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Will Dez's pad-carrying revolt lead to new era of anti-hazing?

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Posted July 26, 2010 @ 12:13 p.m.
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Dez Bryant might be the Curt Flood of NFL hazing rituals.

Bit strong? Yeah, maybe.

But it wouldn't shock me if, in light of Monday's story that Bryant refused to carry Roy Williams' pads that other headstrong rookies follow suit.

This ritual has gone on for a long time, at camps around America. And though Bryant is not the first to say no, we're in an age of instant communication where word spreads very quickly. It would not surprise me if Jason Pierre-Paul or Anthony Davis or Derrick Morgan (just plucking first-rounders' names from later-arriving NFL teams) says "no thanks" when a vet asks the rookie for bellboy service of his shoulder pads or bags or what have you.

I heard a great story of a current NFL superstar who, as a relatively unheralded rookie, declined the pad-carrying request from a journeyman player who had kicked around the NFL fringes for a few years. The journeyman got fairly upset and reported the injustice to the veterans. Guess what? They got mad but really didn't do much in terms of retribution.

I actually kind of admire Bryant here, although I don't see why paying your dues is such a big deal. That said, if others catch wind of this revolt (how could they not?), you coyuld see a tide change away from the silly hazing practices. Seriously.

Let's see if I am right a few years from now.

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