This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting with the great Rock Hoover, aka Mark Schlereth. During a fascinating speech about Family, Faith, and Football I found a few things rather compelling.
When talking about his motivation to play Mark really said he just had the desire to be in the NFL, which I imagine is like most NFL players. However, he had an added dimension that he spoke about. That he went out there and took his happiness from the success of those around him. That he played for the other guys on the team.
In modern football the attitude that I am out here for the other 10 guys on the field or the other 52 guys on the team seems lost. It seems to be declining in the NFL in general and certainly, I feel, was in decline on this team. I know many negative people out there will say that each player is always out there for himself and anyone who thinks different is just naive. I don't think that is the case. This might reflect many players and may reflect the lives of the people who make this claim but it doesn't reflect everyone. To hear an NFL player who has reached such heights of success describe his motivation that way is refreshing and a lesson about the type of guys you want out on the field.
This led into a conversation about when Mark knew he had to retire. He describes playing after another surgery and just finding himself in a situation where he was making the opposing players look like pro bowlers. He realized that he was no longer a help to his team and that was it. He pulled himself from the game and never looked back.
With all the Favre drama of late does anyone actually think that Favre is doing this for anyone but himself? Is there a player on the Vikings who would feel that Favre would be coming there to play for them? To give his all for them and that they should give their all for him? I don't think there is and even if Favre could regain his old ability I wonder if it would be worth the feeling created in the locker room.
It was a wonderful speech and I though I might share some of the points I found interesting. I know we talk about having a team of 53 Rod Smiths but I would take a team of 53 Mark Schlereths too.