OPENING HIT: Ndamukong Suh could learn a great deal from the man who has his immediate future in his hands. Art Shell, in this case the arbitrator in the Suh appeal on Thursday, was one of the fiercest competitors the NFL has ever seen. He played on the Oakland Raiders and while the Raiders had reps for being dirty most of them actually weren’t. Many of them were like Shell: vicious, talented, hard working, but not cheap.
Shell is in the Hall of Fame because of his skill but he’s cherished by many who know him for his class. He’s been a head coach, and now an administrator, and hell, he’s smart enough to be damn commissioner one day.
Shell was feared not because he was dirty but because he was skilled and composed. His calmness was more intimidating than rage.
Yes, Suh could learn a great deal. About passion and self-control; about when to turn off the fierceness, how to harness it. Maybe after all of this is over, Suh and Shell could have a drink. Shell could tell stories about the Raiders or more importantly Shell could tell stories on how to be great without losing your composure.
Or the respect of the people around you.