One of the most popular sports columns on the Internet the fast few years has been Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback, written by NFL writer Peter King. His column is written every Monday year-round, and gives a general sense of what stories are affecting the league at that point in time. For a month during the relatively slow summer months, King allows for guest columnists to write their own pieces for his column. This week Colts’ rookie tight end Coby Fleener was given a chance to share his experiences at the recently held rookie symposium.
Fleener was chosen not just because of his status as the first tight end taken in the draft this year. He earned a Master’s degree at Stanford in Media Sciences, while taking several sportswriting courses during his time at Stanford. In this article Fleener gave a unique perspective of life as a rookie in the NFL, and while he did not say anything fairly surprising, he shed light on an event which fans or media don’t seem to have too much access to it.
The day-by-day account that Fleener described showed team-building exercises, lectures from both current and former players, and the best approximations possible to show the players what their lives will be like now that they have been drafted in the NFL. What Fleener’s account did best was to show what the NFL is doing to attempt to stop players from crashing and burning upon their first contact with NFL stardom. By using players like Adam “Pacman” Jones and Michael Irvin to speak to the players, the NFL gave examples of the seedier sides of being in the NFL without glorifying it. Both Jones and Irvin, from their quotes in the article expressed their disappointment with their actions that led to their party-boy image.
While Monday Morning Quarterback is almost always an informative read for NFL fans, giving a rookie the space to share the adjustment to being an NFL player was an informative choice. For those who would like to take a read of the article click here.