Oakland Raiders: Rookie Hazing Avoids Crossing Line

There is a necessary evil that is rearing its ugly head at NFL camps across the nation. The mere mention of it has bullies smiling and peons scrambling for a hiding place. I am referring to hazing and, for once, the Oakland Raiders are on the right side of a fine line. 

There is no way of knowing when hazing began in professional sports. I am sure there is some anecdote that includes Tris Speaker making a new outfielder carry his luggage to his room. If not, I just invented one. 

Regardless of its inception, hazing is a part of sports just like gruff coaches, two-a-day practices and heavily-caloric energy drinks. 

There is no getting around the big boys making sure the new kids know their place. The problem arises in the delivery. Some methods cross a very fine line and head straight into torture. The country has become sensitive to bullying in recent years, and that is a good thing. 

How can we tell an eight-year-old to treat those smaller than him with class, when we are privy to hazing amongst NFL teams? Well, the Raiders are taking the time-honored ritual in stride. 

The important thing is, the rookies are part of the joke. Larry Brown Sports released the first proof that hazing does indeed still exist in the league.

Up until this point, the pictures of rookies carrying pads or being taped to goalposts were vacant from our daily inbox. The relative calm on that front may have something to do with coaches' new-found hatred of all things hazing.

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, nails the temperature of the league perfectly. He has banned such haircuts in his camp, and the reason is simple.

"The whole thing really had gotten carried away in recent years," Del Rio said. "We wanted to rein it in a little bit while still letting the guys have some fun."

There is something necessary in hazing, a rite of passage tha...

About the Author