No disrespect is intended by this minor modification of Mr. Emerson’s famous quote: “the force of character is cumulative.”
Choices define individuals. The choices that groups of individuals make, come to define that group, team or entity. Players, coaches and management all had a hand in making a mockery of sportsmanship, respect and character. Sadly, this problem might be bigger than anyone ever anticipated; they just happened to be the only ones that were caught.
It is entirely appropriate that there were suspensions, fines and maybe even expulsions. Let the players ride the pines for year, to reflect on the impact their lack of character has had on all of us. Let community service be a part of the rehab process. Have them explain why a game check, worth more than many people make in a year, needed a little bump, by getting a “cart off” on any given Sunday.
To a man, they took the tremendous privilege – and responsibility – for being able to participate in the greatest game ever invented for granted.
I was a football player, and I never made it my mission to send an opponent to the locker room.
They need to look us all in the eye, man up, apologize and go away for a while.