Blog Entry

NFL Players in Iraq

Posted on: March 10, 2009 10:21 am

In the middle of a seriously good deed, there was a moment of levity.

A group of NFL players are now in Iraq as part of a goodwill tour to visit American troops. In a telephone interview with me, St. Louis Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon described meeting hundreds of soldiers and traveling to American bases all over the country. At times, he got quite emotional in describing the visit. Then, he told a funny story.

The group of players -- Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen, New York Giants linebacker Danny Clark, and Witherspoon -- were at one particular base and receiving a demonstration about how police dogs are trained. One of the soldiers asked the players if they wanted to put on one of those oversized protective suits and handle the dogs.

Witherspoon agreed. "I put it on but before I did one of the guys offered me a metal cup to protect my..." well, let's just say his package.

Witherspoon told the dog handlers, "No, no. I'm OK."

"That was a mistake," Witherspoon said.

With the suit on, Witherspoon was told to jump up on a wall. He obliged and jumped. As he did so, the dog did something, well, interesting.

"The dog went right for my sack," Witherspoon said.

Because I have the maturity of a seven-year-old, I laughed hysterically over the phone at that comment which caused Witherspoon to laugh as well.

"After I realized I wasn't going to have kids in the future," joked Witherspoon, "then (the dog) went for my arms and legs. It was all in fun. But seriously, you walk away from a trip like this so impressed with the military. They're the true tough guys. There are guys who've been here six, 18 months. They're very dedicated and we owe them a lot."

The group has traveled all over the region from Kuwait to Camp Ramadi.

"I don't know where to begin in describing this trip," said Fitzgerald to me. "These soldiers are just young guys like us. Yet they've dedicated their lives to protecting our country. You come away feeling a sense of admiration for what they do."

The soldiers are the real heroes but these NFL players aren't too shabby themsevles.

The group will travel back to the United States later this week.

Category: NFL

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: March 12, 2009 11:32 am

NFL Players in Iraq

I didn't appreciate the last post I read by Freeman about singling out the Giants for their roster choices. I left my opinion on that post but I must admit he came back with this one about our soldiers. It's hard to believe that we have been at war for so many years now. If these NFL players give our boys, even a moment of peace, then it is worth it. This is a great duty these players are doing and I'm glad somebody wrote something in more detail about it.

You're still a Giant hater Freeman but good job on this article.

Since: Jun 25, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2009 1:07 pm

NFL Players in Iraq

Okay, so I get a different perspective, and probably should have played the "five minute rule" on this one.  And Downpressor, I apologize for the bash, but you have to understand that the typical reality of this world is to downplay and ridicule the good.  Our country has turned into such a negative society and really in a sense reverting back to post-Vietnam attitudes and bleak morales for our fellow troops.  So, I have to stick up for my boys. 

Offshore, thanks for the englightenment and redirect.  I guess I have to go back out and BZO my weaponry sensors once again. 

Semper Fi... 

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2009 5:43 pm

NFL Players in Iraq

 I believe you meant to say, "The people who selfLESSLY put on a uniform and make sacrifices most people wouldn't understand



Oops, that's what someone gets for posting right before going bed...  At 6am....  After working a twelve hour shift....

Thanks for catching it but knowing my intent.

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2009 4:02 pm

NFL Players in Iraq

Agreed Offshore, and yes I can get defensive as well, LOL obviously. The main crux of my post was that fact that we frequently don't here about the good things, and I appreciated the story. In downpressors post, he was taking shots at the giants, and Mike, "That may be the worst peice of journalism ever,imo".Also indirectly he was disregarding the whole point of the story, which was why they were there, and the what it meant to the players to meet these people.

I am not saying that Mike is a journalistic god, but it was nice to see a story about something good from our superstars, compared to what is on the same headlines section of the CBS home page at the time of story. My main issue with this, was the trivialization(spelling is probably terrible) of the topic, for the case of a laugh, which I thought was innappropriate, and for the sole purpose of being disruptive to the thread.

I know I probably need to relax a bit, but there are very few topics that get my fur in a bunch, and for some reason, downpressor hit my buttons very wrong. Like I said in my post, this was probably not going to be one of my more popular posts.

