Player’s ill-will comments uncalled for

Tenacity, grit, dedication and a respect for fellow teammates. These are the virtues that most people associate with professional athletes. However, one man is on a mission to change all of that. Last week, Carolina Panthers backup quarterback David Carr spit in the face of his former team and raised questions about his work ethic after dropping some surprisingly caustic quotes directed at his time as a member of the Houston Texans.

“Honestly in the last five years we haven’t had much spark,” Carr said. “If we were stuck in the forest, it would be hard to light a fire with what we had going on. I’ve been on an expansion team and it’s not fun. I’ve been on teams that aren’t winning and it wasn’t exciting. Football is a hard enough game when you go out there and you’re battling everything and you go out and lose it makes it hard.”

Carr added that he was now glad to be able to play for a team that was “fun and exciting.”

Carr, who signed a two-year, $6.2 million deal with the Panthers on April 6, spent five years as a starting quarterback for the Texans after being the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. He was released by the hard luck Texans after they traded for Atlanta Falcons backup Matt Schaub, who was soon appointed the starter.

Carr’s remarks serve as a troubling insight into the thoughts and motivations of a pro-athlete. First of all, his jabs at the skills of his former teammates are completely uncalled for. Any team member, especially a quarterback, is supposed to have faith in his teammates and help bring out the best in them. Under no circumstances should he harbor resentment toward his fellow players.

Sure, the Texans didn’t surround him with the best talent, but the great ones find a way to win. After all, he was paired with a bunch of men good enough to play in the NFL. It’s not like he had take the seventh grade team from Shady Acres Middle School to the playoffs. Guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady inspire their teammates and raise the organization’s level of play. Carr just wasn’t enough of a leader.

Secondly, Carr’s comment that playing on the Texans was “not fun” serves to further damage his reputation as a professional athlete. Professional football is a business, buddy. If you want to have fun, play flag football at the local YMCA and go out to Baskin-Robbins afterward. As soon as you start getting a paycheck to throw the pigskin, it’s a job, and work is rarely fun.

Carr also said that playing on an expansion team “wasn’t exciting.” Oh, really? Did playing in front of 80,000 screaming fans not get your blood flowing? Did playing against the best competition in the world leave you bored? Did kids idolizing you and asking for your autograph make you yawn?

This raises a question for fans of any pro-sports franchise: Is everyone on your team giving their all? I have a hard time believing that David “Crying Game” Carr gave 100 percent every week when he had no confidence in those around him and found his playing situation neither fun nor exciting.

Network television doesn’t seek exclusive rights to games in order to watch a bunch of frowny-faced men in pads hate their jobs. Owners don’t dole out millions of dollars to have a guy put on a half-hearted performance when he steps on the field. Fans don’t buy season tickets to watch uninspired football.

David Hall is a freshman news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood. His column appears Wednesdays.