Thursday, October 8, 2015

Backup Lineman Frustrated-- How can you possibly blame him?

So...  last night, Seahawks reserve lineman, Alvin Bailey, tweeted this out:

Seahawks fans immediately lashed out at Bailey.  "See ya!" "Don't let the door hit ya on the way out" "This guy sucks anyway."  The Seattle fanbase quickly and loyally came to the defense of their team, calling Bailey's tweet immature.

My question is, why?

First, as in almost any situation, you need to try to put yourself in the other person's shoes to get a better understanding as to what lead them to that action.  Bailey fought his way onto the Seahawks roster as an undrafted free agent in 2013.  He served as an admirable back up through both of Seattle's Super Bowl runs.  He even reported to camp this year much slimmer than in previous seasons, in hopes of claiming the guard position vacated by James Carpenter.

Fans have little room to criticize Bailey's talent or effort, but I would go beyond that.

Through the first four games of the season, Seattle's offensive line has been repulsively terrible.  Russell Wilson is on pace to be sacked just 5 times shy of the single season record.  Four games, Zero improvement and Zero changes.

Maybe you're of the impression that it is too early to panic.  Maybe you feel like Seattle has always taken a long while to get their O-Line functioning under Carroll/Cable and this unit just needs time to gel. I get all of that-- but put yourself in Bailey's shoes for a moment.

You've worked your ass off to get where you are.  You've defied the odds to make an NFL roster as an undrafted player.  You worked especially hard this offseason to get into shape and earn the starting job.  You don't get the job, but you quietly keep your head down and plow away.

Now flash forward to week 5.  The guy that took your job has performed abysmally at best.  Week after week, no improvement. You think "Maybe if I keep working hard, they'll give me a chance?" After all, isn't this team predicated on competition and a 'next man up' philosophy?

You've put the time in.  You've done all they've asked of you.  Also, you're a 24 year old kid.  Then you find out on Wednesday that you won't be getting an opportunity to prove yourself. 

If you can consider all of that and still can't fathom why a young man that has worked his butt off to earn a job wouldn't be slightly perturbed upon finding out that the job he wants is being given to someone who has done nothing but show that they can't handle it?

Was airing his frustration perhaps a poor decision in hindsight?  Sure.  It didn't help to solve anything besides maybe blowing off steam and it caused more problems than it alleviated.  Still, how many of you can say that you've never griped about your job on social media? 

If you had a frustrating day at work, let's say you work at Subway, and you posted on Facebook "Man, I wish I had a job that respects me more."-- imagine how you would feel if your friends/followers told you to not let the door hit you on the way out? 

I understand the 12s desire to express their loyalty to the team. We get enough unjustified flack as it is for being fairweather or bandwagon fans.

I would argue that any true Seahawks fan should be every bit as frustrated with our offensive line's performance as Alvin Bailey is.  We should expect better from our team.  We should want our $80million quarterback better protected.

We certainly shouldn't shun players that work hard for the opportunity to compete. 

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