Former Heisman Trophy winners Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota have decided that they will stay home to enjoy draft day with their families rather than attending the 2015 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theater in Chicago.
It is an understandable decision by both young men.
For Winston, his decision to stay home has to do with an ill grandmother who cannot travel. For Mariota, enjoying the moment with his family in Hawaii is more important than a few seconds on camera and a forced interview. Mariota also said that “personally and culturally” it was important to stay home.
How can you knock either of those guys for wanting to share the biggest moment of their life with their family?
Well, the easy answer is that you can’t… unless you are Michael Irvin.
Irvin recently spoke about the decisions by Winston and Mariota to skip the draft and he is really unhappy.
“I understand you want to be with your family, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, but you’re a quarterback. Nobody profits more from this league than quarterbacks and I do have an issue with them not being there. This is a family. You’re coming into something that is much bigger than you. Don’t big-time it, and that’s what I feel is being done,” Irvin said.
Wow. He wasn’t done yet, either.
“I think Jameis would benefit especially from the opportunity to talk to guys like Cris [Carter] and I, but also just being there and seeing it. He won’t get what he’s getting to be part of,” Irvin added.
“You see [fans] wrapped around the building, sleeping there, to get there. You see what it means to them. I absolutely hate the fact that they’re not coming. Everyone will get on me, oh Michael, they can make this decision. Yeah, they can. But I can make the decision to hate the fact that they made it.”
It is hard to understand where Irvin is coming from here.
At this point, Winston and Mariota owe the NFL nothing. They got themselves to where they are and they deserve the opportunity to spend the biggest moment of their life with family.
After all, a long career in the NFL is never guaranteed. Your family is something that will always be there for you.
If Winston and Mariota want to celebrate the next step in their careers with those closest to them, they should be allowed to do so without anyone putting them on blast.
Take a deep breath, Michael Irvin. Everything is going to be okay.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports