About couple of weeks ago orlandobruin took note MJD penning a column on SI.com, as he filled in for Peter King (who has been in South Africa for the World Cup). Not surprisingly MJD represented UCLA well with a well written and thought provoking piece for King's "Monday Morning Quarterback," which is probably the most widely read weekly column in the NFL.
While we are of course homers in taking pride in MJD, thought it was worth noting how he is being perceived by NFL observers, including Mike Florio of NFL's Pro Football Talk, who like King is one of the key opinion makers for the League. Florio was impressed with MJD's words (emphasis added):
"While others are sleeping or partying, the great ones are running hills, lifting weights and studying film," Jones-Drew writes. "They do this not because a coach has instructed them to do so. They do it because they simply desire to be the very best."
Jones-Drew explains that the "formula has always been and always will be the same: Talent + 'Want-To' = Greatness."
Another excellent observation comes from Jones-Drew's explanation that "the pursuit of greatness forces the athlete to put his ego aside and face the limitations of his athletic ability." Jones-Drew thinks that the struggle to improve only a little bit prompts some to "accept mediocrity, especially when average pay at the NFL level is pretty darn good."
Every current members of UCLA football program should take note of those. Heck every student athletes and students in Westwood should write them down. However, it's Florio's other takeaway from MJD's column that gets fun and interesting (but not surprising here on BN).
Florio while discussing MJD's column brings up an interesting comparison with a noted cheater/NFL bust from the school over there:
While reading the column, we kept thinking of the obvious comparison between the former UCLA tailback and his cross-town rival. You know, the guy who had the fame, the hype, and the glory. And, as it turns out, the money.
USC's Reggie Bush entered the league with not an expectation but a presumption that he'd be the next Gale Sayers. Though Bush hasn't been horrible, he also hasn't been special. In four seasons, Reggie has rushed for 1,940 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per attempt. Jones-Drew has more than doubled him up, with 3,924 yards and a 4.7-yard average.
Bush apologists can offer up a laundry list of excuses for that huge gap in performance. And, yes, Bush has a Super Bowl ring. But the fact remains that Jones-Drew has been a much better player, possibly because Bush has been willing to "accept mediocrity," given the very high amount of money he has earned.
I would also add the fact that Reggie Bush has not only been exposed as a mediocre bust in the NFL, he will probably never be welcome to the school over there. The Trogan family is currently eager to throw Mr. Kardashian under the bus to find convenient scape goats for their years of sleazy corruption. Meanwhile, MJD continues to enjoy the stature of a living legend in Bruin Nation.
The contrast in both on the field and off it couldn't be more dramatic in favor of those four letters. Of course none of this is news to us, but fun to see it being recognized by the world outside extended Bruin family.