Sydney Speaks! Playing for pride, and to win

Because of the situation the Packers are in, unfortunately, many fans are talking about winning or losing games to get a better draft position. In my mind, this disrespects the players who are doing everything to try and win. And those people ought to be ashamed of themselves! Here's why:

After the win over the Detroit Lions many people had nothing to say except, ‘WHY?' Why hurt Green Bay's opportunity to get into the Reggie Bush sweepstakes? The answer is simple and that's because they are competitors. Even though some of these players are marginal at best they are still better athletes than most people will ever be. All their lives they have been about trying to be the best. It's been about never quitting and never giving up. It's about beating the odds. It's about doing the things that average men only dream about doing and being successful.

Some fans laugh and joke and become enraged about the mistakes that are made by the players. For example, how many wanted to jump through the TV when Will Whitticker false-started late in the game against Detroit. Some even called him a ‘bum.' But ask yourselves how many of you would trade places with his life in one second? Then ask yourself if you could you handle it. Could you handle someone having something to say and criticizing your every move, and not just one person but everyone watching at the game, or on TV? Millions of people having something to say about your desire? The professional athlete's job is different because he can't hide the mistakes he makes that somehow affect everyone's life. Don't get me wrong, and don't feel sorry for them because it's their chosen profession. There are a lot of benefits and the money they make is more than most people see in a lifetime. However, the true competitor doesn't think of the money while he is getting knocked around on the field. While on the field he wants to win. His life is about winning. He never wants to give in or give up or quit. So when I hear people say that ‘they should just quit,' I wonder whatever happened to INTEGRITY, HONOR and RESPECT for the players and the game?

The game of football that some have played, like myself and others, and have loved has withstood the test of time. No, it's not a perfect game but how could it be? It's played by humans and none of them, or us for that matter, are perfect. Trust me, I have dogged Brett Favre, Mike Sherman and others when they have made bad decisions, but I have never doubted their willingness and desire to win. I know that every time they walk onto the field they walk on with the intentions of doing everything in their power to win the game. That might not happen but let's RESPECT their efforts. Let's HONOR the fact that all year they have never laid down like some of you have suggested they do now. None of them, I believe, have ever stepped onto the field saying, ‘Well if we lose we will be in better position in the draft.' Every athlete knows every play just might be his last, and he must think this way to survive. Ask yourself: Do you think a player like Scott Wells isn't going to try and play his best every play? Do you think someone like Samkon Gado can afford to rest on what he has done so far? Think his future is a lock? Everyone must understand that an athlete, unless he is an elite one, is one play from being replaced. Real competitors don't like losing at anything. It's not something they can accept it because it eats them up inside. Trust me, they learn how to say all the right things in front of the media because they are taught how to look good in the public eye.

What I'm trying to get you to understand is that you must RESPECT the effort. These guys are playing for PRIDE. They are going nowhere and know it, but that hasn't stopped them from trying to win and put on the best show they can. Even though their best just hasn't been good enough, they are doing their best to respect the game, and so should we. The Packers will be in better position this year than they were in last year both draft-wise, as well as having more salary cap money to work with, so don't be GREEDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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, and he will forward it to him.

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