Tough Jobs: a Reflection – (Prompted by a good article about NFL Quarterback Jason Campbell)

Mirror mirror on the wall,
what’s the toughest job of all?

Ok – there are some obvious answers. Being on the crew of Apollo 13. Serving as President in most any year. Serving as a Navy SEAL. Being Pete Rose’s laywer. The list is long…

Jason Campbell, from 2009
Jason Campbell, from 2009

But, I read this really revealing article about the (for the time being) former NFL quarterback Jason Campbell by Dan Steinberg: Jason Campbell still could be an NFL quarterback; why he’s okay without it. I think I learned that a journeyman NFL quarterback can be a pretty tough job…

From the article:

I had a few questions. What does instability do to a quarterback’s mind? What’s it like when every game is treated as a referendum on your job? How should a quarterback navigate Washington’s cauldron of pressure? His answers eventually veered toward the philosophical, but let’s start with the football question.

Campbell said. “Everybody has opinions about your job. It’s kind of weird — so many people have so much input on your job, and there’s nothing you can do about it but just try to stay positive and keep looking forward.”

Here’s what I thought, reading the article. Some people are lucky – they work for a company, an organization, that values its people, that gives them the help and the resources and encouragement they need to keep doing their job well, and they even help them keep getting better at what they do.

And others – maybe most others – not so lucky…

I thought of the way people tweeted and talked about the backup quarterbacks for the Cowboys this year. It has not been an easy season, for either backup. And the fans all seem to know they could do so much better…

I came away thinking that Jason Campbell was in a profession that cared only about his numbers this year, this month, this season, this game. I’m not sure they cared very much about him – just his numbers. (Read the article…). And the fact that he had injured ribs was beside the point.

(I think more and more people work under such pressure).

In other words, the football players themselves are at the mercy of so much beyond their control.

I guess we all are…


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