I feel a little hypocritical writing this post because I have contributed to this problem as much as the next Ap'er. It's not meant as a jab at anyone in particular so don't take offense all you problemites out there. With the uncertainty regarding the CBA and future free agency we tend to talk about one thing and one thing only right now, the draft. I guess it's not that much different than past offseasons, although free agency signings did change up the topic a little more than it is currently. It seems as though every post or story right now either has draft-related talk in the original topic, or the thread falls that way eventually anyways. It makes sense that this would happen, but it seems to always revert to this undefinable ideal that we believe the organization is being built from.
There is one particular belief that began as no more than a single quote that has been raised up to almost nonsensical proportions. What do Justin Bieber, Brett Favre, the economy, Jersey Shore, taxes, Dayton Moore, Up's being a fan of (insert opponent here), homers vs haters, and "The right 53" have in common?
I'm tired of it.
I literally get outwardly annoyed whenever I see it written on AP right now. Maybe it's because I'm on AP too often and pretty much will see it whenever it's written, but the definition has been lost over time and it's become it's own worst enemy. Any time there is even the slightest issue with anyone it's thrown in the ring as a way to completely dismiss a player for something that most people wouldn't even turn a head to. What may have started out as an innocent ideal to how we differentiated ourselves from other teams in our quest to build a winner has now become a punchline towards players that we mock draft every minute of the day. The argument takes the same path everytime. We've adopted different lingo in how we argue, but it's the same.
Beast Mode vs Choir Boy. Why we will or won't take that guy because of ............you guessed it.
I've said it before that with social media basically streamlining star athletes personal lives even in high school right now these players don't have a chance. It's going to get to the point in the future to which we will have two players that fit the "mold" that we have defined as an AP fanbase as being a part of that "right 53". They'll probably both be kickers and they will probably suck.
I remember watching Nick O Leary, the grandson of Jack Nicklaus, playing a high school football game on ESPN. O Leary is one of the top-rated TE's in the country as a high-school senior. He got shafted on a few calls during the game and lost it at the end and was suspended for a game or two during the season because of his actions. What I find most intriguing about this incident is that this will be brought up at some point if the kid is ever looking at an NFL draft. Kiper or McShay WILL bring this incident up as a deterent, or question mark, about the kid and his draft stock. It's not strange that a kid lost his temper, it's strange to think what the cameras would have caught following current NFL veterans around during their teenage years.
I've changed my tune on the whole character issue over the last few weeks. The only thing I want to know about a player now is whether or not they were a captain. I'm not saying they have to be a captain. But if they were, that tells me all I need to know about how people that were around him everyday-viewed him. Just because a player was the captain, or a captain, of his college team doesn't necessarily mean he was the rah-rah type that some of you seem to attribute to captains. I see it as a guy that didn't fold when there was pressure, no game was too big for him, the coach didn't have to motivate the guy to want to get better. Nobody had to motivate Eric Berry to get better in college, nobody forced DMC to NEVER miss a workout in college, Saban wasn't worried about Arenas when he was playing in the biggest game of his life. These weren't the main reasons these guys were drafted, it was the reason they were on the list. Everything else had to check out.
As we approach what I think could be a long, long stretch of time before the draft I hope that the use of the "right 53" fades away as many cliches of the past have done before. Enough is enough.