The NFL Interview

plaxico-burress-mugshotWhen NFL GM’s interview their prospects, it’s their last chance to hedge their bets on the gamble that is the draft. Much has been made of Jeff Ireland’s controversial questioning of NFL prospect Dez Bryant. Surely, Ireland didn’t expect this sort of backlash. It will be a sad day if this doesn’t blow over and I’m picking odds on whether Ireland will be looking for a new job. Read more.

Ireland allegedly asked Dez Byrant if his mother was a prostitute and that’s how the shit storm began. Now first and foremost, talking about any dude’s mother is generally out of bounds. But is Jeff Ireland really an “A list Asshole” as Mike Silver so eloquently puts it?
He doesn’t have a history of questionable conduct that I am aware of and he did immediately try to rectify the situation with an apology to Byrant. I have to say, it’s a little harsh the backlash he received. Don’t get me wrong, the question in many circumstances was inappropriate. But here’s my question, when is a question like that one appropriate?

NFL GM’s have to ask the hard questions when dealing with potential draft picks. We’re talking about a multi million dollar investment, it’s not like there’s an HR department calling all the references on an NFL stud’s resume. The interview process NFL teams go through with these prospects is their opportunity to gain some insight into the character of these prospects and understand their backgrounds. If you were on the verge of making a multi million dollar investment that may get your ass fired if it turns out poorly, you might be making some questionable inquires as well.

Maybe as a GM you draw a line in asking questions about a dude’s momma, but what is the line of inappropriateness? For instance, when the Titans drafted Pacman, they should have asked him what he likes to do in his spare time with his money. He would have said, “Make it rain on strippers and shoot my guns off” and that could have saved them a wasted pick.

When the Steelers interviewed Ben Roethlisberger, they should have asked him, “ Hey Ben, do you like to force yourself on college chicks in the offseason?” He might have said “Only after I win a Superbowl or two.” At least they would have known what they were getting themselves into.

The point is the NFL interview process is not an exact science, it’s not like interviewing for a job at Home Depot. GM’s have to ask the right questions to gauge these young to be millionaires character. Everyone knows power and money can change a person, it’s just seems like good prudence to make sure your investment won’t end up on the front page with his pants around his ankles, wielding a gun and a fistful of dollars, with a dead hooker in the trunk of his Caddy.