Rookie Duty and Twitter Rants



For 9 months I have been a drifter, traveling from place to place and jumping from hotel to hotel. I can thankfully say those days are behind me for the moment. For the first time in a while I am settled in one place. Recently I moved into my new apartment in Pittsburgh, and have unpacked my 3 duffle bags that have served as my faithful traveling companions. The life of an NFL rookie is by no means a glamorous one as ESPN sometimes portrays. For most rookies life consists of constant travel and even more constant uncertainty. In many ways the only certain thing is the uncertainty. With that being said, it feels good to finally be settled. It feels good to rest.

5 weeks have passed since my surgery and I’m feeling great. My knee is getting stronger each day and I have started doing lower body lifts like leg press. It will be about 2 more months before I can start running. I’m finally beginning to get back in a structured routine and it’s a welcomed change from my previous chaotic schedule. I’m learning a ton from the older guys and feel like I’m grasping the offense better each week that goes by.

However, I am not a huge fan of rookie duties. I guess it’s not too bad considering all the other guys went through the same thing at some point. Also when I take into consideration the stories I have heard about other rookies ‘rookie expenses’ it really makes me breathe a breath of relief.  My ‘rookie duties’ really aren’t that bad at all. They consist of buying Popeye’s Chicken for all the other running backs the Saturday before every away game, and the breakfast of their choosing the Saturday before every home game. My most recent rookie task was to provide the running back room with snacks. Today I was given a list of different items and was told to stock up.  The first thing on the list was “High powered Nerf guns (the automatic kind).” I can’t say I didn’t live out my childhood fantasy today at Target as I threw every delicious snack, variety of candy, and awesome high-powered Nerf gun in my basket.

As I walked through Target with my basket filled to the top with candy and Nerf guns, children gazed at me with awe as jealousy filled their little eyes and their parents stared in confusion. I strolled through Target with my basket full of ‘awesomeness’. A childhood fantasy had been fulfilled; it was like a dream come true. Once I saw the subtotal I woke up pretty quick though. I could hardly believe the amount that I had spent on candy and Nerf guns! I wanted to ask the cashier “Can I pay you in stride layers?”

I mean I guess candy and Nerf guns is a silly way to spend money, and I’m sure some of you are like “Oh Baron doesn’t know how to spend his money wisely”, Just like this financial twitter guru suggested to me after I tweeted about my Nerf gun/candy spree.

Well I guess Mr. Financial Twitter Guru could be right. Or maybe he’s not. Maybe there are worse things I could be spending my money on. Maybe I should name a few that are a tad worse than candy and high-powered Nerf guns. Hmmm….let me think. Ah! I got it.

1.) Bling- for those of you that don’t know what ‘bling’ is let me explain. Bling is expensive jewelry that doesn’t really serve a purpose besides for shouting to other people “Hey look at me! I have money! Come rob me!”. Bling can come in the form of earrings, watches, chains, bracelets, and other bedazzled accessories. I do not own any bling and don’t plan on it. Unless I could get a bedazzled Canon 50mm 1.2 L lens (for my non photographer friends this would be equivalent to 50 Cents chain. To my photographer friends that don’t know who 50 Cent is. His chain is equivalent to a bedazzled Canon 50mm 1.2 L lens)

2.) Child support- I don’t think I need to go into detail about this one. I don’t have and nappy headed, ashy kneed, mini Barons running around. The only reason I bring up the ashy kneed and nappy-headed part is because that’s exactly what my future kids will be like.

3.) An Entourage- I don’t have an entourage, nor will I ever. I don’t need an entourage. I roll one deep and stay strapped with my canon (camera) and MacBook pro. I’m so hood that when Safari unexpectedly closes I don’t even report it to Apple. Snitches get stitches.

Ok I could keep going but I really don’t think I need to. I guess this was just a rant in response to Mr. Financial Twitter Guru. I sincerely hope you read this. I rarely rant in blog posts but every now and then it just comes out, and they always serve as a bit of comic relief to the seriousness on my blog.

Mr. Financial Twitter Guru I hope that this post has enlightened you and helped you realize that all professional athletes don’t squander their money. I was actually one of the few collegiate athletes that managed to save and put money away while in college and didn’t complain about not getting paid.

However, I do understand your concern. I mean Nerf guns can get expensive and in all reality might even tempt me into to getting the real thing. On the streets they call Nerf guns ‘gateway weapons’ wait that’s not true at all.

My rant is over now.

Whew deep breaths!

Rant aside I just want to tell all of you how much I enjoy your support and encouraging emails, but above all your prayers! Please keep em coming. I appreciate all of you. God bless!


  1. I am praying for you! Keep the Faith. It makes reading your blog a blessing in the life of others. I know you do not know me and that is ok. I just wanted to tell you that you are such an awesome influence in the lives of many. I pray God raises you up to show more people him and not YOU. I hope that does not offend take care and keep enjoying your candy and nerf guns my hubby would love that, I think every man needs a chance to play it makes them a better man. To bad we can not afford the shopping spree but maybe someday!

  2. Just come on over to the (Nikon) dark side, and your temptations to get a 50mm f/1.2 will disappear (as an autofocus f/1.2 doesn't exist) :)

    Anyhow, good point on bling, as there is quite a bit of research to back up that you get more bang for your buck spending your funds on experiences vs. luxury possessions…



    Good luck on the recovery. Hope to get some snaps of you at Heinz Field next year (sporting my 55-200mm AF as they won't let me in the stadium with anything bigger than that…).

  3. "Snitches get stitches"…LITERALLY made me laugh out loud. I get that feeling too when the window pops up I think "ok…I'll let it slide…this time"

  4. It's kinda nice to know that you guys still make sure to have FUN! And great to know that eventhough you aren't able to play right now, you're still very much a part of The Team.

  5. Baron,……
    Eat that candy and you'll be as big as Casey Hampton, and a much larger target for the nerf projectiles too. LOL Glad your healing well & quick. Prayin' for you dailey. If ya ever get to Tucson,….. there's a steak dinner waitin' for ya!
    God Bless!

  6. Truly if buying gifts and candy for your friends is not a good way to spend your money I don't know what is. I can just imagine the smiles on the guys faces when you showed up with your bags of goodies. Mr. Financial Twitter Guru guy does not sound like an expert to me. He gets the hand in my opinion. You my friend and your good heart just keep on truckin!!
    Robinanne in Midland still!

  7. If Mr. Financial Twitter Guru knew what he was talking about he would have told you to keep your receipts and ask your accountant if they could be considered Miscellaneous Expenses, and thus tax-deductible on Schedule A as long as you exceed the 2% floor in toto.

    Just sayin'.

  8. You are awesome and such an inspiration to me! Some of your posts have helped me in some of the darkest times of my life. God has a wonderful plan for you. Thank you for being who you are!

    Jennifer Lloyd
    Midland, TX

  9. Baron — Your blog is always fresh and honest; couldn't ask for more. No matter how your NFL endeavor unfolds, you have demonstrated to the world that you are a human being, in every sense of the word. Good luck!

  10. Wow, childhood fantasy indeed. I can't remember the last time I played with a Nerf gun but now I want to.
    So curious, what happens to the rookie if he doesn't perform his rookie duties?

  11. bahahah – "can i pay you in stride layers?" :)

    love your blog, and sending up prayers for you! as a fellow ACL-replacement buddy, i know the pain and rehabbing deal! can't wait for you to get back out there!

  12. LOL at the financial advice. Twitter guy obviously doesn't know about the work you do with 2HI and the money that's donated from that.

    Although, I do have to point out that if you eat all that candy yourself, you just might wind up with bling after all – in the form of silver fillings!

    And let's not pretend that even though I'm an adult, I too would have been gazing in wonder at all that awesomeness!!!

  13. In this day and age of music glorifying money, sex, drugs and violence; in this day and age of athletes "makin' it rain'"; in this day and age of the Cromartie kids and thei mothers (17 strong between them), which could be a football team unto itself; in this day and age of rookies getting big heads that outgrow their wallets; it is refreshing beyond belief to read your words. I know I've heaped praise on you before, but it's all true. You are a good guy, handling well a situation that has ruined so many.

    I'm glad to see you are still as grounded as the day you were drafted, and I am sure you will stay that way because of your faith and your good sense. But I am glad you are putting it out there for the world to see; maybe it will help some kid down the road to avoid the dangerous path of "stardom."

  14. You should've kept going…you were on a roll…even though you're only one deep.
    "snitches get stitches" So funny….at least to nonghetto ppl like myself.

  15. This is great! I laughed out loud of the picture of you with your wide smiling face buying all these toys as little kids´ jaws dropped and eyes followed you through the store! HA! Many blessings upon you as you walk the straight and narrow pleasing Jesus first :D

    Psalm 62:5

  16. Bedazzled 50mm 1.2 huh, now that's an idea, LOL.
    Do you have an 85mm? I can't decide if I want that or a 35mm next. There is just something about prime that sucks me in every time.
    Great post. Seriously. You would have totally been my 3 year-olds hero with that shopping cart.
    Keep up the healing, we hope to keep you here in the burgh for a long time!

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