Today as I read Pat Kirwan’s article on NFL.com entitled: “Teams interested in Marshall should proceed with caution”, I couldn’t help but think…here we go.
Brandon Marshall is making his way into the media spotlight and it’s not because of his success on the field. To summarize Mr. Kirwan’s article, he attempts to draw parallels between many of the famous “diva-esque” wide receivers of the past. You know the names, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco, Keyshawn Johnson etc. He describes Chad as “always looking for attention”, T.O.’s “bouncing around the league” and despite Moss’ success in New England, it’s noted that he is on his “third team.” While it doesn’t appear that the article is geared at making any of the referenced players look bad nor am I implying this. The article does seem to highlight to less appealing aspects of their careers while attempting to make the case that Marshall could potentially be headed down the same path, thus advising future teams interested in Marshall the “buyer beware” caution.
It should be noted that Pat Kirwan isn’t the only journalist with Marshall on his radar, as I’ve read several articles in the past few weeks aimed at him which is more than I can remember reading in his entire career. Writers across the sports industry have been gearing up to slap the “diva” label on Marshall, and with teams like the Baltimore Ravens in desperate need of a #1 wide receiver, this comes at an inconvenient time for him but seemingly less for the media.
So with all of the rumors swirling, the question on everyone’s mind is exactly what Marshall has been up to that would cause so much attention from sports journalist. After doing a little research I found out that Brandon Marshall is entering the 2009 season fresh off of a hip operation he believed was initially misdiagnosed by the Denver Broncos’ team medical staff. Apparently, he’s also unhappy with his contract in Denver and is not happy with things as they stand with his career there. Despite all of this, he has however decided to forgo the $15,888 a day fine for holding out of training camp and reported on Monday for team activities. To be fair he has yet to participate in any of the required practice sessions with the team because he’s listed as injured according to the report, which could be true considering his past injury, but if you know anything about disgruntled players with contract issues, injuries seem to disappear when they get paid. So other than the “injury” issue, this all seems pretty normal to most people.
Unfortunately for Marshall now, unless he accepts an inferior amount of money from the Broncos, sucks it up and doesn’t speak one word of indifference towards the Broncos organization all season, all eyes will be on him. Everything he does from here on out will be picked apart and parsed for additional meaning. Using Pat Kirwan’s own words: “Sooner or later…he is going to be the topic of trade talks in Denver. The new head coach is already in the process of getting Marshall to understand who the boss is and how things are going to work. Marshall had to report to camp with the rookies, four days earlier than the rest of the veterans. That should not sit well with the young man.”
As with his statement above, the same can be said about some of the articles on Marshall that have been written. They don’t sit well with observers who see him as a regular WR being labeled for unnecessary reasons. Yes wide receivers are high maintenance and some do act out but it seems a bit presumptuous of the sporting world to have already dubbed him something that he has yet to become because of the track record of others before him. Only time will tell but I don’t like the direction any of this is going.