Riley Cooper’s N word gaffe over the summer threatened his playing career with the Eagles and the NFL overall. In the first two plays of last night's NFL game against the Redskins in Landover's Fed Ex Field, Cooper did what he needed to convince the team’s quarterback, and oldest player Michael Vick that Cooper really wants to be on a team.
Team vibe, flow, and whatever it was that gave Ray Lewis and the Ravens their spirited flights toward Super Bowl rings, are what players need to win. The NFL is more than a job, it's an interconnected and spirited game of trust and friendship similar to those found in high school and college classrooms, but not necessarily business environments.
Last night in the NFL, the Eagles proved that spirit and trust solidifies a team and encourages them to take flight risks into greatness.
At a Kenny Chesney concert very late in July, Riley Cooper said he’d fight all the “n” words at the concert. It was hard to believe he meant it, but on the other hand totally plausible. Simply because there would not have been too many N words, as Riley referred to black people, chilling at a Chesney concert in Philly.
Riley’s brag that he’s a good fighter didn't go over well with the company he kept (someone leaked the vid); and the old guard sports guys on ESPN didn’t feel comfortable with Riley in the NFL. And delivered six minutes of commentary on it.
They said Riley and his team would be fragmented because of it. But a fragmented Eagles team didn't show up in last night’s game. Mike Vick showed he was prone to passing mistakes and there’s and ample reason to question his vision. Mike Vick blocks defensive ends near the in-zone because he really wants his pass to score.
The college classroom and the collegiate experience is similar to a football team’s season. The class gels in the first few sessions and learns whether or not they can trust each other.
The class leaders, thinkers, talkers and activists align themselves with newer, bolder ideas that strongest support their own.
With any luck, the professor finds that he is the student’s strongest ally.