Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Jared Allen Owes Carl Peterson His Life.
As we wait for this miserable season to end, one bright spot can be trained right on one Jared Allen. Mr. Allen, a fourth round pick from Idaho State (and another mark for my "Stay the Hell Away from the Top 10" arguement; him and Jarred Page...heck, maybe we should just keep drafting guys name Jar(r)ed, but I digress) is sure to earn his way into the Pro Bowl this year as one of the leagues most dominating defensive ends. His never-ending motor coupled w/ athleticism, enthiusiasm, and a sense of leadership has made him both a fan and league favorite. Everyone new he was special after he tied Derrick Thomas for most sacks in the league, but things could have turned out quite different.
Though Jarred has been an exceptional talent, a place among the elite seemed to just elude him. He wasn't a big man, but his love for Schlits tallboys was making him bigger. He loved being a clown, and seemed to draw a lot of attention from it, but he appeared to have hit a wall with his production, and was beginning to look like just a plain clown. Then last year the man scored two DUI arrests in one year, not an easy feat; one you really have to work at.
I got a DUI once and had to attend some AA meetings. My sponsor told me that he drove drunk over 5,000 times and was finally caught. So when you are arrested multiple times for DUI's, you can imagine how many times you get away w/ it.
This was the wake up call for Allen, but he didn't want to go that route. Instead, he demanded a contract extension. King Carl, being the shrewd used car salesman he is, would have non of it, but offered him a payraise to $2.5 mil; not a bad jump from his original $350K salary (man, I'd love to get paid $350K). Allen didn't like Carl's response. He wanted to get paid the big boy dollars w/out acting like a big boy. Instead he kicked and screamed and yelled and cried and threatened to move and insulted the organization in the press and did everything an amatuer athlete would do, but Carl wouldn't budge.
King Carl's like me. I've worked in Title I middle schools that make East LA look like America, I've seen it all. Likewise, Carl wasn't going to let anything like this sway him. He stood his ground. After Jared wore himself out w/ his tantrum and took a nap, he awoke w/ a fresh sense of purpose.
Amidst a period when getting suspended was all the rage in the NFL, Allen bucked the trend. He quit drinking, spent more time at the club, cleaned himself up, lost weight, threw Boomer Grigsby out of his house (he's now staying on LJ's couch)and ran for office.....well, not yet, but you can see the direction he's taking as he embraces the role as a leader. No longer would he use his funny antics for evil purposes, just for the good of the (Chiefs) nation; see: racing-striped mullet and roping cattle....I don't blame him for holding on to his Boss Hog Caddy.
The League recognized his efforts and awarded him back two of his suspended games. For all of you "Let's Lose them Allers", you can see what a mistake this was. His new physique made him unblockable. He will only get better and has now demanded the repect of other teams. With Colts' Dwight Freeney now out of the way, Jared Allen has positioned himself as the top defensive lineman in the league. Things could have been quite different......just ask Jaron Rush.