The Breakdown: Mouthing off
summit daily news
Some people like to have their play do all the talking. Some, once having seemingly done so, still feel the need to express it in words – rub it in just a little bit.
After a fall full of eff-you performances from Broncos’ wideout Brandon Lloyd, the Denver deep threat took his talk with media on Tuesday off the deep end with dropping a demonstrative F-Bomb.
He was just announced as the lone Donkey to make the big rodeo in Hawaii, where he’ll join NFL’s finest thoroughbreds galloping at half speed against defenses that aren’t allowed to stunt and blitz. (Aw, the Pro Bowl.) And really, despite what most think about pro football’s meaningless all-star scrimmage, it was a true testament of determination for the once forgotten, always talented, Lloyd to be recognized as one of the best at his position.
It was a great moment, a moment he should hold dear – or use to send a message to all those who gave him a “Dear John” over the years.
Asked whether he had anything to say to the Bears, 49ers or Redskins – the three teams he’d played for (and underachieved for) in his previous four seasons before becoming a Bronco – Lloyd decided to bypass the high road entirely. His reply can’t be printed in such a family friendly column (it rhymed with “duck true”). Oh, but he added he meant it “in the most professional way.”
OK, so the heart-warming, little-guy-does-good story kind of went away with that quote. But the interesting thing about this is the attention Lloyd’s gotten for it.
I mean, if the guy does the whole humble-hearted interview thanking his past teams for allowing him to continue to pursue his dream of playing pro football (otherwise simply saying thanks for not giving me a real shot), then everyone around the country would still have to check for the “DEN” next to his name on the Pro Bowl roster to know where he plays. But, now, after the buzz he’s generated from giving the lyrical bird, he’s the talk of, well, sports talk shows. For the first time this year, casual football fans (in areas less than a mile above sea level) are probably starting to notice the great season Lloyd is having.
The fact is, Lloyd has only helped his reputation as a player by tarnishing his image as a person.
Sounds strange, huh? Alas, the sports world we live in these days, where a picture of a player catching a pass is only worth the thousand words he says about it in the press conference afterward.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of players that plug away, doing great things and don’t feel the need to draw attention to themselves in un-football related ways. Yup, they’re called offensive linemen. Everyone else scraps their way through interview sessions making sure they can slyly point out how good they are.
(Note: With some players it can be harder to notice, and sometimes, it doesn’t even sound like they do it. But, for a nice example, Tom Brady – who may be at the top of the list as far as “actions before words” in the media – once lamented after winning three Super Bowls in four years by wondering (out loud to a reporter) how there must be more to a career than just winning all the time. Get what I mean?)
(Note 2: On the reverse side of the spectrum, there’s players like Brett Favre, who casually try to say how amazing it was they could pull off a play while their arm was almost falling off with an injury. I probably prefer the sly ones.)
It’s hard to fault players for this, as it’s our own obsessive desire to hear from them 24/7 leads to all of this.
And when you plug away in the league for eight seasons before finally breaking into the ranks you felt you belonged for so long, well, it can be hard to bite your tongue. Some times words are simply louder.
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