I was watching the first round of the NFL draft last week, and the story this year is Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen slipping out of the first round. Yes, I know the Denver Broncos drafting Tim Tebow was the headline, but that fits here too.
So, anyway, I am watching this unfold and all of a sudden I have an idea for my next blog and how the NFL draft corresponds to our discussion on building a Vision for our family – specifically a Character Vision in this case. I have to admit, my first thought is “Oh great, now I can’t even watch the draft without thinking about K¹².” But, after it was over, I started thinking how much the word “character” kept coming up over the course of the evening.
I was tuned into ESPN (love to hear what Jon Gruden has to say) and I bet they used the word “character” in some form or fashion to describe almost every player drafted.
Of course with Tim Tebow, they must have talked about his “great character” every time they mentioned his name – even Mel Kiper, Jr. who didn’t think he should be drafted at #25 even spoke highly of his character.
Other players who “slipped” down in the first round also had the word “character” attached to their name, albeit somewhat negatively. Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State slipping to Dallas because of “character issues” even though his talent had him placed higher in the first round.
But, the intriguing one to me was Jimmy Clausen from Notre Dame. He was projected to go high in the first round – Mel Kiper, Jr. even thought he was better than Sam Bradford, who went first overall to St. Louis. However, by the end of the night, Clausen was still waiting to hear his name called.
Throughout the night I think it surprised the analysts (especially Kiper) that he had not been drafted yet – Kiper particularly looked upset when Tebow went to Denver and yet Clausen was still on the board. One thing I noticed was that the word “character” was never mentioned when Clausen’s name was brought up. Not once did anyone mention Clausen’s character – good or bad. They simply talked about his talent and could not understand why he was not drafted.
The next morning I was looking over some sports articles about the NFL draft and saw numerous headlines “Character Issues Cause Bryant to Fall to Dallas”, “Character, Combined with Potential Cause Denver To Select Tebow in First Round”, and more.
One story intrigued me though, and as I read it, one part in particular struck me because it talked about Jimmy Clausen:
It's easy to understand what happened here. The perception of Tebow as a good guy and seller of tickets and jerseys is opposite that of Clausen, who is seen by the league as a cocky jerk.
It was almost conspiratorial what happened to these two. Teams propped up Tebow because they liked him personally while simultaneously tearing down Clausen because they thought he was arrogant. One NFC scout told me on Thursday night: "Jimmy Clausen's smirk finally caught up with him."
The perception among the NFL, clearly, is twofold. Clausen is talented but Clausen is a jerk and that latter description apparently matters more to NFL teams. How else do you explain Tebow going before him and Clausen falling like a brick?
Evidently, Clausen slipped out of the first round because of character issues. Even though he had the talent to be a first round selection, even a high first round selection, it may be that questions about his character are the root of the problem here.
And then there is this story from Yahoo! today with this headline “Character tops draft boards in first round”.
So, dads, we all know “character” counts. What does that mean for us, especially as it relates to our educational journey with our children? What is “character”?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this and next time, let’s delve in deeper on developing a Character Vision.