Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tashard Choice Defends His Poorly-Timed Choice

Cowboys running back Tashard Choice has been a better defender than any member of the Dallas secondary the last few days.  After infamously asking Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick to autograph a glove minutes after Vick's Eagles had just beaten Dallas Sunday night, Choice's autograph hound impersonation has lit up the Twitterverse, blogosphere and sports talk world.

On Monday, Choice tweeted this apology:

If its anybody that cares about winning and the d cowboys its me. I apologize to the people it was just an innocent jesture for my nephew.

Wednesday, he revisited his actions and explained that he wasn't apologizing for asking for the autograph.  Rather, the apology was for "the simple fact that it brought negative attention to the Cowboys, period," he said. "That's something I don't like to do."

Any regrets?

"The only thing it did was mess up my doggone surprise for my nephew on Christmas," he lamented.

I agree that there was a much been a better time and place for Choice to ask for his autograph.  That being said, this shouldn't be the most shocking you've ever seen.  What I think people fail to understand that while these players have a passion for what they do, at the end of the day, it's a job.  Yes, a job.  They all compete and try to do their jobs to the best of their abilities but, for the most part, opposing players don't hate each other.   These players are playing against their friends, cousins, brothers, brothers-in-law, former or future teammates.  They have relationships with each other. 

Most fans have that lifelong vile, gut wrenching hatred for, say, the Eagles.  They hate the team, it's players and fans.  It's incomprehensible for most fans to understand how a young man like Choice could even talk to Vick after a game.  But that's the thing, once a game is over, Albert Haynesworth and Andre Gurode aside, players are generally pretty cool with one another.

Choice admits he probably could have gone about asking for the autograph in a better way.  He could have gotten one of the locker room guys or PR flack to get it for him.  He doesn't want his ill-time request to seem as if he's not competing when he's on the field. 
"There's no fan,  no coach, there's no person in media who cares more about a game, winning or losing, that I'm playing in," he said.  "I give everything I've got for 60 minutes. That's it."
Dallas quarterback Jon Kitna asked John Elway for an autograph earlier in his career.  His best advice to Choice and everyone else all verklempt over the autograph? 
"Just move on," Kitna deadpanned.

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