, Myron Rolle from Florida State University, has evidently already been assigned “baggage.”
With Rolle, he does not have an arrest history or pattern of delinquency. He did not fail any drug tests. He has not been an attitude problem anywhere he has been. In contrast, Rolle is described as an excellent team player.
So why would an organization hesitate to select Rolle with one of their precious draft picks?
Well, Myron Rolle is considered too smart.
You see, Rolle is a Rhodes Scholar. He has aspirations to be a doctor after his playing days are complete, and has spent the last academic year studying at Oxford.
While in an undergraduate, an assistant coach told the scholar-athlete that he studied school work too much and should be spending more time on football. The criticism did not impact Rolle, as he graduated from college in 2.5 years while being a star on the team.
Team executives may be concerned that Myron could become frustrated with lack of playing time in the NFL, and choose to pursue his other career aspiration.
Being a football fan, I like sports, but I also understand there place in the grand scheme of things.
In the end, athletics at any level are only games.
There are many greater achievements in life than scoring touchdowns.
Rolle has unlimited potential to succeed as a physician or whatever career he chooses and his choices should be celebrated.
His current plan is to work with his family and eventually open a health clinic that serves the underprivileged in the Bahamas. They have already started their own foundation.
If Rolle excels at the combine, and he is predicted to be a high draft pick, there is no way I would not select the young man just for being too smart--afraid that he will leave the team prematurely.
I would want players on my team that are intelligent; who know how to simultaneously excel on the field, academically, and in their community. These are the performers with heart.
Players like Myron Rolle will give 100% of themselves on the field of play knowing that it is for a just short time, and that there are greater aspirations in life than entertaining me and millions of others on Sunday afternoons.
I'll enjoy watching Rolle shine on the football field and beyond.
Note: The photo was used from here and I got the idea for this post from the bloggers at Pro Football Talk.
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