The National Football League is a business. If you don’t win, you will be fired. If you don’t perform, you will be cut. It is plain and simple.
That is why as passionate as you may be about your favorite team, it is important to understand that for the men who play this game it is a business venture. Now, don’t think they don’t play to win, and don’t think brotherhoods aren’t formed.
But, at the end of the day, it’s just biz-ness, as the boxer Larry Holmes use to say.
But sometimes real life events inspire the professionals to reach new heights. That was the case last Sunday for Tampa Bay’s rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander. Alexander was playing with a heavy heart, just 48 hours after his brother, Broderick Taylor, was shot and killed during a fight in Atlanta. Taylor was only 17.
Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith gave Alexander the option of playing, or staying home. Alexander decided to play, and he responded with the finest game of his young career. He posted 11 tackles, and made a spectacular play on Atlanta’s All-Pro receiver Julio Jones, literally taking the ball from him as he ran. He also had an interception, helping Tampa Bay to a 23-20 upset win.
“It’s been hard, man,” Alexander told ESPN.com. “He was my little brother, but I know he’d want me to be strong for him, and I came out here and dedicated this game to him. (I was) very determined because (he) wanted me to do it. All he wanted me to do is ball, so dedicated it to him.”
Alexander, who was selected in the fourth-round out of LSU, is up for the NFL’s Rookie of the Week award. If he doesn’t win it, the league should simply cancel the award.
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