Are you mad at Justin Houston because he wants to get every last dollar he can out of the Kansas City Chiefs or any other NFL team willing to pony up?
If so, you might be an idiot.
Fans getting mad at players for wanting to be paid as much money as possible is not a new phenomenon. Just a few years ago, I witnessed Chiefs fans berating former LT Branden Albert on Twitter because it was time for Albert to get paid. Albert got a little hot under the collar and got into it with some of the fans (never a good idea), which led to all kinds of drama.
In the end, Albert signed his franchise tender from the Chiefs and played a final season in KC. Albert got a large sum of money for that one-year contract and then signed a big-money, long-term deal with the Miami Dolphins. Everybody won.
Well, except for Chiefs fans that enjoy good left tackle play.
However, last year, while playing at a Pro Bowl level in Miami, Albert tore his ACL and MCL, landing on IR for the season. If that same injury had happened to Albert during the year he was forced to play on a one-year franchise tag contract for the Chiefs, he likely never would have landed his lucrative deal with the Dolphins, losing millions of dollars and years of security.
Albert’s concerns over playing under the franchise tag were totally valid. He was right to try to utilize what little leverage he had and while he shouldn’t have responded to the ignorant and insulting statements being hurled his way by Chiefs fans on Twitter, man alive, the fans doing the hurling were idiots. When faced with so much stupidity, even the calmest person is likely to crack eventually.
Justin Houston isn’t your girlfriend. You aren’t a scorned lover.
As Herm Edwards would say, “let’s not get it twisted.”
NFL players are businessmen. Period. Their personal feelings about a team, a city or fans can range from “don’t give a crap” to “I want to live here forever.” Even guys that fall into the latter category might bolt town if it meant they’d secure multiple millions of dollars more than if they stayed put.
I’d also like to take this moment to clear up a few misconceptions:
1. NFL players are not greedy for wanting more money, even when they’ve already been paid millions of dollars from previous contracts.
2. The only thing NFL players owe the teams and owners is to honor the terms of their contract.
3. NFL players owe fans nothing.
4. Fans do not pay the paychecks of NFL players. Old, rich, white guys do.
Getting mad at another person for trying to maximize their career prospects and compensation is about as stupid as climbing into an old washing machine in a junkyard, pouring gasoline on the ground around it, lighting it on fire and calling it a rocket ship.
Justin Houston isn’t your girlfriend. You aren’t a scorned lover.
Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs fans show their support during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s say you worked at Pizza Hut. You sell pizzas there. You aren’t just any pizza salesman, though. You’re arguably as good as the best pizza salesman that has ever worked at any Pizza Hut ever. You’ve improved your sales numbers every year you’ve been at Pizza Hut and last
If Houston signs an offer sheet with another team or actually holds out, the crap-storm of irrational, angry fan comments will flood his Twitter mentions like soccer moms flooded into theaters to see 50 Shades of Grey.
year, you came within a personal pan pizza sale of beating the single-year pizza sales record of famed Pizza Hut dough slinger Michael Strahan.
Confident in your abilities, you approach your boss and ask for a raise.
“Boss, I’ve been making minimum wage for three years now. I’m the best at what I do in the business. I’d like to be fairly compensated for my skills.”
“Sorry, son,” your boss says. “I can’t afford to pay you what you deserve because I have to pay Tamba the dish washer and Alex the dough maker.”
“Alex the dough maker,” you exclaim. “I like that dude but he can’t toss the dough more than six inches in the dang air.”
“But he never drops it,” your boss responds.
“Listen, why don’t I give you a raise. It won’t be as much as you deserve but really, it is just money right? It will still be plenty. And you get to stay on our winning team and keep interacting with these customers who love you! Just don’t get sick. If you use a sick day, your value could plummet.”
“I like it here, boss, but the guys over at Dominos are offering me what I deserve and a long-term contract. My value will never be higher than it is right now. As you know, pizza-slinging careers are short and often end in the slinger being sidelined with crippling pain and degenerative brain disease. I think I am going to cash in while I can, you dig?”
Now imagine if all the customers stood up and started cursing you for even thinking about going to work with Johnny Manziel at Dominos. They start tweeting insults at you when you are at home. They sit in the parking lot in camp chairs, drinking beer and throwing the empties at your car when you drive home from work. They hold up signs that say things like, “why don’t you just go make pizzas for the Raiders?” and “greedy bastard.”
That would be crazy, right?
I mean, look at this crap.
Yes, I imagine he would. I would, too.
Yeah! You don’t technically have a contract, just an offer severely limiting your options thanks to probably the worst CBA in the history of mankind. Don’t worry, bro, you’ll get paid next year…unless you tear your achilles in OTAs, in which case, you’re screwed.
Yep. He’s definitely greedy. Greedy greedster Scrooge McDuck. That’s who he is.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Right now, I’d say more fans are mad at the Chiefs for not just signing Houston to a long-term deal than are mad at Houston for not signing whatever deal the Chiefs might be offering. If Houston signs an offer sheet with another team or actually holds out, the crap-storm of irrational, angry fan comments will flood Houston’s Twitter mentions like soccer moms flooded theaters to see 50 Shades of Grey.
It would suck if the Chiefs lose Justin Houston. He’s an awesome talent, he’s fun to watch, and he helps the team win games. Losing Houston and getting draft picks could be a good or bad for the Chiefs, depending on a myriad of factors.
In the end, however, what will happen to the Chiefs if Houston leaves for greener pastures (see what I did there) shouldn’t be a factor in the Pro Bowler’s decision-making process moving forward. Houston needs to look out for number one because in the end, the Chiefs and John Dorsey are going to do the same.
Houston wanting his due is going to draw the ire of some emotional, bone-headed fans. There is no getting around it.
But those people are stupid. Don’t be a stupid fan. Don’t be a jerk. Just don’t be that guy. Don’t do it.
If Houston leaves, wish him the best and go buy a Dee Ford jersey.