Meet Dick. Dick is 24-years-old, a graduate of Stanford University, and corner back for the Seattle Seahawks. He has collected 12 interceptions and forced four fumbles in his first two seasons, earning him the rank of first team All-Pro in 2012.
Dick is happy. He is living the dream of playing professional football and is among the best in his business. He is an inspiration for countless student athletes who aspire to be just like him. He even toured high schools, speaking to students along the way in hopes of giving them direction as they begin to pursue their own dreams. Life is pretty good for Dick.
So why is Dick such an asshole?
During an interview on ESPN’s First Take, Dick was apparently going to plug his recent tour speaking to high school students. Instead, he relentlessly attacked ESPN analyst Skip Bayless. Unprovoked, Dick made the following comment to Bayless:
“Whenever you refer to me, whenever you speak to me, whenever you address me, address me as All-Pro Stanford graduate because those are some accomplishments you will aspire to but never accomplish. You have never accomplished anything.”
Whoa. Where did THAT come from? Dick continued his rant and ignored all of Bayless’ questions, making such remarks as “in my 24 years of life, I’m better at life than you” and “I’m intelligent enough and capable enough to understand that you are an ignorant, pompous, egotistical cretin. I’m going to crush you on here because I’m tired of hearing about it.”
This isn’t Piers Morgan Tonight or The O’Reilly Factor. It’s a morning sports talk program on ESPN2. He needs to calm down. The mere fact that he let Bayless and Stephen A. Smith get a rise out of him shows weakness in his character. He completely broke down, escaped the context of football and attacked someone’s personal achievements. I’m not here to say Bayless and Smith are saints, but nobody deserves to be personally attacked like that. Even Dick’s body language is disrespectful, pulling a fake yawn and scratching his head. Instead of letting “the numbers speak for themselves,” Dick dropped down to their level and guess what? They got the best of him.
A dear mentor of mine once told me that a successful person should never have to state their credentials. However, Dick wielded his Stanford and All-Pro social status as a weapon in an attempt to disarm his opposition. In doing so, he actually empowered them and made himself look like a playground bully.
So why didn’t Dick just “let the numbers speak for themselves?” It made me wonder what he was hiding. Granted, he is among the best at his position and surely earned First Team All-Pro. 14 interceptions in the first two years exceeds expectations for any 24-year-old defensive back. So, what’s going on? I decided to take a closer look.
Of his eight interceptions in 2012, two were compliments of Sam Bradford and another was a gift from Mark Sanchez. Three interceptions on mediocre quarterbacks. Okay, hold on, I know. Dick did get a pick off Tom Brady. But, so did Cardinal’s corner back Patrick Peterson. In fact, Peterson also picked off Sam Bradford twice and Mark Sanchez once. So where is the disparity between Dick and Peterson? Dick picked off John Skelton three times against Peterson’s zero. I guess Dick has him there. Except, Peterson wears the same uniform as Skelton and it is impossible to intercept your own quarterback. Instead, Peterson will have to settle for a pick against Dick’s teammate, Russel Wilson, whose 2012 passer rating was 45 points above Skelton.
Dick is acting like he reached All-Pro and that’s the end all, be all. When asked about his future goals, Dick answered “First Team All-Pro is my goal. I accomplished it.” He says he’s on to “bigger and better things.” Whatever that means. Apparently he’s above the game of football, too.
This whole situation has left an awful taste in my mouth. It’s sad to see a scholar athlete like Dick fall so hard. He only has two years under his belt. There is still a whole lot of football to play if he wants to be the best corner to ever play the game. I can only pray that Darrelle Revis gets in on this NFC West party, maybe teach Dick a lesson in professionalism along the way.
Note: Between his twitter war with Revis and this breakdown on First Take, it all appears to be a public relations stunt to get people talking about Dick. Therefore, I refused to mention his name once in this entry. All statistics are provided by http://www.pro-football-reference.com/