For all the benefits one gets from playing in the NFL, an NFL player can get a pretty raw deal in one aspect - their reputations. The biggest of stars get a pass and are remembered very fondly. You think Brett Favre will ever be remembered for sending a picture of his penis to a Jets masseuse? Probably not. On the flip side, the worst of players can't shake their bad reputations and their embarrassing moments. Think Freddie Mitchell will be known as anything other than Alligator Arms? Probably only when people want to mock his FredEx nickname.
Cortland Finnegan is neither legendary nor bust. While he's known as a solid player, he's also been called a thug for just what people see on the football field. People thought Miami was just bringing in another bad apple when they signed Finnegan. This is despite the fact that Finnegan has never had legal issues, was a known solid leader and locker room presence, and by any indication off the field is an all around good guy. So why does he gets the bad reputation as a thug? Well, because people know how fierce he is and will always point to him getting Andre Johnson pissed off to the point to start swinging. Of course that isn't the only incident. WRs hate him because of how physical he is on the field. A number of WRs have been penalized for personal fouls against Finnegan because he gets under their skin. So there we have it, Cortland Finnegan is a thug - at least he might be on the field. In the locker room and off the field, he's anything but. We draw conclusions on NFL players, even their character and personality, based on the fact that we see less than 1% of their present day life. Here are a few of the things people have had to say about Finnegan over the years:
Finnegan represents what is wrong with the NFL players of today. He has no class and no respect for the game. He is also quite dumb.
Finnegan's a douche.
Cortland Finnegan is Becoming an Embarrassment for the Tennessee Titans.
Lets take a glimpse of Miami's newest "thug" Cortland Finnegan.
Check here to learn more about Finnegan.
Finnegan certainly is a brawling, physical player on the field, but lets shed this stuff that he's another bad character Miami brought into their locker room. People would much rather remember Finnegan as a thug for his physicality on the field than a good guy for his numerous Community Man of the Year awards he's won off the field. The thing is though that people should not be judged as a person for what they do on the field, but off of it. These players, like most professional players, are ultra competitive on the football field. That is why Torii Hunter was the one that came out and apologized when it was Major League Baseball considering taking action against an umpire that put his hands on Hunter's face to try and redirect his anger after Hunter was hit by a pitch. Hunter is known as one of MLB's biggest good guys and even his moments of competitiveness, caused a bench-clearing incident. What one does on the field does not determine what he is off the field. Criticize Finnegan's ultra competitiveness and his physicality on the field if you'd like, but I think Miami needs that. Just don't characterize Finnegan as a thug, a bad apple, or a bad teammate though for what he does in the game.