Getty ImagesI guess the cold tub is where the New York Giants keep their swag, because that's what they believe Prince Amukamara needs, and that's where they threw him. I don't know if he found it down there or not.
Swag, in this case, is being defined as confidence, maybe even bordering on arrogance. It's a belief in oneself. Swag would be the quality that lets a cornerback strut onto the field, stand across from a wide receiver, look him in the eye and tell him that he's about to lock him up ‒ and then do it. As a point of reference, Deion Sanders is probably the NFL's greatest all-time pillar of swag.
That's not the full extent of the definition, but we'll come back to that. Amukamara, for his part, believes he has a sufficient level of swag. Other Giants don't seem convinced. From Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News:
... [W]hen [defensive teammate Justin] Tuck was asked if hazing Amukamara could lead to him showing "more of an edge" on the field, he didn't deny that's something the 2011 first-round pick needs.
"I think he's doing pretty good," Tuck said. "Obviously you would like to see him be a little bit more vocal, a little bit more — as the young kids say — 'swag.'"
"He's got to," [fellow cornerback Corey] Webster added. "It's a cornerback thing. We're going out there every play alone. D-linemen have linebackers behind them. Linebackers have safeties behind them. Most of the time (at corner) it's just you out there, so you've got to have that kind of arrogance, the kind of confidence to go out and get that job done."
But what if swag didn't have to be showy? Could there be different types of swag? Ask yourself this: Did Barry Sanders have swag? And if he didn't, then does anyone else need swag?
Number 20 didn't dance in anybody's face, and he didn't talk trash. He absolutely believed in himself, though. Confidence is at the heart of swag, and confidence doesn't need to be expressed with flash. Now, no one's ever going to recognize me as the person who should define swag, but if I did, I'd say there were two ways to go with it. Your swag could be the outspoken, spotlight-mugging, in-your-face type that's dripping with bravado, or your swag could be a quiet confidence. A man can believe that he's the best in the world at what he does without a need to preen.
Obviously, the Giants feel like Amukamara lacks something. That must've been what the cold tub incident was about. That must explain why someone was in the background shouting, "You need to stand up for yourself."
What Prince Amukamara really needs is to be a better cornerback. Not that he's a bad one ‒ it's just hard to evaluate him since he played in only five games his rookie season. As the 19th overall pick of the 2011 draft, though, the Giants are counting on him to contribute. If he stays on the field and makes plays, no one's going to care if he's balled up in the corner crying himself to sleep in the fetal position, or if he takes the field in a Ric Flair robe and says he's now the greatest Giants defender in history.