I don't know how exactly this tweet about Brandon Marshall wanting to die publicly at the hands of Deontay Wilder kickstarted Martellus Bennett's brain to go into an insightful rant about post-playing. But I'm sure glad it did. I'm not gonna post the entire thread, rather hit on some of the more interesting points he brought up.
So far nothing new. You've gotta be an absolute sociopath to play football. Really at any level. Folks just throwing their heads into other, often times larger, human beings repeatedly. Do people know what's in their heads? It's some important shit up there.
How many good football coaches do you think there are? There are hundreds of teams in every state at every level, each of which has multiple coaches. Think of some of the coaches you had for Little League or PeeWee Hockey or Rec League Basketball. Were they really always breaking down fundamentals? Or were they Gordon Bombay types racking up community service hours for a DUI? Coach Taylor seemed like a nice enough fella, but Jason Street couldn't even stand up because he wasn't taught proper tackling form. Maybe Street shouldn't have thrown such a dogshit interception in the first place, but the point remains.
The morality behind football isn't something fun to talk about or focus on. Typically only the worst of the worst even get brought to light. But when fans of certain teams try to chirp other fanbases about the character of the humans they trot out every Sunday, it feels like an exercise in futility. "Egotistical small dick heroes" about coaches is a great line. Unless he's talking about Belichick, then I rebuke this entire blog.
But not everyone is a bad guy according to Marty B.
Never in my life did I think I'd see Jon Kitna compared to Tom Hanks. Never. Not once. Not even by accident. I can't imagine coming across a stranger comparison. After painting the entire NFL as full of shitheads I do wonder if Bennett just heard Kitna say "Please" once and that was all he needed to witness to consider him a good guy. This man played for five different organizations over a decade in the League and came up with one nice person and it was a guy who had to play for the Bengals and Lions. Life is cruel, Jonny Kits deserved better.
I think it's interesting Andrelton Simmons opened up about his depression on the same day Bennett chose to speak about the amount of people harboring these feelings inside.
In today's age we've seen more and more athletes speak very candidly about anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. We love to lionize those we witness overcome pressure - performing in the clutch, rising to the occasion, overcoming the odds. But we don't leave much room or time for the other side of it. You're a highly touted prospect, you hit the bigs, you arrive, and then someone else comes up right behind you. Every new athlete is Buzz Lightyear for 15 minutes and everyone else is Woody. And we put it on them to be ok with that. I don't have an answer for the change, I don't even know if a change is possible. But the more comfortable athletes become speaking openly about this better. Also, the less organizations use their own sports psychologists against players in contract negotiations, I could see that being beneficial as well. Just spitballing here.