Kyler, you said one thing yesterday that was an irrefutable fact:
“I’m an Arizona Cardinal.”
After three years with the team, it’s surprising that you had to affirm that you are a Cardinal. But, the reason why you, Kyler, had to affirm this fact has been all of your and your Captain Ahab agent, Erik Burkhardt’s own doing.
The rest of what you had to say yesterday, Kyler, was, like Moby Dick, much of it came across, at least to me, as pure fiction.
The sad thing is with yesterday’s tease, some Cardinals’ fans, like Queequeg and Starbuck, immediately took the bait.
They are back to thinking everything is “copasetic.”
Well then, for those of us who deal in non-fiction, you can call us Ishmael.
The white whale for you and Burkhardt is the humongous bag of money that you are demanding.
For you to remain a “happy” Arizona Cardinal, the owner had better pony up the gold coins —- or cut bait. According to you agent, there appears to no in-between. That much is as clear as the albatross perched atop the main mast of this bark (aka ship).
Kyler’s Big Little Lies?:
- “I have done nothing but given my all to the Cardinals.”
—- refusing to go back in the game of the playoff loss.
—— “I am not going to kill myself watching tape.” (hmmm, the winning QB of this year’s Super Bowl, Matthew Stafford, is a meticulous preparer who has a sterling reputation for studying tape).
—- “Running for me now is a luxury.”
But, of course, there is the epitome of no quit in Kyler Murray:
2. “If you are a kid my age, you’re used to people take off (posts),” Murray said. “That’s just a thing. I took everything off of there besides one picture. It had nothing to do with the Cardinals or anything like that.”
—- Kyler, you witnessed the firestorms that Patrick Peterson and Chandler Jones created when they scrubbed their socials of all Cardinals-related photos and images.
—- For “a kid my age” ??? Problem is Kyler, you are a 24 year old man now and an NFL QB whose main job is to be a leader of men and the face of the franchise.
—- You preface this by saying “honestly” and yet for five weeks you never once nipped the whole thing in the bud. You were reveling in all of the attention that you created for yourself. That is, except for the negative backlash it created.
3. “For a second there I was trending for, I want to say, five weeks in a row. Every time I got on Twitter, I’m like, what are people talking about my name for, all this stuff.
—- Precisely, this is exactly what you and Burkhardt wanted —- for you to be “trending” for 5 key weeks of the NFL season and off-season, from Super Bowl to the Combine to Free Agency and —- and the next key week for you is what, the week of the NFL Draft?
4. “Obviously you got the whole social media stuff and coming out with whatever it was with the future. But honestly I am happy where I am at, where my feet are, keeping football the main thing like I always have.”
—— “This whole media stuff” is what you and your agent created.
—— Again, “honestly”? “Keeping football the main thing”? This whole ordeal has been about one thing and one thing only —- your BAG.
—- “I am happy where I am” —- really? —- your agent just publicly accused the Cardinals of being cheap and “not wanting to win”. By not publicly refuting your agent’s claim, you are colluding with it.
—- Behind the scenes, is there any question as to whether your agent is talking to teams and drumming up trade interest? Could it be that your trip to Carolina was a little more than just going to see Coach K’s last game at Cameron? Were you getting a feel of the real estate and your potential new surroundings?
5. “I let people who have to take care of that stuff (contract) take care of that stuff.”
—- As I tried to emphasize to you when I sent you my Great Kylersby articles, you have to be the one in charge, Kyler. What so regrettable about the way in which you have handled your part in all of this is how carelessly and unconscionably you have treated the Cardinals’ organization. One could argue, as I did on this week’s Red Rain podcast, that you basically scrubbed your socials back on the sidelines of the playoff rout when you refused to go back in the game. You left your teammates right then.
—- Actually it could be argued that you left your teammates while all of them (and Rams players) were down at the far end zone kneeling in prayer for Budda Baker, while you, a coach and Colt McCoy were sitting on the bench 50 yards away. One would hope that in retrospect you now wish you would have and should have taken a knee with your teammates.
What you have been doing this off-season is running a GIVE ME MY BAG NOW campaign, where every move has been carefully strategized —- from the scrubbing (Super Bowl)—- to the ransom note (Combine)—- to your agent’s calling the Cardinals cheap and not wanting to win (1st week of Free Agency) —- to posting workout videos —-to staging yesterday’s charity presentation —-
Isn’t the real truth that it has been your mission all along was to give the Cardinals a ultimatum that your future in Arizona depends on the Cardinals giving you your bag NOW?—- otherwise, if you don’t get it by the NFL Draft, aren’t you and Burkhardt going to do whatever you can to get another team to give you your bag?
You know, if you really want to meet some players who give the Cardinals their all to the team and the organization, go re-introduce yourself to Budda Baker, J.J. Watt, Maxx Williams, Kelvin Beachum, Jalen Thompson and Markus Golden —- to name a few.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to get paid what you believe you deserve. But, there are proper, respectful ways to go about it.
The greatest lesson i learned about salaries was a lesson in humility.
When I made the switch from private school teaching/coaching to public school teaching/coaching the Superintendent at Foxborough disregarded my 15 years of experience and told me that if I wanted the job I would have to accept the same salary as a 3rd year teacher. What that meant was that it would take me 10 years to get paid the salary that a teacher of my experience deserved.
The Superintendent had the audacity to tell me that I was “lucky to have a job.”
As much as that statement hurt, by the good grace of God, I was able to summon the humility in myself to agree that indeed, I was lucky to have a job. More than that, I was lucky to be hired by a principal who believed in me. And then. most of all, that I was extraordinarily lucky to be working with the brightest and most appreciative students I could have ever wished for.
It took me 10 years to get paid what I deserved. But, I taught at the school for 22 years. While I am very lucky these days to be living off of a teacher’s pension, the thing that matters most to me are the lifelong connections I made with my students. No money in the world that can buy those kinds of communions.
When people make the pursuit of money their primary focus , they are taking an enormous risk, because they are taking their eyes off of the real prize. I know, Kyler, that you hold a high esteem for Jay Gatsby, but he fell into the money trap, got mixed up with the wrong kinds of people and wound up getting shot and killed in his own swimming pool.
Daisy was a manifestation of Gatsby’s obsession. After all, Gatsby once confided in Nick that “her voice is full of money.” Was Gatsby’s a plight of real love or destructive greed?
Therefore, I would like to make another plea to you Kyler, because I believe in the “green light” of your talent, as I have from the first time I saw you play at Oklahoma.
Humility is the greatest motivator in turning setbacks into grand successes.
As Teddy Roosevelt advised so aptly, “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
Therefore, the best thing you can do is live up to and honor these very words that you imparted yesterday:
“But honestly I am happy where I am at, where my feet are, keeping football the main thing like I always have.”
If your actions are true to these works, Kyler, everything else will fall into place, all in its due and proper time.
In the immortal words of poet Rudyard Kipling at the conclusion of the poem “If”:
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!