Sydney Speaks! Players are only human

The final cuts have come and gone. Some fans are happy, some sad, but for the guy who got cut and told he wasn't good enough LIFE SUCKS. I've been on that side, having been cut twice in my early years. To be told you aren't good enough to reach your dream is a blow to anyone's self-esteem. I also have had to look into another man's eyes and tell him why he was cut. It's no fun.

Football is different because you are auditioning in front of the world with everyone having an opinion on how you played. Are you good enough? Why aren't you good enough? Imagine the Packer Nation having a voice in your job and analyzing everything you do, and deciding it for you in front of the world. It's one thing to get fired, but fired or cut in front of millions and millions of people is a lot different. These players know it's part of the business, but that doesn't make it any easier. They know their world becomes an open book!

As a fan we often get caught up with winning and losing, what it does for us and how it makes us feel as we sit on the outside watching someone else's world come crumbling down. Trust me I'm not a fan of Cletidus Hunt. I thought he was lazy and showed more than a lack of effort far too many times to count. He was selfish and showed an amazing "me" attitude. Then again he was allowed to be that way wasn't he? Mike Sherman and the Packers' coaching staff allowed him to be this way. To me Cletidus was that little kid that took every inch they gave him and was going to until they finally said enough was enough. My problem is that they created this monster.

Cletidus Hunt is what I call a coach killer because he had so much potential. If he had lived up to it he could have really been special. He could have been that diamond in the rough. That's why the Packers gave him so much money. Then again after a few years, potential turns to crap when you don't reach that level that warrants that big payday. Now the Packers have to eat $3.6 million next year.

That said, do we still have the right to attack anyone personally? Do we really know Cletidus, or is it because we go to the games and he played for the Packers, so we have some right to talk about him like he has no feelings and his family has none either. He has a mother, father and children. Does it matter what they feel or think?

As fan we can't get caught up in what we read or hear because we really don't know these athletes. Just because we see them on a football field or see them around town, let's not fool ourselves. We only see what they want us to see. We really don't know the stories in their lives that mold them to be who they are. Let's not assume we do unless you have walked in their shoes, which I have. Like everyone else, athletes have families, and sometimes that needs to be taken into consideration as well. This game that we love effects their families as well. It's not just about us as a fan. We go to a game, cheer and get to walk away until the next game. The athlete lives it every day.

It always has amazed me how fans think, for example, when Ahman Green fumbles and the fans rip him a new one ... do they think Ahman said, 'OK this time I'm going to fumble so I can let my team down, and get called names.'

A few weeks ago there was talk of a Robert Ferguson trade. It was started by someone that didn't know anything and the rumor ran wild. But did anyone one ever consider what his wife or children were going through and how that might have effected their lives as it was talked about like it was no big deal? Why does it have to take the tragedies of life for us as fans to understand that these athletes are just as human as everyone else. With the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina we must all realize that these guys bleed, cry and care for more than just winning games. They care about people. We all felt and saw the pain Brett and Javon were experiencing as they wondered about what was happening to their families. Look at all the things the athletes have done since Katrina changed the face of our nation. They have donated money and their time, like a lot of the Packers did on Sunday when they signed autographs to raise money for the relief efforts.

So as this team prepares to face the Lions this Sunday remember they are not just football players. They are fathers, husbands, sons, and have feelings. Which means they are HUMAN, TOO.

Harry Sydney

Editor's note: Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. If you have a question for Harry, e-mail it to managing editor Todd Korth at

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