This week were focusing on playing the backup role, risking your playing development, the significant NFL injuries and their potential causes, unethical agents, and NBA rookies being irresponsible. 
This article just showcases the patience and love of the game that Matt Cassel must have for football. He left Chatsworth High as a highly touted recruit and committed to play at college football perennial powerhouse USC. Little did he know that 9 years after his final high school start that he would be making his next start. Cassel has been a career back-up QB following Heisman Trophy winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC and then the NFL’s reigning MVP and poster boy Tom Brady. His perseverance and mentally stability is admirable. Imagine for nine years practicing and preparing for games not knowing if you will ever get in; having to stay physically and mentally prepared in the event that the starter goes down. It is a testament to Cassel’s ability to come in after Brady goes down early in the first quarter and pull out a victory. And now with Brady out for the year, we can see if Cassel is the quarterback that got him a spot on the USC roster and that got him drafted without ever starting a college game.
At what point are the men getting in the way of the boys? I understand that part of an agent’s job is to get what’s best for their client in higher salaries and bonuses, but they also must manage the development of their client too. Due to Pedro Alvarez’s agent’s, Scott Boras, plan to holdout and wait for a higher signing bonus, Alvarez’s participation in the Florida Instructional League is likely not to happen. Because of the holdout and verbal agreement that came after the deadline, Alvarez is now part of an arbitration case that will keep him tied up and unable to attend the instructional league. This lack of participation could set the second pick overall back a couple months if not years in his professional development. So now the question is, what’s better for Pedro? Getting that extra little bit in signing bonus and sitting out OR taking a little less, getting on the field, cutting down the time in the minors and subsequently starting his major league time? It takes time to develop and adjust to the better competition and different styles of play, so the best thing is to get a player on the field as soon as possible. By Alvarez and Boras holding out, they are only delaying his career not enriching it.
The first week of the NFL brought joy to many fans and athletes alike, but for many of the actual players, it brought pain and a now cleared schedule. Several marquis players sustained season-ending injuries sending their teams into scramble mode looking for options. Tom Brady takes a MVP season into this season, and eight minutes later, is done for the year. Nate Burleson gets his shot as a Number #1 receiver and puts up solid numbers only to tear up his knee and end up on the shelf. Shawn Merriman finally listened to all qualified and sensible personnel and opted for season-ending surgery. Dozens of other impact players are either out for the year or out for multiple weeks.
Now I don’t know what all these injuries can be attributed to, but it will be something to note as the season plays out. Are teams coddling their stars in the preseason and training camp? Are these stars coming into the season under-prepared because their teams are afraid of them getting hurt before the season starts?
There are still snakes out there looking to take advantage of rich, uninformed athletes. Beware of who you put in control of your finances and make sure in the end that you have final say.
Another case of athletes being stupid. They’re blessed with superior talent, have the desire and opportunities to succeed, only to get where they want to be to screw it up by being stupid. I hope that marijuana and groupies were worth the embarrassment and $20,000 fine that comes with breaking the rules and being kicked out of the Rookie Symposium. They also get to go again next year. People, don’t be dumb. Practice hard, play hard, earn your money, and act appropriately.
As always, this is for you guys so send any comments, questions or concerns my way at
P.S. I hope USC and OSU both lose (I don't care if it's not possible, I can still dream)!