Disgruntled, oft injured, always in the media spotlight, diva, wide receiver... Is anyone starting to see a pattern here? What is it with these guys? What's wrong with simply doing the job you were hired to do, and let others heap their thanks and accolades on you, rather than griping about your role and heaping praise upon yourself?
It took time, but eventually Randy Moss matured and at least attempts to put his team first. And guess what? He's had two of his most productive seasons in years, and almost earned a Super Bowl ring.
Taking a page from the Dr. Denis Leary handbook, I have some advice for some of these wide receiving divas.
Michael Crabtree - You've yet to play a down in the NFL. You were selected in the first round, by a team that believes you could lead them to the promised land known as the Super Bowl. They have this warped belief that you could be the next T.O. (Lord help us). You have yet to prove yourself worthy at this level, but you're already whining and throwing a diva tantrum because Darrius got a bigger scoop of ice cream than you got? You have to earn the right to be an arrogant diva. Here's my advice: Shut up, sign your contract, and catch some balls!
Chad Ochocinco - Are you kidding me with these antics? What's next? Your own reality show? Your stock plummets every time you open your mouth, yet you can't seem to keep it closed. This is your season for redemption in Cincinnati. Here's my advice: Shut up and catch the ball!
Terrell Owens - T.O. is perhaps the poster child for NFL divas. He is the mold that ought be broken. His mouth and behavior have drawn raised brows, shrugged shoulders, and disconcerted sighs throughout his career. He's managed to alienate teammates everywhere he lands. Not bad for a guy who is the center of every offense he plays on. Now his mouth, attitude and antics have pushed him out of Dallas. Jerry Jones would sign Hannibal Lecter if he could catch a football (and if he were real). You have to be all shades of obnoxious to get run out of central Texas. But you did it. And now you're playing for an oft forgotten, cold weather team. This is your last chance to do what Moss has done. Here's my advice: Shut up, wear your long-johns, and catch some balls!
Plaxico Burress - You are the example of what anyone on this list could wind up like if they continue to act like juvenile fools. To your credit you accepted responsibility for your actions (regardless of your motives) and have at least bought yourself a chance at redemption. Here's my advice: Shut up! Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.
Brandon Marshall - You just eluded justice, you have a hip injury, and you're trying to hold up your team for more money? You should be in jail. You're lucky you have a job. You could be sharing a cell with Plaxico, (figuratively speaking). You are paid millions to play a game, and kids idolize you. You play for one of the best ownerships in the NFL. Yet instead of acting like the stallion of the Broncos backfield, your acting like a jackass. Here's my advice: No matter where you play in 2009; SHUT up and catch the ball!
The NFL and the fans need--no they deserve-- guys like Wes Welker and Larry Fitzgerald who are role models for how NFL wide receivers should be: productive, respectful, and honorable. No tirades at the media. No legal entanglements. They just go out every week and catch the damn ball. They let their talent and skills speak for themselves, and the world recognizes that without the flamboyant and obnoxious behavior. This is what we expect from our NFL players. This is what we expect from our heroes. You don't command respect, you earn it. Just sayin'.