Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Greg Hardy Needs Reality Check

Somebody please get Greg Hardy off my television screen.

Yes, the Greg Hardy that is an absolute ANIMAL when on the field.

Frankly put, Mr. Hardy and his actions disgust me to the fullest of extents.

Perhaps it's the fact that Hardy wasn't fully punished for his domestic violence issues. Perhaps it's the fact that Hardy plays reckless on the field, while also remaining reckless off the field as well. The former Carolina Panther has been tailored and set as another "villain" in the NFL. After coming off a four game suspension for his domestic violence act, Hardy was again the center of controversy after calling out Tom Brady before his return against the New England Patriots, even dragging Brady's wife and sister into his comments.

The thought of "this man needs help" emerged into my head even before the season began. However, Hardy managed to even out-do himself after the Cowboys/Giants game this past Sunday.

After scoring a touchdown to knot things up with the Giants in a tight, close game, Giants return man (and former Cowboy) Dwayne Harris took a kick return back to the house to give New York back the lead, faster than you can blink. Obviously, Dallas wasn't too happy with the outcome of the play and looked to focus intentions on getting the ball back to score again,

This is where things escalated.

For lack of a better term, Greg Hardy was pissed off. The passion running on the football field can propel players to new heights, and can obviously drag them to deeper depths as well. Hardy, frustrated and upset, threw perhaps the biggest tantrum ever witnessed on a football field.

Yes, bigger than Terrell Owens' rant to Donovan McNabb on the sideline in Philly, bigger than any Jim Harbaugh rant to officials, and yes, bigger than any time Randy Moss/ Dez Bryant walked off the field before the game was over.

After a few moments of yelling and shouting, Hardy proceeded to get in the face of Dallas' special teams coach, and slap the play-call sheet out of his very own hands. After exchanging some more words, Hardy then walked away and managed to get into a heated exchange with star wide-out Dez Bryant.

As childish as this would seem, the fun made it's way into the post game interview with Hardy as well. Clearly irritated and still steaming from the incidents during the game, Greg proceeded to answer every question with "No comment, next question" the whole time, rudely interrupting reporters simply trying to do their job.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he wouldn't face any discipline, as Garrett and owner Jerry Jones shrug their shoulders about the situation and move on with no consequence. In fact, Jones went on record as to say he would like to extend Hardy's contract.

If nobody wants to hold people responsible around here, I will.

I won't pretend to play doctor and diagnose Hardy with whatever is applicable. Nobody has a true grasp on Hardy's state of mind, and I imagine with how he carries himself, very few will every truly know.

I'm not going to sit here behind my keyboard and call Greg Hardy a terrible human being. I do not know him personally and what he does/does not do, so I cannot fairly make a judgement on that aspect of his life, although nobody should be judging in the first place.

I will also concede that Hardy is one of the NFL's most feared pass rushers, and carries a great amount of respect when being game-planned for. The man is just a down right beast, and in the NFL, talent wins football games.

Yet for the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL to simply brush Hardy's actions away not only shine their brand of football in a negative light, it's also doing a dis-justice to Hardy as a person as well. To not discipline him is the equivalent of saying "It's acceptable to behave like this all the time" when in fact it should be the polar opposite. I would recommend a timeout in the corner, but it appears Hardy isn't quite ready for that high level of punishment.

As an observer of not only football but human behavior as well, conclusions can easily be drawn that Hardy has anger management problems. It's not rocket science that domestic violence acts+ temperamental rants during games= possibility of anger issues.

 I'm not buying the "he's passionate about his team and winning" load of laundry either. The likes of Vince Lombardi and Ray Lewis shared the same drive to win every single football game, however you have never seen those gentlemen act in a negative way on the field, or portray themselves in the light that Hardy is currently under. It's obvious the lack of respect Hardy has for his coaching staff, teammates and his self is tremendously off the charts.

The lack of respect extends to the media as well. The childish short answers he gave reporters in the locker room after the loss to New York further those beliefs. I'm also not buying a plate of "the media swarms him and forces him to answers questions right after the game" either.

The kickoff return that set Hardy over the edge happened with 7:01 left in the game. From that time until the game ended, afterwards where players go to midfield and shake hands, the walk back to the locker room and some personal time to sit, reflect and in this case shower, Hardy had more than enough time to gather himself and his thoughts. To say he didn't would be pure ignorance.

To say the media bombarded Hardy afterwards is also incorrect as well. News flash: It's not like movies or television shows where the player walks in and a huge herd of reporters constrict the player immediately. It's supposed to be a professional atmosphere on both ends of the stick. Media members wishing to speak with players such as Hardy wait until the player is ready, and then proceed with their questions. These media members have jobs to do, just like Greg Hardy does on a football field. Wouldn't Hardy be upset if his job was instantly made more difficult than it already had to be?

The quick answers and rudely interrupting questions mainly reflects that Greg doesn't want to own up to his actions.

A special news-flash to not only Greg Hardy, but to all NFL fans: It's 2015. Every move is documented via social media/internet. Not only that, but Hardy just so happens to have a star on his helmet, signifying his team is one of the most identifiable brands in the world. Oh, does it also matter if his actions were filmed live on national television for millions to see? And put up on the internet to be viewed a million more times? The laughable thing is, after Hardy was caught, not a single apology or ounce of regret has escaped Hardy or the Cowboys for what took place.

You did something stupid and got caught, the least you could do is be a man and own up to your actions.

Another special news flash: Players such as Hardy are contractually obligated to attend certain media driven events, and to speak to reporters more times than not. It's a process that helps revenue flow for the NFL and it's media wagons. Players play a game, answer questions, and reporters generate stories based off performances/comments, nothing unfamiliar.

Out of the 1,696 players on active NFL rosters, isn't it astonishing that really, two players have legitimate problems communicating with media members? Sounds like the conflict resides within the players, doesn't it? Although it's better financially to speak to media members after games, Hardy isn't being forced to answer questions, let alone be rude.

Simply put, Hardy's being protected in the interests of the Dallas Cowboy's winning football games.

It's so easy to swear up and down that one of your best players did nothing wrong. A struggling Dallas team that has now lost four games in a row and still missing Tony Romo and Dez Bryant absolutely does not need anymore chaos added to their own. Had the Cowboys been undefeated with everybody healthy and playing, this situation is handled differently. Jerry Jones is in the business of winning championships, and taking disciplinary action against Hardy does deviate those plans.

All around, this situation was handled poorly by all parties involved. Hardy knows what he did wasn't exactly the smartest thing to do. Controversy just loves finding itself in Dallas. Hardy will likely continue the pattern of behavior that should only be rewarded with a dunce cap, yet it's hard to blame the employee when the employer enables poor behavior.

Check please.

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