Straight from the mouth o' the AOL (Time Warner) Hype Machine ... comes the story of Matt Leinart's interview with Sean Payton at the 2006 NFL Combine. According to Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver, Leinart was "miffed" when
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton asked during an interview, "So what's the deal with your entourage?"
Continues AOL(TW)HM writer Michael David Smith:
Before making players multimillionaires, NFL teams want to know how devoted those players are to the game, and although Leinart's rookie season was promising, until he has multiple Pro Bowls to go with his multiple celebrity friends, people are going to ask whether fame is more important to him than football.
This little non-story intrigues me, for it was Payton's Saints who passed on Leinart for another celebrithlete, Reggie Bush, in the 2006 Draft. I suppose it would only be appropriate for one to make the same comment of Bush, who has appeared in just as many headlines of the Us Weekly ilk as Leinart. In fact, Bush and Leinart rightfully share this burden. And until Bush is more successful at hitting the a-gap than hitting Kim Kardashian's gap, this question will linger like a scorching case of the chirp. Indeed, should Reggie Bush (or Matt Leinart) never achieve his full potential--and make no mistake, he is a Hall of Fame caliber talent--his underachievement on the playing field will (fairly or not) be attributed to his playing of the field.