Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Briggs To Take Out Loan To Cover Cell Phone Bill

Jeffrey Lebowski or Dude, if you're into the whole brevity thing, was once a roadie for Metallica on the Speed of Sound Tour. "Bunch of assholes" was his take on the experience and the band many years later.

Apparently as long as there is an outlet with an accredited NFL talking head, Lance Briggs will be making weekly stops on his Sound of My Own Voice tour, a tour that also appears destined to make an asshole of the main act.

Last week, Briggs picked up the blower to run some demands and threats past the Bears through ESPN's Len Pasquarelli.

This week, he moved down the list of desperate-to-make-news voices and gave FOX's sideline troll Jay Glazer a call.

No doubt Briggs and agent Drew Rosenhaus knew that a splashy headline would result, despite the lack of any new developments whatsoever.

"I am now prepared to sit out the year if the Bears don't trade me or release me," Briggs said via cell phone Monday. "I've played my last snap for them. I'll never play another down for Chicago again."

Yeah, and...? What do you mean you're "now" prepared to sit out the year? You said all of this last week. And now you're back because a week went by and nothing happened. Guess what,
Lance and Drew, nothing's going to happen this week either. So get the phone list together for your next weekly appearance. NFL Network next week, Don Banks the following week.

Slight correction, something did happen after last week's threats, Briggs just didn't like it. From the Tribune:

Combative, Briggs added in a brief conversation on the phone that he didn't appreciate Chicago fans and media reacting negatively when he made public his stance last week. He says he was tricked into doing an interview on WSCR-AM 670 and resisted speaking to local reporters because of the way he has been portrayed.

Ah, we Bears fans should apologize to Briggs for reacting negatively to his statement that he'd do everything in his power to never play for our team again. He thinks because his agent had him carefully differentiate Bears management from Bears players & fans, and state which one he's got a problem with, we're supposed to swallow that whole and storm Halas Hall as one!

I also chortle a little at him saying he was tricked into doing an interview on the local station. I'm guessing the trick is that he was asked questions, rather than being allowed to unilaterally spout his side to the reporter he called.

Briggs seems to be bummed about facing the reality I stated last week. His options are to play out the last year of his contract, as he's known for over a year would be the case by virtue of turning down the Bears' long-term contract offer, or sit out the season with no pay. I guess it is new this week that he's come to this realization.

"People think I can't afford to sit out the year, I can take out loans to get me through that year just fine because eventually I'll have a deal somewhere. There are things I can do to make sure I'm fine financially if I sit out."

Wow. I'd be surprised if there really were "people" who thought "Ha ha, Briggs is screwed. He either plays for the Bears or he becomes homeless and trolls alleys for his dinner." I think most of the people figure you might still have some of the $700K + playoff bonuses etc. that you earned last year.

You're very much missing the point and, frankly, you're making an annoying ass of yourself with these weekly shout-outs. You're just the latest to try and exploit the Bears' mostly deserved public relations problems, but you're misoverestimating your hand -- once again a hand that was dealt over a year ago -- and bringing the negative reaction on yourself. If anything, the national reaction has been more negative than the local.

Perhaps it's just a coincidence among Rosenhaus clients, but like Thomas Jones did in demanding a trade, Briggs says it's not all about money, it's about leadership and not having to share it with anyone.

"I've talked to Brian about it. I'm a competitor and I want the same thing he has. I've learned a lot from Brian as a player and a leader and I eventually want to be 'the man' somewhere. I want to be like him and have everything put on me too. Obviously I'll never be able to do that there."

Briggs can't be "The Man" with Urlacher around. Jones couldn't be "The Man" with Benson around. What a bunch of bullcrap, as Jerry Angelo would say. In my estimation, a good start to being a leader is demonstrating that despite the inherent nature of the business, where you compete with others on your own team for your position, the ultimate goal is working together to be the best team. Leaders worry about being The Man relative to the guy they're matched up against on fall Sundays and helping their teammates to do the same.

Just to put a fine point on how useless Briggs's weekly self-serving phone calls are, he concludes:

''That's not to say I'm going to sit out a year, but I'm prepared to do that if it comes to that. There are a lot of different scenarios that could happen. The best-case scenario is that the Bears offer me a long-term contract at market value.''

So much for "I'll never play a down for the Bears again." Glad you're definite. Glad you're not just throwing crap at the wall every week until you feel public opinion has swung your way. Each time you say you'll never play for the Bears again, we become even less interested in your plight, and it becomes even less likely the Bears will be able to trade you. Good plan though.

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