It’s official! NFL training camps have opened. The Boys of Summer are about to give way to the Warriors of Fall! But, lest we forget that professional sports are a business, and when multi-million dollar investments. . .errrr, players. . .show up to work overweight and out of shape–well, they can be (to quote our favorite show) “Chopped”! While there are numerous stories already taking place across the college and professional spectrum, we were caught by a player from our favorite team, the St. Louis Rams. It seems that 2012 draft choice Rokevious Watkins showed up to camp LAST year overweight and out of shape and started his rookie season by being on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Oh, yeah, he eventually got into playing weight, but an injury here and there cost him games. It’s not rocket science to understand that if you’re being paid millions of dollars, then your should probably work out 3-4-5-6 days a week? And, in addition to working out, maybe lay off of Mama’s home cooking? Fast forward to 2013 and during spring workouts, Mr. Watkins was looking good–in shape, sharp on his feet, beginning to show what the scouts had seen from him in college. Ahhh, but the temptation of free time took its’ toll on Rokevious, and between spring drills and the opening of camp this week, he’d gained a whole lot more weight and was not even close to being in playing shape. Instead of working on his craft and staying focused, Mr. Watkins opted to not do what was necessary to keep his millions of dollars contract. And today, he was released by the club. Easy come–easy go. A reminder that the pitfalls of ‘stardom’ are extremely real and that money must be earned and not made.
A good lesson for young athletes–young professionals and those who watch too much television and think that what they see is easy. It’s not easy. The number of kids that play high school football across the United States numbers in the thousands (probably tens of thousands); however, that number dwindles significantly when the number of college ball players are counted. Not everyone is cut out to be college-caliber material. By the time that the NFL has their draft and the undrafted free agents sign their contracts, the number dwindles dramatically—there are, after all only 32 NFL teams. BUT, each team carries up to 90 players into training camp so there is some hope, right? Yes, but the hope is short-lived because the final rosters for all NFL teams is 53 (or thereabouts). So, the humongous number of high school athletes gives way to fewer college players and fewer college players gives way to fewer NFL players and at the end of training camp, ONLY 53 men make the squad—and YOU report to training camp overweight and out of shape. . . and just like that, you’re out of a job. A job that pays VERY WELL!
C’mon people…where’s the work ethic? Where’s the ‘let’s get it done right the first time’ mentality? It’s enough to drive a body crazy! Which is why we thought it appropriate to taste a French wine tonight. A 2005 French blend called Perrieres and includes the varieties of Syrah, Grenache and Carignane. Rated by Parker’s at 89 points, we found a slightly musty aroma as we opened the bottle; however, there were hints of caramel, smoky oak, some dark, very ripened fruit and other aromas less pronounced. On tasting, we got some of the same elements plus a terrific taste of black cherries and black raspberries. It was an amazing taste–for an 8-year old wine. The finish was quick but delicious. . .not very long but satisfying nonethelesss.
Don’t take the example of Mr. Watkins too lightly. When you work hard, people notice. When people notice, they want to be around you and when they want to be around you, you are considered a professional. Mr. Watkins opted to not work hard, and the result was that people didn’t want to be around him and is no longer considered a professional.
Thanks for reading on Day 328 and remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly while remembering to recycle whenever possible.