Monday, December 21, 2009

Player X

So a few months ago some pimply kid came to our door looking for some help 'cause he's going to college and selling magazine subscriptions, blah blah blah. Well to get him the hell out and to make manz happy, I decided to get him a subscription to ESPN magazine, which has turned out to be a pretty good investment for what it was worth. (I think like $9?) Anyway, although I do like seeing the occasional half nekkid chick being sporty in there, there have been some interesting stories and segments, and the most recent segment that manz brought to my attention was the Player X segment they have. In the Sept '09 issue, they brought in a random NFL player, totally unknown, but also totally a star, who answers questions honestly. Their intro to it was the following:

I am Player X.

I'm a professional athlete, and I'm here to give the readers of The Magazine my perspective -- an NFL player's perspective -- as honestly as I can.

It's a little crazy of me, to be honest. No one knows I'm doing this -- not my teammates, coaches, family or representatives -- but I think it's important. Why? Because people talk about athletes all the time, but a lot of them don't know what they're talking about. I want to share what athletes think, straight from inside the locker room. I'm not here to snitch or call people out. I just want to show that the life of an athlete isn't always what it appears to be.

I just have to say, I LOVE this column. HThere's all kinds of speculation on the interwebs as to who Player X is, from Keith Bullock, Anquon Bolden, Larry Fitzgerald and Clinton Portis. But whoever this guy is, he's candid, sometimes brutally honest, and he talks some mad shit about some players and teams, but its good to hear the things he's said. So far he's talked about Mike Vick, rookie hazing, violence, team chemistry, how to spot NFL contenders and in this issue, Tiger Woods.

The main point of the article is that most NFL players are shocked at how poorly the whole Tiger Woods situation has been handled. He feels Tiger should have handled things more like Andy Pettite, instead of Roger Clemens. He also explained what goes down in within the NFL when something like this happens to an NFL player. For example, as crazy as the NFL is being on lockdown with all their rules and fines and bullshit, he did have this to say:

Every year the league briefs us on what we should do if we get in trouble. First rule: Avoid it. Don't get caught in clubs with bad track records. (Players are always talking with one another about problem joints.) Stay away when someone famous is throwing a party, especially an entertainer; famous people attract the wrong crowd. If it's a low key affair, fine. But if there's buzz, don't go.

Second rule: Know who to contact. All teams have player reps you can call 24/7, who can inform the team and the union that you have an issue. There are also former law enforcement people who work for every team as security personnel. (Manz says that the Browns had a Secret Service agent!) They can advise you on how to limit fallout. It doesn't hurt to get to know your local cops, too. I know players who've been pulled over for reckless driving, who've gotten into fights, and it was erased from the system. We all thought that Tiger, of all people, would get the same type of cover. Guess not.

It'd be great to find out one day who Player X is, but with as much honesty as he's put out there, from the inside, I don't think he'd ever real himself, unless he retired. Still, I wonder.


  1. Nice. I haven't read ESPN the magazine in about 2 years. Anyways, I finally quit Armchair Linebacker. Life's too short to do shit you don't like. My writing sucked on that site this year anyways. I faxed in each post. Sad, really.


  2. I'm so glad you quit and I totally agree with you. This Player X business makes the magazine kinda good again, I think.