I've never been a profesional athlete so I don't know what their locker rooms are like. I did see Any Given Sunday but that doesn't really qualify me to talk about lockers rooms and I definitely can't assess their health with any authori...
I've never been a profesional athlete so I don't know what their locker rooms are like. I did see Any Given Sunday but that doesn't really qualify me to talk about lockers rooms and I definitely can't assess their health with any authority.
Still, I doubt there is such a thing as locker room cancer. They're rooms. What would it even look like? A growth on a wall? That's probably just water damage. Honestly, I don't think Albert Haynesworth was slinking around his teams' facilities like Cat Woman tearing up roofing tiles. Would have been good footwork and stability training though.
Coworkers can be dicks, sure. They can be awful to work with, or great, or just someone you'd rather not introduce your girlfriend to. And the NFL is a business, even for the rostered players. Their teammates are their coworkers and maybe if you can't stand that Terrell guy up on the third floor your productivity will suffer when you're asked to work with him.
That's fine. The England national football team lost a good player because another, better, player had slept with the poor guy's fiancee or girlfriend or something. It makes sense that even after years of selecting for athletes who can work well with others, and even after considering that all of these guys are going to have basically the same interests, that some are going to find ways not to get along. I'm not sure it makes sense that Doug Baldwin would suddenly catch less balls if Golden Tate skipped his birthday BBQ, but I guess it would make the film study slumber parties at Russell's super awk awk. But, whatever, sure. It's plausible.
Plausible enough that player personality is probably something good coaches and GMs think about!
The GMs of some teams I follow probably think about personality too much. The fans of every team I follow definitely think about it too much.
I'm not worried that the Seahawks front office cares too much about personality. They sign guys with character issues, they cut glue guys, and Jon Ryan's actually Canadian.
In fact I'm absolutely convinced that this front office does not suffer from the most persistent decision making blind spot in sports: The veteran presence.
The idea of intrinsic veteran value is convenient to fans. Players get worse with age. Don't believe me? Look at this probability density contour map of RB yards per season versus age:
And it's actually even worse than that. What you see above is rife with survivor bias because after their age 29 season running backs get cut faster than someone fronting on 50 Cent. Which is to say, they are actually cut.
Can sports blogs get in rap feuds? I really hope so.
At any rate that decline is how Donovan McNabb went from exciting QB to unnerving grumpy old man, albeit with a great smile. But the players we like, when they age they get some veteran presence skill. And, you know what? The team should totally keep them around for their deep well of knowledge and positive influence in the locker room.
Guys. Sit down for a second. That's why you hire a coach.
Okay, maybe it's weird when a coach wanders around the locker room naked as adam slapping players with a towel. That's something veterans bring to the table that coaches can't. I guess it really could be one of those things that has tradeoffs. I mean, the coach could get fat and he wouldn't know where the commissary is on his first day. And the player would be super swarthy and he would sure as all-get-out know the important team handshakes.
I gotta say though, I think that the cap and roster space considerations may be an incy-wincy bit more important.
I choose to believe that part of Pete Carroll's never-ending competition is recognizing that football rosters can't be backwards looking.
At this point I should do a comprehensive takedown of veteran presence as a football skill. The thing is, you can't. I can't measure veteran presence. I considered using Google to see hits for "Player Name" + "Veteran Presence" to detect whether a guy 'h