By DJ Moore
Being a part of the NFL was a great experience that I would not change for the world. For all the good the NFL offers, it also has its setbacks. Being in the NFL 5 years and watching the business of football, I think the hardest thing about it is watching teammates and good friends get released without warning. Over the years, two instances frustrated me.
One of the first questions rookies would ask is how many players in a particular position would be kept. The NFL is, for sure, a numbers game. Veteran players typically shrug off the question, tell them to work hard and things will work out. This statement tends to be a lie in the NFL line of work. Because of the team environment, players build strong bonds with one another, and then it happens. Another one bites the dust. It’s understood cuts have to be made, but it’s the ways players find out about it that makes it tough.
One morning I pulled up to practice and realized one of my fellas had not made it into the meeting. One thing about NFL jobs, you can not be late no matter how late you stayed up partying. I called his phone frantically, leaving him messages. I finally got a hold of him a minute before the meeting was to start. He answered the phone. I said, “Lil’ homie, you about to be late.” He replied, “Big homie, I got released this morning.” Complete silence for a couple of seconds, and then I replied, “Sorry to hear that big fella. Keep pushing!” Every time someone was cut, it made me fearful of my job.
The second situation was just pitiful. I think the organization’s disrespect on this move is what made me upset. We had just boarded a plane to fly to a preseason game. Everyone had already boarded the plane, and we sat in our seats ready to take off. Several thousand miles above the earth, we were playing cards and watching movies. We landed and as soon as we touched down, a player was released from the team and flown back to Chicago. We just flew a player to the city where we were to play, and he is senthome? It was not even enough time to replace him. He could have played and then been cut after the game, but that is the NFL for you.
The NFL is so “right now.” Here today and gone tomorrow, or Antonio Brown today, and Antonio Brown’s shadow tomorrow. On the flip side, that is also what makes the NFL so great. Players have to compete every game, every year. At any moment, young players can come from behind and take your job like a thief in the night. Well, technically, the old heads probably have a better chance of taking your job.
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