Sunday, December 08, 2013

Great writing on the NFL, warrior culture and walking away - by Keown & Phillips

An excellent recent piece for ESPN brought to mind for me two essays done a month ago after the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story broke.

From the December 9 issue of ESPN The Magazine was "Off the depth chart" by Tim Keown. The piece has a subtitle of "John Moffitt left $1 million on the Mile High turf to pursue happiness" and is a fascinating look at the 3rd year Denver Broncos guard who retired mid-season from the NFL.

Very much related in that they're about the league Moffitt left were two pieces from a month ago on Ingcognito and Martin. Also by Keown for ESPN was "Failure lies with Dolphins leadership" and Brian Phillips wrote "Man Up" for Grantland. In his story, Phillips did a sensational tear-down of the warrior culture in the NFL that in many corners, defended Incognito and criticized Martin. Among other great sections in the piece was below...

"There will always be locker-room assholes. They should be curtailed. And when a player says he needs time off for mental reasons — again: in a sport with a suicide problem — it shouldn't spark a national conversation on whether he's soft."