Toughest Day Of The NFL Year
The Turk was very busy today. And I'm not talking about our friend, the former QB and current coach. The Turk I'm referring to, is like the grim reaper. He brings agony and despair, snuffs out dreams of young men by stating these simple words: "Coach wants to see you, and bring your playbook".
All of these men have spent most of their lives dreaming of playing in the NFL. The amount of work, just to get to a training camp, is immeasurable. Most get just one chance to prove what they can do, especially this year. The lockout severely reduced the opportunities for many to learn the playbook and make enough plays in the preseason to prove they belong.
A day like today is a sad one, mostly for the players, but coaches feel the pain of cutting a guy too. Bill Belichick echoed today what most coaches say, that it's the toughest part of the job. Because I was cut, multiple times, my heart goes out to all of the roster casualties today. I empathize with all of them and wish them well.
Some don't go easily. Jim Burt was a rookie free agent nose tackle for the Giants in 1981. Back then, it was very rare for a guy that was not drafted, to make a team. Towards the end of training camp, between two a day practices, the Turk was sent to Burt's room to deliver the devastating news. Sensing the Turn in the vicinity, Burt hid under the bed and never got the message. Then, he showed up to the afternoon practice. For some reason, not only did they let him practice, they changed their minds on releasing him, and the rest is history. Burt played 11 years, won two Super Bowl rings, and went to a Pro Bowl.
I hope a few guys hid from the Turk today under their beds!