Sport is the second best form of escapism. Fans turn to football to escape the real world. To coaches (bosses) and players (workers), it's work. They face the same same workplace issues that we do.
Take employee discipline, for example.
Hog Heaven believes that Brandon Meriweather is trying to comply with NFL rules on defenseless players. Yes, it's a homer opinion. I'm not buying Brandon Marshall's accusation of "Brandon on Brandon crime" against Meriweather.
Marshall points out that Meriweather knocked himself out in the Packers game. That's nothing to be proud of.
Brandon Meriweather should spend his free time at a Heads Up Football clinic and make changes instead of excuses. #Redskins
— Anthony Brown (@SkinsHogHeaven) October 24, 2013
Players say they grew up making the hits that Meriweather made. I get it. It's hard to change, but that's what the Washington Redskins pay them to do.
Meriweather didn't. He slipped. He screwed up.
It's like punting a ball directly to Devin Hester. It's happens, but it's foolish.
His league suspension is no different than the Redskins benching him, right there next to Bacarri Rambo, if he is in the wrong coverage.
Rambo is a rookie on a learning curve. Meriweather knows better. Meriweather is supposed to show Rambo how it's done. The right way.
Time lost to injury is understandable. But Meriweather missed 17 of 22 games and can't make mistakes like this. This just isn't right.
Hog Heaven won't get into character. We don't know Mr. Meriweather personally. By all I read, he's a straight up fellow, but actions count. Suspension when the Redskins are about to face one of the greatest quarterbacks in history is irresponsible.
Bad timing. Hurts the team. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Meriweather is only five games better than Tanard Jackson.
In the real world, an employee whose lapse of judgment put the business in a critical state would be on warning with a written plan for improvement by a date certain. If he is a valued employee and not a marginal, easily replaceable one.
Something like that has already happened inside the Redskins. Count on it.
We'll never know what, nor should we.
If the bosses want to redeem the worker, they commit themselves to guiding the improvement. They don't make it comfortable, though.
That's how it's playing out with Fred Davis.
He's on probation for sure.
You see co-workers get this treatment when they are on the outs.
He's cut off from the inner circle. The boss ignores him. He doesn't get the choice assignments. He's moved to a closet. He reads help wanted ads and realizes it's for his job.
Maybe he got the message. Maybe not. With Davis, we can't be sure.
Davis says he hasn't spoken to the boss for several weeks. The boss says he has spoken to Davis in that time about "expectations." This boss can be inscrutable. The message may have gone over Davis' head the way it did with Donovan McNabb.
Feels the same.
Don't be Donovan McNabb, Fred. Be Joe Theismann.
In Redskins lore, when Joe Gibbs was not at all that confident in Theismann and showing it, Theismann drove to the man's house. They worked it out in what must have been a difficult conversation. The rest is Redskins history.
Fred's conversation with old Mike Shanahan will be more difficult than Theismann's with Gibbs. Gibbs was a fresh head coach on thin ice with the owner because of Washington's slow start.
Gibbs' mind might have been more open than Shanahan's. Gibbs had no alternative to Theismann. Shanahan has one to Davis.
This is a conversation Fred must have. And quick.
He has one thing working in his favor. The Redskins don't really want to dump him. No one will trade for him anyway.
Go talk to the boss and see if you can work this out before it's too late. That's about the hardest thing an employee in trouble can do. Most won't do it.
If you fans haven't been this situation yet, sit tight. It will happen to you. Sooner or later, it happens to us all.
Football is fun and games to us. It's a day at the office to the players. Work isn't fun.
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