We're far enough along in the season that certain teams can realistically be ruled out of the playoffs: among them the Colts, Vikings, Rams and Dolphins. These teams will not win the Super Bowl. Unless they play the other teams mentioned in that sentence, they might not win anything at all.
The only thing they'll contend for is the first overall pick in next year's draft. Don't tell that to the players, though. Especially Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby. From Sun-Sentinel.com:
"It's not right, bro. It's not right," Dansby said. " We put too much into this, man, to have the fans say that — period, point blank — or even promote that campaign. It's kind of sad." [...]
"It pisses me off," he said. "I don't understand nothing about that. I put too many hours into this, man, put too many years into this, sacrificed too much to ask somebody to put that stipulation on me and my teammates. Because I know how much we put into this."
If you're an NFL player, that's the right answer. You play to win the game. It may be a delightful press conference moment, but it also happens to be true. The job of an athlete is to compete in athletic contests, and outside of most boxing matches, it's also implied that an attempt should be made to win those contests.
But fans and athletes are different. Fans, as it relates to their favorite team, don't have a job, so the goals of fans and athletes don't always converge. Traditionally, they do, and most people who show up to watch a team want that team to win. But that doesn't have to be the case. If you want to show up to a game and root for your team to accumulate the most grass stains, you can do that.
You can also root for your team to lose, especially if you're convinced that losing all of their games will allow them to draft a player who will ensure that they won't have another losing season for the next 10 to 15 years. There's nothing wrong with that. You don't have to have Karlos Dansby's mentality.
But you want Karlos Dansby to have it. That's what he's been programmed to think since he first picked up a football. Play. Win. That's what he does, and that's who you want on your team. If your team had players who didn't think that way, they would suck, with or without Andrew Luck, every single time they took the field.
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