On Player Character

Character: the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual;  a feature used to separate distinguishable things into categories

Character is an interesting word, and a word we associated with people in both positive and negative contexts. In terms of the negative and in the light of the recent NFL draft, players with character issue can mean a host of issues:

  • Encounters with the police
  • Drug issues
  • Lack of coachability
  • Uneven effort
  • Self centered over team oriented
  • Conflict with coaches and/or team members
  • Lack of commitment to the classroom
  • Failure to stay in shape

If just losing isn’t enough, living in Cincinnati and dealing with Bengal-player issues in the past hasn’t been easy. Unfortunately, once a negative light shines, any misstep is magnified – regardless of the direction one is moving.

For instance, let’s take the words of Yahoo! Sports Writer Chris Chase:

(Opening line) At some point, you’d think the Cincinnati Bengals would try to distance itself from the lawless, freewheeling image the team has developed over the past decade.

(A few sentences later) First, they draft a veritable who’s-who of character problems last weekend.

To people like Chris Chase, “character issues” not only includes everything I’ve listed (and then some), but each item is of equal weight. Granted (and in my view regretfully) the Bengals one player of 11) with a police record. However, since I find Chris Chase’s words and descriptions as inaccurate and irresponsible, I simply question his character and integrity with the same broad definition he imposes on others.

I not only invite you to read his story, but to also see the comments; which include several by Bengals QB Carson Palmer.