Recently lots of pictures and video clips of Tim Tebow and his new "friar tuck" look have surfaced. While I can't sit here and say it isn't funny to see him, because we all know it is, why is it okay for this to occur in football?
Almost every report or comment I have seen labels the rookie hazing as "traditional" and "customary". Every year when training camp opens up these rookies are expected to willingly take part in certain rituals. So far we have had several reports of Berry carrying pads, we all saw Tebow's hairdo, and how can anyone forget Dez Bryant and his refusal to carry the shoulder pads of his teammates? Lets look at the definition of Hazing real fast:
Hazing is seen in many different types of groups, including in gangs, clubs, sports teams, military units, and workplaces. In the United States and Canada, hazing is often associated with Greek-letter organizations (fraternities and sororities). Hazing is often prohibited by law and may be either physical (possibly violent) or mental (possibly degrading) practices. It may also include nudity or sexually oriented activities.
The one thing that I just can't put my finger on in all this is why is it such a big deal? Take my job for instance, United States Marine. I guarantee you I walk up to some junior Marine and shave his head like Tebow's I'm hoping they have cable in the brig. You walk into any office building and verbally belittle your secretary and they report it, your going to get fired. Someone, somewhere is going to record you doing it, and within 15 seconds its going to be posted for the masses to see.
Now while some people walk a fine line in the hazing catagory, when is it going to be to much? Hazing is a dreaded word on any military installation across this country, and honestly you have to watch what you say or do at all times, because even though you could be fixing a problem and trying to get a little stern with someone, if they claim you "hazed" them your going to be in trouble. And honestly if they provide anysort of video or audio evidence, then your pretty much done. So why is it acceptable in football? I think those days are just about over.
The reason I think they are just about over is because the NFL, Roger Goodell, and probably the NFLPA are going to sit down and send out letters to every team about this stuff. They did it for Myspace, they did it for Facebook, and they did it for Twitter, and they are going to do it for this. To many people out there are going to complain about the way they were yelled at, or the way the other guy did such and such to them, and its going to be over. So while it was fun while it lasted, because of this new media age where any ol' person off the street can film you doing anything and put it out for everyone to see, my prediction is its not going to be okay in football much longer and the days of seeing this are almost over:
What do you think AP? Is the sun about to set on the rookie tradition in the NFL, or are we going to continue to see some form of rookie hazing year in and year out? While I don't think carrying someone's shoulder pads or helmet is a big deal, all it takes is one incident like in Dallas to get the ball rolling.