Colin Kaepernick: Is the Hair the issue?

The week has been full of heated arguments about the former San Fransisco QB and current free agent’s hair style. A lot of people think that he needs to cut his hair and to regain a starting QB position or even to be picked up for a team. But is the hair the real issue here? A lot of people see him cutting his hair as conforming to “white owners” and essentially alienating himself.

Michael Vick, who was charged with Tax evasion and dog fighting while he was with the Atlanta Falcons seems to think that he needs to cut his hair and go clean cut to get a QB job somewhere within the league. But really is that the issue? Since Colin started taking a knee during the National Anthem before games for a reason he felt personally responsible to take a stand for, he has been blasted from everyone including myself.

I couldn’t believe an individual that was being payed to play a sport and I was overseas away from my family not even making a fraction of his check for a game, was infuriated about his actions and refused to watch him or any other player that took a knee. It was a sign of disrespect to the Military and those sacrificing time away from their families for a higher cause, college tuition, or U.S. Citizenship for a vast majority. Here these people were using a platform that we used to get away from the bombs and long hours and poor internet to make a political statement.

Colin’s hair is not the issue, and he can get a starting job somewhere if he truly wants to. His hair is apart of his character. Once I learned and understood more about what his reasoning were, I understood but still don’t agree with the platform or method he went about addressing the Social injustice that is going on in America. Colin really should have chosen a different platform to take this stand, but he definitely got everyone’s attention.

Football is used to escape the day to day rhetoric and stress that many have during the week and look forward to watching on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. Political statements should be done throughout the week. Colin could have addressed this issue with local government leaders and been able to really shed more light to the situation and would have garnered more support for his cause. Getting to the brass tacks of the issue is that many owners feel that Colin Kaepernick will be a liability to their organization and could be infectious to the locker room. They see him as bring undo attention to an organization and this could cause serious issues within the locker room and all the off the field antics would affect the performance.

What should Colin do some ask? In my opinion he needs to rebrand himself and show the owners that he is not a liability or infectious to a locker room. He needs to take his actions on the field that infuriated millions and start interacting with the local government and bring some light and assist. There is no progress to be made by pointing the finger and continuously creating a divide that was evident so many years ago. Those years aren’t forgotten by anyone, but many are trying to figure a way to move forward and evolve from the past and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Rebranding himself does not mean that he has to change his hairstyle one bit or change his goal of bringing social injustice to the forefront. Rebranding would be him showing that he is educating himself or getting assistance to address the issue in a more aggressive manner that would get faster results. By faster I mean, spending more time throughout the week working for his goals while he can focus on football and getting back on the field if he really wants to play again. This type of action would show owners he has learned and evolved and more focused than ever on the issue and still able to focus on football. A lot of athletes has foundations setup for various reasons and causes and Colin is no exception to this. He just needs the right team to help him with this process and understand that not everyone is against him. He just really needs to approach the topic at a different angle. But to blame him not getting picked up by a team because of his hair style is absolutely ridiculous.

To be continued………

 

D. Oaks

What Makes a Great Quarterback?

I was having a conversation yesterday with my brother in law that really got me thinking on my way to the doctor. What makes a great Quarterback? I mean really! Is it the arm strength, the ability to move on his feet or maybe his ability read a defense? Just because a kid has a strong arm doesn’t make him a great quarterback. Just because he can run a forty yard dash in times like 4.58 or 4.4 doesn’t mean that will effectively equate to the field. The breakaway speed will transfer but that’s about it. Or is it the fact that he can walk up to the line of scrimmage and read that the defense is showing man coverage but actually the cornerback is showing a tell tell sign of actually a quarter coverage.

There is enough on these players to come out and win every Saturday in college where there is a lot on the line where they might have an average of 30-40,000 fans and that’s not to include bowl games. Then you add the draft and these guys wanting to make an impact in the League, the added stress for the entire first round draftees, not to mention the top 10. Teams and fans have this inclination that if they draft a quarterback that it will automatically change the team and they will start winning. This has only happened a handful of times in the last 6 or 7 years.

What makes a great quarterback is the ability to come into a team and understand the tools he is working with. He doesn’t come in with an ego like he is the top dog and everyone on the team should bow down to him. He is only as good as his lineman, receivers and defense are. There is a time for an ego as long as it is beneficial for the team. Cam Newton is a great example of a positive impact. While he and DeAngelo Williams had their differences and Williams is now with the Steelers; Cam has since made a positive impact on the team and helped them to winning seasons.

Great quarterbacks excel at the next level because they are able to add positive impact within the organization. Meaning enabling a great atmosphere for the team and being a leader both on and off the field while creating an environment where other players would want to play and work. He understands and works with the team and the team will work him to develop his arm strength, his speed, his ability to read a defense. Reading a defense is not just looking at the player placements, its the ability to scan the field and utilize their peripheral vision and understand the areas where receivers should be open.

Great quarterbacks work well with others and can take criticism, while it is sometimes difficult. Egotistical players are a liability to the team, especially when it becomes more of a distraction. GM’s and Owners are growing tired of the sideshow antics and such that players are bringing to the NFL. However, they are growing accustomed to the different Brands that players are creating and supporting the players as long as it is not a distraction to the team. After all this is a business and not just a sport. It is these qualities that really make a quarterback great in my opinion.

 

D. Oaks