Let’s put two scenarios out there, and you tell me who is the more mature person.
1. A company has a record year, profits are sky high, and its stock is poised to only go up. Yet the board looks to replace their CFO with a vastly more experienced candidate because, in all fairness, he did not have much to do with the success of the company. That came from the incredible R&D department that has been turning out amazing nano-technology that has secured a dozen new private and military contracts. So in a public interview, the CFO, who is feeling slightly marginalized, defends his performance by calling out a brilliant young investor whose company has been on a roller coaster, but it’s not entirely his fault.
2. Our same young investor, on the other hand, comes out and admits that he made mistakes, that he was naive at times, selfish, and let his emotions get the better of him to the detriment of the team.
Ok, so not exactly the best analogy. However, that is exactly how Alex Smith comes across. He is coming off a career year for his team and himself. He won a playoff game and, for the first time in his career, people are not labeling him a bust, or that he is sitting behind Troy Smith. (Just for fun, let’s name all the QBs that Alex Smith was benched in favor of: Troy Smith, Shaun Hill, Trent Dilfer, and J.T O’Sullivan… And he was about to be cut before the 2009 season.) And I know the off season has been tough on him–they brought in Peyton Manning. HE’S PEYTON FREAKING MANNING. How did Alex Smith handle that one? Like a jolted little girl, running off to South Beach to flirt with some other dude. So lucky for Alex, Manning decided to go somewhere else and left Alex to come crawling back with his tail between his legs.
So what did he do to follow up that escapade? Alex went out and randomly called out the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton in an interview talking about winning games and padding stats. Really, of all the teams, he called out the Carolina Panthers, who have not been relevant in forever, are coming off a 6-10 season, and even have one of your JC buddies on the team. But they do have this guy Cam Newton, who set all these records as the no. 1 overall pick, exceeded the hype, and essentially did everything you could not do in the first five years of your NFL career in ONE season! So this off the cuff remark is so much more about Alex being a jealous little bitch. “Its not fair he put up all those numbers, it should be me in my own Under Armour Commerical, why don’t I have Gatorade after me??” It proves to me one thing, that Alex is not ready and still will never be ready to be anything more than a GAME MANAGER. His small hands and stupid ass taint tickler on his chin will never be able to be anything more than a GAME MANAGER. “It’s a dog, if it smells like a dog, IT’S a dog. And it’s not going to change.” Sorry, Smith, that’s not changing.
On the other hand, what has Cam done this off season besides his ridiculous Madden cover campaign? Nothing except work on his game. Did he respond to Alex Smiths commitments? No, because he just uses that as another thing that drives him. Another doubter, another hater. When Cam has spoken, he has shown maturity and, most important, humility. In particular, he recently spoke of his selfish and immature behavior during and after games,
“I was very immature,” Newton said when asked about his sometimes moody reaction as losses piled up. “I’ll be the first one to tell you, the pouting and the moping, I kind of overdid it. I know that. I was a bad teammate. I shut off to some people who gave unbelievable effort. … That’s where I have to mature.”
Here is a winner that had been doing nothing but winning for the past two years and he started to lose. He acted poorly, but he had the humility and the balls to come out and say, “I was wrong and should have been better, and I will be.” Not hiding behind excuses and insults. Cam manned up and took another step towards becoming great. On the other hand, Smith could have manned up and said, “Our offense is not designed for me to throw that much, or I had to earn our coaching staff’s trust before they let me loose.” But instead, he pointed the finger at someone else. What kind of message does that send? It is far easier to re-direct criticism or belittle others than to man up and admit the difficult truth. But, then again, did we really expect more of the guy who was picked 24 spots ahead of Aaron Rodgers.