Rookie NFL Team Captain: An Oxymoron

Unknown-1You’ve heard of RG3. Robert Griffin III. Heisman trophy winner for Baylor. Rookie quarterback for the Washington Redskins. 22 years old. Respect from teammates as a leader.

That doesn’t happen in churches, much less the NFL. I mean, a 22 year old rookie getting respect from teammates who have been in the league much longer than he? A 22 year old rookie being named a team captain by the Redskins. I would think a person has to earn that right. I would think somebody just walking into the locker room and demanding respect and leadership rights would be shunned and ridiculed. I would think someone to be a leader of a NFL team and a team captain would have to earn it and work hard for it.

From what I understand, a ‘Rookie NFL Team Captain’ is an oxymoron. Like ‘Low-Fat Christmas Dinner’ or ‘Fat-Free Eggnog.’ Some things just aren’t supposed to be.

Recently, The Washington Post did an interview with RGIII. You can find it here. The interview is very revealing and compelling about what it takes to get respect from, what I am assuming would be, the hardest guys to earn respect from. Much of the article got me thinking. But consider this one quote in particular:

“Sometimes people think it’s what you say when you’re in a huge group that makes you a leader . . . But sometimes it’s the one-on-one conversations you have with guys individually, just getting to know them. I think I’ve done that a lot. Not intentionally — it just happens.”

That says a lot, doesn’t it? It’s not about talking big in a large crowd that makes you a leader. It’s about people. Persons. Individuals. It’s about actually caring for and being interested in people and what is going on in their lives.  It means that ‘one on one’ conversations might just mean more than how well prepared and organized your next meeting is. Wow. What a leadership lesson.

Being a ‘Rookie NFL Team Captain’ is an oxymoron. It’s interesting, is it not, that it takes one, ‘The Last Shall Be First,’ to be one.

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