We’re Talkin’ ‘Bout Character

To paraphrase Allen Iverson’s all-time rant: “We’re talkin’ ’bout character.”

Desean Jackson is now a member of the Washington DC football team whose mascot is so offensive, I really don’t want to mention it. We are talkin’ ’bout character.

The only thing former Philadelphia Eagle Desean Jackson did was go to the Pro Bowl a few times. He started making noise that he wanted to be paid for his services in a business that makes obscene amounts of cash. It is his health on the line, so why shouldn’t he be compensated? We are talkin’ ’bout character.

So the Eagles let him go. “He was set to count for $12.8 million on Philly’s 2014 cap.” (Ever notice the character of the Eagles’ colors looks like the color of money?)

But not before ripping the guy on the way out. The Philadelphia sports media (having the ‘character’ of corporate lapdogs) played along and seemed more than happy running with the Character-Assassination-For-Ratings motif. A quick sampling of Comcast Sports or Philly.com or NJ.com seems to bear out a narrative of Jackson being a bad seed that should not be on the Philadelphia Eagles. We are talkin’ ’bout character.

This whole thing reminds me of a younger Mike Vick. I always thought it was funny that very shortly after signing a $100 million deal with the Falcons he was arrested for dog fighting. In the back of my mind I could not believe the NFL did not know what was going on. When the ink was dry on Vick’s contract, the cuffs came out. We are talkin’ ’bout character.

We were actually talkin’ ’bout character when Vick was given a second chance in Philly and flourished. (Making this all more ironic.)

Then, I think about how the NFL attempted to walk away from its responsibility for head injuries. If they had so much ‘character’ why did they have to be hauled into court? We are talkin’ ’bout character.

The Eagles ‘rehabbed’ Riley Cooper last year after dropping an N-bomb caught on camera. Was that ‘character.’ In light of what was done to Desean Jackson, it just looks cynical.

As Desean Jackson signs a $24 million deal with the unmentionable team a few hours south of Philly, it works out to about $8 million a year. I think my math degree taught me that $8 million is a lot less than $12.8 million. Did the Philadelphia Eagles soften the market on Pro-Bowler Jackson? We are talkin’ ’bout character.

I wonder if Desean Jackson could get a good lawyer somewhere? He could see about getting the rest of his 4.8 million ‘characters’ back from the Eagles. Should there be a price paid for defaming and attacking a guy’s reputation? (I would hope he could get the difference in the amount of his future contracts too.)

For me, this whole episode reinforces the ‘character’ of the NFL as something green that folds into your wallet.

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