Im sorry, but I reject that on it's face.
"Very, very few people have the work ethic, psychology, and physiology that he has. We're not talking about an ordinary player who raises himself up from obscurity to become an average NFL player; if we were, we wouldn't.
Tony expects a lot out of himself, but that doesn't mean that everyone around him will adapt and do that..."
You are correct, but how many dead lock first round HoF'ers to you think had the 'work ethic' of Lamar Holmes? There may be a few, but they would be anomalies. The greatest percentage of HoF players shared Tony G's attributes. You get a guy like THAT in your locker room, coming back after literally being BEGGED by the Falcons: and he offers to 'help' and nobody does? That is grade a horsesh*t IMO, and inexcusable. INEXCUSABLE!
I dont care what your line of work is, if you are in a 'performance based' job in the private sector, there is always guys like TG. I have had (like BnB) a long and continuing musical career. Im all of my 48 years, 35 of which I got paid to perform, I only saw one 'anomaly'. It while as a high school student at the School for Creative and Performing Arts when I won a scholarship there in the 80's ( yes, during the embarrasing FAME years
) and I saw a musical prodigy. This kid a serious social issue ( this was way before the spectrum days) but if you put a violin in his hands, he could make it mimic almost any song on the radio. I remember challenging him to play Whodini's 'the freaks come out at night' on it when he had never even heard it. I played it on my boombox (yes, I was in parachute pants) and damn if he didn't do it to the note. He played in every production as first chair, even though he NEVER practised with the orchestra. The teacher would just play the entire production: ONCE. And he would have immeadiate recall. It was wierd, but awesome to see in person. I think it was called 'perpetual audio recall' or something like that, but once he heard ANY music, he would immediately be able to reproduce it. And remember it forever. (but thats all he could do, he could never write his own stuff which puzzles me to this day)
That guy could not 'teach' anyone. He was just a freak. I mean that in a positive way, I will always,always be in awe of him.
But we had other folks who got be be very good by a defined work ethic. Pluggers, we called them . They would do anything that needed to be done. Sarah Jessica Horseface was one of those who didn't really have the 'connections' ( like Goerge Clooney ) but worked her a$$ off. By her sophmore year, she landed a touring company of 'Annie', followed by Square Pegs, and on and on because she dedicated herself to her craft ( musicals, at the time).
But alot of my old classmates hate her for this. They call her a 'sell out', and are viciously jealous of her. We never even really saw her that much after her sophmore year, even though she is on the schools wall of fame. She doesn't have that 'freak gene', she's a plugger. An a$$-buster.
Just an aside. But a guy like Lamar Holmes reminds me of those old fat biddies I saw at my reunion..
Also, many years ago, I had the happy opportunity to play with Bo Diddley. Back in the 90's he never traveled with a band, he would have the club owner take the house band, or piece something together for him. I got the lucky straw , and I was nervous as hell. I dont know if you guys know his catalogue, but it's not that complicated. But, I was nervous as a dog with two dicks. I practised excessively on the drums to the point of absurdity. But, once we settled into the groove, it was all good. He was so used to playing with just about anybody, he had learned how to ease everyone into it. He didn't help me that much, but we did 4 nights with him here in GA, and one of my good friends learned a helluva lot about slide guitar and open tunings from a guy who never used them because his 'shave and a haircut-2 bit' song structure didnt use it. But, and here is the important part: HE KNEW THEM. And: he shared them without being asked.
Now is a somewhat musical legend 'offers' to teach you something and you pass it up, then thats on YOU. Likewise, TG may have been a 'brooding presence' ( I would be, too) but he OFFERED TO HELP and nobody jumped. That's F*cked UP! Joe Horn aint going into the HoF, but he helped Roddy! You got a gay-ron-teed HoFer offering to train youm and you decide to play 'catch' during pregame? And somehow, it's on TG because they let him sit out camp? And when he DID get there, those f*ckers were out of shape?
"THE NEXT WEEK, the Falcons lose again in the final seconds, this time to the Dolphins. They're now 1-2, and Gonzalez is already beginning to lapse into hopelessness. That worries his friends and family. Part of being close to a professional athlete is to temper his mood, rebuild his confidence. Dennis flies from his home in Kansas City to Atlanta for every home game, assuming that role for Gonzalez. On Saturday afternoon before the next game, against the Patriots, the two of them are in his den, watching college football. Gonzalez worries that injuries are demolishing the Falcons offensive and defensive lines and that quarterback Matt Ryan is indecisive, scared to make a mistake. Gonzalez wonders why he caught four passes on the first drive against the Dolphins and none the rest of the game.
"Why didn't you say anything?" Dennis asks.
"I did," Gonzalez says.
That midweek discussion with coaches
pays off against the Patriots. Gonzalez catches 12 passes for a career-high 149 yards. But the Falcons trail 30-23 with 41 seconds remaining. On fourth down from the New England 10, Ryan lofts a pass into the end zone to receiver Roddy White, a little high but catchable -- the kind of catch Gonzalez practices 500 times a week, the exact one he probably would have caught. White can't haul it in
Call me crazy, but if we all could see Roddy was gimped and should have been SAT, what do you think a 15 year HoF veteran is going to think about that? Hell, I would have sh*t a healthshake that minute. And can someone tell me why TG has to go the coaches and get this point across? Really?!
What a bigger, better man he is then I will EVER be. If I had that kind of talent, I would have burned that thing down to the ground 5 minutes after 4 of the trade deadline
*FunGus note: I know I am biased, and given to 'excuse' TG 'absense' from camp. I do see how that decision could have messed up the locker room. But you have to ask if we squeeked out 2-2 in the first four games, I see the whole locker room attitude differently. It sucks to lose close, but imagine you see your injured WR dropping thr game sealing catch, yeah Id be pissed too