Rob Oxford: ...until today

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Earl Thomas gestures as he is removed, injured, from the field
TV screen shot

..until today,

I had your back Earl. A Texas boy who helped bring the Seattle Seahawks their very first Super Bowl, I had your back.

At 5' 10, 202 lbs., the toughest Safety in the NFL, I had your back.

A Ball Hawk who could close faster than a screen door on a windy day, I had your back. 

The Legion of Boom minus Kam and Sherm, I still had your back.

Your mad dash to catch up to Dallas Cowboy Coach Jason Garrett when you begged him to come and get you, I had your back.

That is... until today.

I don't profess to know the inner workings of an NFL front office and when it comes to professional sports I have no business acumen. I do, however, realize it is a business. It's your business, it's Paul Allen's business and to some extent it's my business.

Whether I pay my electric bill or buy two tickets to a Seahawks' game is my business. Whether I pay 50 dollars to park and spend 24 dollars on 2 hot dogs and 2 small drinks is my business. With a net worth of 24 million, so far I would say the business has been pretty good to you.

Ask the families of Mike Webster (Pittsburgh Steelers), Junior Seau (San Diego Chargers) and a host of others, how business has been? I understand it was a different time. TV contracts, endorsement deals, I get it.

There's much to pro football that the average fan doesn't know. The toll it takes on ones body. What is and isn't discussed in a locker room. The hard work and dedication it takes to simply be on a practice squad, let alone a 53 man roster. A career ending injury is only one snap away.

Today we may have witnessed YOUR career-ending injury, I hope not. But unfortunately, it appeared from where I was sitting that you may have experienced the same injury that kept you off the field in 2016. Again I don't know, I am merely speculating, but something tells me your doctors may have known how prone you were to reinjuring that leg and I would wager the Seahawks doctors knew as well. If indeed that is the same leg, that may be the reason they were hesitant to extend your contract.

I don't care that you missed all of training camp. I don't care that you may not have been in "football shape" on day one of the regular season. I don't care that you're mad. You can be mad. You can feel you're worth more than what you're currently being paid.

What I care about is your gesture to your coaches, your teammates and to a certain extent, all of us as you were being carted off the field on network television.

Is that how you really feel about the 12's? We're all 12's! Coach Pete, Russell, Mr. Allen, the Equipment Mgr., the ball boy... all 12's. The little kids who wear your jersey and who'll never see the inside of Century Link Field because their parents barely make enough money to pay their bills?

You just told every single one of us how much you really love us.

Well, we love you too.


Anonymous,  October 1, 2018 at 12:22 PM

Kenny Allen October 1, 2018 at 7:04 PM  

Relax bruh. He wasnt flippin you off. His mates were prolly given him shit about getting hurt n when he got really hurt he knew they were gonna give him so much shit. So what he did? Dont be angry with a football player but not be angry about the atrocities our government and police commit on almost a daily basis.

Unknown October 2, 2018 at 3:27 AM  

Hey “bruh”, if I’m understanding you right (Kenny Allen), you can’t be mad about Earl’s childish gesture without being acknowledging every other wrong in the world on an equal basis. I believe the author of this article was only writing about Earl. Maybe he doesn’t agree about the “atrocities” that you claim are going on, maybe he does. But does he have to list them in equal measure in every article he writes? Can the article be just about that childish gesture? Also, don’t forget about the criminals who are committing the crimes that necessitate police paint with an awfully broad brush. Don’t forget that the police serve the public and to call all of them bad would be like calling every NFL player a punk for the actions of Earl.

Cheechako October 2, 2018 at 12:56 PM  

Nicely written. Lack of class from a former great player for sure though. That 800,000 in fines the front office could pay him for when he was holding out? They should keep it now. If you dont want to be held to a 3 year contract, negotiate for a 2 year contract. Some players want it both ways. STILL, there's obviously something going on in the Hawks front office. maybe not so much about how they hold player's to the contracts they sign, but how they are handling it. This isn't the first player they have made into a problem. Lynch wasn't "sick" and non performing until he had the contract dispute. They he showed up, but did nothing. Sometimes not even coming out of the locker room. Other similar things too. My suspicion is it's Schneider. They have had bad lockeroom issues for years now. The former good team spirit is GONE.

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