The Peterson Principle 7/27/10

Dez Bryant, Shown here signing autographs, would have been better off carrying the pads

Sometimes you just go with the flow. The wife asks you go to a musical; you go, shut your mouth and have a good time. The girlfriend wants you to go see a “chick flick”; you grin, bear it and make the best of it. It’s not worth the hassle and it will pay dividends in the long run.

Do you remember walking on to the high school campus the first day of school in your freshman year? You probably heard the laughter and insults being hurled from the upperclassmen. You might have even been pushed by a junior or told to go buy lunch for a senior. So what did you do?  Well if you’re smart, you sucked it up and survived a few days of torture and by the end of the school year you earned the respect of your tormentors.

Running to the teacher or refusing to perform a couple of menial tasks would have prolonged your agony.

I remember moving into a new neighborhood in Duarte years ago. The first week I was there instead of parking in my garage I parked in a spot that was reserved for visitors. It was a condominium complex and I was only going to be there for a minute while I picked up my mail. But before I could move I was asked by another condo owner- and a member of the board- to move my car immediately.

Instead of complaining or arguing, I smiled, said ‘sure, no problem’ and pulled it into the garage.

To make it short, I found out later that people had feuded with the “parking police” as he was known, for years. It was a constant war that was being waged and at times it had turned ugly. But he invited me over for barbecues frequently and I feasted on burgers, chicken and ribs. In fact, after that he never said a word to me when I parked in the spot by the mail box. Hey, you go with the flow.

You choose your battles and this wasn’t one worth choosing. In fact I ended up winning by simply complying with something I was asked to do early on.

Another time my landlord “warned” me about my next door neighbors. “They’re rude and not very friendly,” she said. “Just be careful.”

After telling the neighbor’s son to go into my backyard anytime he pleases to retrieve his baseball when I’m not home, and retrieving it myself when I was, it was all good -more barbecues and good times. The neighbor used to lend me tools all the time and helped me load my truck when I had to move out. Rude Schmude!

Which brings us to Dallas Cowboy rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant. When veteran receiver Roy Williams told Bryant to carry his pads Bryant refused. It’s a tradition at training camps for the rookies to carry the vets’ pads after practice. Call it a hazing if you will, but it’s more of a “welcome to the NFL” for the rookies. 

Walter Payton did it. So did John Elway and Joe Namath, Dick Butkus and Mean Joe Greene. But Dez Bryant can’t?  

Every player on the Cowboys’ roster went through it at one time. I understand that Bryant is competing for Williams’ job but what has he proven thus far? Sure one day he might become Jerry Rice but he also might be the next Charles Rogers.

All Bryant has shown so far is a lack of humility and the innate ability to alienate his teammates. Ok Dez, don’t carry the pads now but plan on taking an extra shot in pads later. Don’t sing your alma mater’s fight song now, (another NFL rookie tradition), but you’ll be singing a different tune later.

Cool, don’t buy the team meal. Ok but a couple of linemen might make a meal out of you. You’re the new kid on the block. Lighten up! Catch a touchdown pass before you start catching heat.

Go with the flow.

That’s my principle.

Tim can be reached at

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