Football is a game of attrition. Battling one's opponent from start to finish, may the stronger man eventually win.
The mental aspect of it can and will be utilized in life outside the chalk lines, and the most common denominator is discipline.
Ex-Steelers linebacker Larry Foote, now with the Arizona Cardinals, has been around the NFL since 2002, and has played on three different teams. One might consider him highly advanced in knowledge of the game. He's not above speaking out against the actions of his peers.
In this case, it's Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. The same Lynch who's been fined $125,000 for uniform violations and lack of cooperation with the media.
"You hear in the media, he always mentions his foundation and what he likes to do for the city of Oakland," Foote said on 93.7 The Fan. "I'm from the same type of urban environment that he's from and the biggest message that he's giving these kids, he might not want to admit it, is the hell with authority. ‘I don't care, fine me, I'm gonna grab my crotch, I'm gonna do it my way.' In the real world, it doesn't work that way. It just doesn't. How can you keep a job? I mean, you got these inner city kids, they don't listen to teachers, they don't listen to police officers, principals and these guys can't even keep a job because they say ‘F' authority."
It's a powerful message, and one not likely to be received well from Foote, considering his Cardinals battle the Seahawks in the NFC West, not to mention a fan base that's generally loyal to their team's star running back.
Plenty would suggest the NFL's rules restrict individuality, and whatever notoriety players can accumulate during their careers can help them after the game has passed them. Foote himself is a good example, doing radio spots with a station in the market of his former team at age 35. That is by no means old, and he's still got the rest of his life to live.
If Lynch is teaching kids, albeit not intentionally, to fight against trivial things like a boss mandating a certain kind of shoe be worn during work, it would seem a waste of time, unless they possess the value Lynch does on the team.
Unless, of course, the Seahawks need to gain a yard to win the Super Bowl. Then Lynch's value seems to slip a little.