Just Say No To Chicago
Don’t do it.
That is my advice for Nick Barnett.
As the Packers begin Training Camp, Barnett begins the 2011 season not as a member of the Packers his first since entering the NFL in 2003. He is a free agent, and actively looking for work.
I have no doubt that he will be on the street for long. He will find work quickly, as evidenced by his scheduled visit with the Lions today. However, there was something that he referenced to yesterday that caused my jaw to hit the floor when I read it.
Yesterday on Twitter, Barnett was making it a game of sending out one liners which might have been hinting where his new destination would be. Starting with this, which indicated he had already begun the process of finding work, Barnett went on to compliment the fans of Detroit, Tampa Bay, and San Diego in their aggressive campaign to acquire his services. However, it was his next tease that really concerned me.
“Oh see some windy city fans on here…. Briggs Urlacher Barnett wow that would be a deadly combo…”
I’m begging Nick Barnett not to come to Chicago, and not for the reasons you might think.
Adding Barnett would definitey upgrade their linebackers. They are in need of better depth, and his addition would allow more flexibility in terms of scheming. However, coming to Chicago would open Nick up to an entirely different world, and something I personally would not want to see him have to deal with.
The Chicago media.
On a regular basis, certain members of the local media make it an obsession with completely tearing apart the local sports figures for no reason other than to improve ratings. Numerous players from a variety of sports have come to Chicago, only to leave with nothing but disgust for what they have had to deal with from the press. They are relentless in their efforts to tear down every and all players. Need evidence? Next time you have a chance take a listen to this and you will see what I mean.
Never shy for the dramatic, Barnett would no doubt be noticed very quickly by the press. However, I have to wonder how the Chicago media would react to Barnett doing his signature samurai sword move after making a semi routine play. I can assure everyone with a great degree of certainty they would not take to kindly to it, and would proceed to analyze every play, in an effort to show how many plays were missed, and how his celebration was unwarranted.
Coming from a smaller market like Green Bay/Milwaukee and a fan base like the Packers, Barnett was able to live off his reputation perhaps a little more than his actual play on the field. I would often look past the missed tackles or blown coverage because he is Nick Barnett, a fixture on the team for years. That will not happen in Chicago. One missed tackle, one blown coverage, and a cost-benefit analysis of his play the likes of which he has never seen will begin. How would Nick react to that? Let’s hope he doesn’t have to.
I’m going to miss Nick Barnett. I liked his aggressive play on the field, and his entertaining personality off the field. It will be interesting to see where he winds up, and I wish him the best wherever that is. Just don’t come to Chicago.
He deserves better than that.