Thanks Offshore

Semper Fi

Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2009 3:28 pm

NFL Players in Iraq

 I am the only one here that took downpressors comment differently???  I thought he was making fun of CBS for actually posting something positive about a Giants player, not commenting on the war.  I am a Marine and a Fallujah vet, so I can get pretty defensive myself on this topic, but I didnt take downpressors comment as anti-military. 

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2009 2:50 pm

NFL Players in Iraq

 As a former Marine, who sertved in the 1st Persian Gulf War, I would like to voice my side of this. As for the story, I say thank you to the NFLer's who are taking this trip. I don't know if they volunteered, or if this was an NFL requirement and they were the unlucky ones to have to go do this. I am a glass half full guy, so I am going to go at it from the volunteer side.

This may not be one of my more popular posts, but I am going to go ahead with it anyway.

I do appreciate the players for taking the time to head over there and bring a positive pep to the morale of the military members stationed in the Middle East. It can be a lonely, desolate place, and very difficult to keep the morale up, when friends are dying, and you have been separated for long periods of time from your family and friends, in a hostile environment. Cudo's, and THANK YOU!!!

As far as Mike Freeman writing this article....I am glad he did. When you look at the same headlines section of the CBS SPORTS web page, and you are looking at "Hayes stabbed by wife" or "Evidence tainted with steroids in Clemens case" or "Jones back in jail after failing alchohol tests while on probation", it is nice to see "Fitzgerald, Allen, among players touring Iraq". A daily sports page looks like a police blotter page anymore. More often than not, atheletes are known for their problems, and not what they do that is a positive. What is the old saying? You could do a hundred good things, but you will be remembered for that one bad thing. That is a shame, because there are many sports superstars that do many good things for people out there, and we rarely here about it. Thanks Mike!

Finally, for "downpressor" You have every right to post the post that you did. I don't like it one bit, but that is the constitution, and you can post anything that is within the guidelines of CBS posting......But you sure didn't take any steps to convince anyone that you have one bit of common sense or decency. You took one of the few nice stories out there, and made some farcicle statement about something completely unrelated, just to trivialise what was a nice, upbeat story.

Judging by your name, and the ridiculous post you left, this is your normal goal. To do anything you can to disrupt a thread, with the express purpose of allegedly being funny, and angering everyone one on the post. The only thing you succeeded in doing, was too downplay something that was a really good story, and trivialise what seeing those guys from the NFL visiting them, meant to the men and women serving in Iraq.

The same right that you have to write what you did, also gives me the right to say to you, "Shut your pie hole, and either pick up a rifle and go to work helping them out, or zip it and at least respect the people, if not the cause, that have the courage and determination, to defend you and your rights".


Since: Aug 5, 2007
Posted on: March 10, 2009 2:12 pm

NFL Players in Iraq

I think they are doing the right thing.To America the soliders are our heros and to alot of the Soliders those football palyers are the soldiers heros. So go and meet the people that fight for our Country. They make it possible for us to have the NFL. Good job Guys in taking some your seldom time off to give back to the people that give the most there lives.


Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2009 1:41 pm

NFL Players in Iraq

 In defense of downpressor I think he was referring to the recent Pete Prisco article that called the Giants out for hiring two supposed wife-beaters.

Since: Jun 25, 2008
Posted on: March 10, 2009 1:28 pm

NFL Players in Iraq

That may have been the worst piece of journalism ever, imo.


That quote and your "IMO" shows your ignorance to my fellow soldiers and Marines and the depth of your intelligence to what the article was actually implying.  Your "IMO" is being guarded by the very same freedom that my fellow brethren put their lives on the line for you to express that.  Deeper, the article is showing the greater appreciation that the athletes have for the individuals that allow them to live in this country, protected.  You're a rookie, so I'll let that one slide; but, be greatful that you aren't speaking and typing in a foreign language and are allowed to speak plainly about how you feel.  Otherwise, you might be ruled by another philosophy that suppresses the very freedoms that those individuals fight so hard to protect from happening for and to you. 

To my fellow brethren - THANKS FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!

Semper Fidelis...

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: March 10, 2009 1:26 pm

NFL Players in Iraq


 I believe you meant to say, "The people who selfLESSLY put on a uniform and make sacrifices most people wouldn't understand."  I do agree with what you said other than that, though. The previous poster obviously either didn't read the article or he/she simply doesn't care about it's topic.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or