Thursday, September 24, 2009

Learning from Robert Henson

It's sort of unfortunate that I'm learning something from a football player and then, or now, writing about it. But I am. Robert Henson is a young linebacker for the Redskins and earlier this week he posted, on his Twitter account to fans:

"I dislike you very strongly, don’t come to FedEx to boo dim wits! The question is who are you to say you know what’s best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds.”

And for this he has taken a huge beating from everyone, locally and nationally. The Redskins won last weekend, yet got booed. I admit that fans of the team expect great things. But in my book, a win is a win. His comment about McDonald's is out of line, but I don't mind him being upset about being booed. The number one thing I know about the Redskins fan base is that they are passionate about their team. I'm passionate about it. Heck, my nana is a huge fan. Booing the team is bush league. It's something that goes on in Cincinnati, not Washington.

So, what have I learned? I've learned that with popularity growing for the game of football to new highs that new fans who may not fully understand the game are dominating the landscape. I'm not one to say that I understand it fully, but I understand enough that sometimes a certain type of game has to be played in order to win and even sometimes loose.

The Redskins are not New England, nor do they have Peyton Manning at QB. Washington played the game they had to play to win. Control the clock and minimize mistakes.

Robert Henson is a bench player. He hasn't even played a snap this year, but at least he is passionate about the Redskins. He loves his team and the city. I like that. And I'll take that fight he has over someone who doesn't have it.

He is also a good kid who didn't start at Texas Christian until his senior year and probably wouldn't have gotten drafted had he not went to the same church as GM Vinny Cerrato's sister.

Here is a quote in effort to support Henson from the Redskins site:

"I love this city and the rich tradition, it makes me play and study harder. Because I wanna be a part of the history, you guys can bash me. To all the fans who still love us thanks and we play hard for you!!”

“Listen Twitter family I was really upset abut being booed ... and I said some things that were out of line. So keep supporting us and we will keep playing hard for you all ... Again I’m sorry. I apologize for all earlier comments about and to the fans.”

Henson’s apologies on Twitter and in his Monday media session--as well as Zorn’s comments on the young linebacker--were not fully included in a Tuesday story in The Washington Post. The article focused more on the mistake and not the contrition.

In contrast, while the Post and other media used the incident as an example of irrational behavior, Henson was scheduled to spend Tuesday with more than 40 burn survivors on a tour of FedExField.

Henson arranged this event weeks ago. He lost his 10-year-old brother in a house fire in 1997 and intends to share the story of his family tragedy with the burn survivors.

As Henson tries to launch a professional career with the Redskins, he is hoping to move on from a mistake he has quickly acknowledged.
I personally hope that more players from the team show this much passion for the City and the Team.

Sans the McDonald's comment.

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