Jul 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Victor Hampton (44) during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Fans of Baltimore sports teams generally have it very good. The tough part of being a sports fan is that quite often your on-the-field heroes can disappoint you in “real” life. There is no need to bring up the recent past, but both the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens have had their share of off-the-field drama lately, although the football squad leads the way by a large margin.
It is tough when you see reports that the Ravens will have no interest in drafting dynamic players such as wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham based of off-the-field concerns. And in all likelihood the team will react extremely quickly in dismissing players based on personal issues. We have already seen it with reserve CB Victor Hampton and his release after being charged with a DWI.
So, is this “new” way of going about business really the right way to do things? Of course it is. Baltimore is the kind of city that expects a certain sense of honor from its sports celebrities. It is a small city, not a large one where the tough and rambling kind of players can blend into the never-ending nightlife like they may do in New York or Los Angeles. Local players will be regularly seen out in the community. The local fans demand that players lead a decent life.
One does wonder how the Ravens organization would have been shaped if this approach had been in place for their first nearly 20 years. Would there be aRay Lewis
statue outside of M&T Bank Stadium? WouldJamal Lewis
be in the M&T Bank Stadium Ring Of Honor? What aboutChris McAlister
? His numerous arrests would certainly have meant that his career on Russell Street would have ended earlier than it did.
The team and its fans even sort of laughed off Corey Fuller’s arrests for holding a high stakes poker game at his home back in 2004.
But we are not talking about the past. This organization needs to set a good tone for the future. The fans of this area demand it.
The only cautionary note is that the team may end up over-thinking the drafting of potentially troubled players. Ray Rice is sort of a bad word here at The Baltimore Wire. No one wants to see articles about him ever again. But he warrants mention here as his one noteworthy arrest and subsequent history was not something expected from his past behavior.
What if Dorial Green-Beckham becomes the most respected and decent player in NFL history? Will the Baltimore Ravens look foolish that they chose to not draft a quality individual just because he had some past problems and “may” do bad things? And the team may still get a “bad” guy who just happened to keep his past free of issues.
Football is a violent sport played by large muscled men. They are paid to hit other men as hard as they can. A certain amount of bad behavior is almost expected, although no one wants it displayed in the form of domestic violence or on the roads of America.
Is all this thought worth it? Yes, the Baltimore Ravens, as well as the other professional teams in the area, need to strive for quality people representing the region. But will a Raven or Oriole never get in trouble again? I highly doubt it, as life happens.
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