11 December 2006

Class Act

One of the great running backs of all time was Walter Payton. his quality as a human being was partly demonstrated by the fact that this man's man was nicknamed "Sweetness" by his team mates, and he gladly answered to it.

I also recall hearing that one of the things that held up Barry Sanders' first contract was a demand by Sanders for a clause that if he scored 1000 yards in the season, all the members of the offensive line would get substantial bonuses. Maybe that sort of thing is common, though you don't hear about it all that much. But it shows an understanding of the team nature of the sport, which seems too rare, especially for a rookie 3rd pick overall. And by the way, they got those bonuses every year that clause was in effect. Barry never ran fewer than 1115 yards in a season.

(I have posted a little piece about watching Barry Sanders play on here.)

LaDainian Tomlinson showed that same kind of class today. He broke the single season touchdown record for the NFL in yesterday's game. When that happened, he called the offensive linemen into the end zone to celebrate with him. Then, well, here are his words from his press conference:
When we're old and can't play this game anymore, them are the moments we are going to remember, that we'll be able to tell our kids, tell our grandchildren. We can talk about something special that we did. We made history today. There's no better feeling than to share it with the group of guys that's in that locker room.
Hear that? "We're ... we ... we'll ... our ... our ... We ... we ... We ... share ... group of guys." You never would have known it was he who set the record.

Somebody gets the whole team thing really well.

Class act.

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