June 28, 2012
MY TWO CENTS
Red Bulls’ Analyst considers the issues of entitlement among DPs
By Chris Brandon Whitaker
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
For this month’s session, the Red Bulls’ Analyst will process the issue of entitlement regarding the team’s highly paid Designated Players.
The Red Bulls have the twoof the highest paid players in Major League Soccer with Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, but people question whether the team is getting its money’s worth out of their stars. Fifteen games into the season, Henry and Marquez have played a mere nine and five of those games, respectively. The question arises: who do these prima donnas think they are?
Acquired in 2010 amidst much media hoopla, Henry was signed to a 4 1/2-year contract for $5.6 million per year, and Marquez cashed in for 3 1/2 years at $4.6 million per season. Pundits declared these signings as the start of a new era in MLS and Red Bull soccer. Unfortunately for 2012, the new era has not been one of superstar action, but rather one of prima donnas missing in action.
Mental Health Issue: Entitlement
Entitlement is defined as an exaggerated sense of self commonly seen in narcissistic people who expect to receive: more than others, favorable treatment, and compliance with their wishes. While this mindset is not uncommon among superstars, it wears thin on the public when sports divas do not show up to earn equally exaggerated salaries.
-- Shunning the press after performances that demand explanations.
-- Buying multi-million dollar luxury lofts in Manhattan, while most of their teammates share rentals in the New Jersey suburbs.
-- Making critical statements about the team’s effort while not traveling for away games due to phantom injuries.
-- Earning (and not earning) yellow and red cards for unsportsmanlike and disrespectful conduct toward opposing players.
Therapeutic Intervention: Message Blocking
One way to combat narcissistic tendencies is to stop using maladaptive messages that block contact with reality and connection with others. Here are some verbal slips for Henry and Marquez to look out for:
"Well, enough about me.”
“I don’t care what people think …”
“I have a right to …”
Any self-evaluation involving: “Superior,” “higher skills,” “playing at a maximum level,” etc.
Treatment: Just Suit Up and Show Up
As Thomas Edison said: Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Rather than point to pedigree and lauded achievements in the past, Henry and Marquez need to prove their worth on the pitch in 2012. A good way to stake their claims would be to actually play some soccer.
No matter what statistics Henry has racked up so far, he has missed more than a third of the games, which makes him look more like a luxury option than a staple of the team. As for Marquez, he’ll have to play every game with skill and passion for the rest of the season in order to dodge the award for Biggest DP Bust in MSL History.
(For a city with more psychotherapists than bartenders and a team with more issues than a magazine stand, the Red Bulls’ Analyst offers therapeutic counsel rather than a cure.)
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