Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Concrete Charlie Will Not Be Happy, Neither Will Your Grandpa

Chuck Bednarik is an NFL legend who played for the Philadelphia Eagles throughout the 1950's- before professional sports was synonymous with riches. In order to avoid penury, Bednarik sold concrete in off-season. That job coupled with his devastating tackles (Bednarik is the guy who nearly killed Frank Gifford with a hit) earned him the nickname Concrete Charlie.

If you've heard anything from Bednarik over the past 20 years, it's probably him bitching about how spoiled today's athletes are. He proudly talks about how blue collar the sport used to be and how everyone played iron man style back in his day (Bednarik played line and linebacker). He bitches constantly about the corporate nature of today's game and how every player is just a specialist who couldn't last a week in a real working class football lifestyle that existed back in the day. To sum up, Bednarik is a grumpy old man.

I guess you can add some more ammo to Concrete Charlie's argument now after Michael Vick left his job as a construction worker to play with kids at the Boys and Girls club.

There nothing wrong with working at the Boys and Girls Club, it's a noble endeavour that helps keep kids off the streets and hopefully out of trouble. But it ain't
construction. I worked in construction for one summer in college and I also volunteered at an after school program during one semester. It wasn't even close. Construction was hot, brutal, infuriating work (how the hell does this peg not fit there?! I measured it twice!) Working with kids can get tiring, but it's very rewarding and you really do have fun all day.

I'm sure the story will be spun that Vick wanted to give back to his community since he used to attend the Boys and Girls Clubs, but I'm guessing that he just didn't like construction. Now he works with kids on health and fitness. I'm pretty sure it's not easy to get a job doing that. Volunteers are always welcome, but getting paid is totally different. Vick is a celebrity though, so I guess that's his "in" to his new job.

Somewhere out there grandfathers who preach old school work ethic are snorting with disgust. I know Concrete Charlie will.

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