Donnie Edwards article from CFX

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Johnny Lightning

Go Bolts
Feb 7, 2006
Thunder & Lightning
By “foty89” James ParrotteMany Chargers fans, and indeed observers from around the country, wonder at the seemingly rapid transformation of Donnie Edwards from fan favorite to team cancer, at least in the opinion a vocal minority of fans.
One wonders how fans could so quickly turn on a hometown hero who has had such huge numbers for the team since triumphantly returning to play for the Chargers as a free agent in 2002. How could a player who has more tackles in his time with the Chargers than any other player on the team and more tackles than virtually any other player in the league during those years fall so fast?
It is simple to understand actually, it is the difference between thunder and lightning.
You see, the Chargers have both, and therein lays Donnie’s problem with public perception. Donnie is a great player, has been all his career and even though he lost a step last season, whether due to injury or age, he is still better than many of the starting linebackers in the NFL. So where does the problem lie for Donnie?
It lies with L.T.
L.T. is the complete package, a magnificent player and a great person all rolled into one. That is all too rare in the NFL these days. The norm is for players who are great on the field is to be somewhat less so as people away from the game. Examples are plentiful and exceptions rare.
And rarer still are players in the mold of L.T., a truly great player and person who leads by example and never complains about what may happen to him, but only supports the team.
In Donnie we see a player who has always worked hard to get where he is, a player who was told time and again he would never make it in the NFL. A player who came from very humble backgrounds, never forgetting where he came from and spending a great deal of his time to help those less fortunate in life. Sounds like a great story, and for some, the growing distain for Donnie is all the more confusing. But the one thing Donnie really lacks is the ability to be a true leader.
Yes, he has been a great player on the field and has been an asset to the community, but he lacks the understanding to be a true leader. He has expressed displeasure at not being selected to the Pro Bowl and has been less than secretive about his contract complaints. A true leader puts the best interest of the team ahead of himself, and even when certain things do not go his way, he works for and acts in the best interest of the team. And a true leader would never complain about his situation in the midst of his teammates. A true leader puts the team first.
But despite all this, on most teams Donnie would still be hailed by the fans and players alike as one their favorites. But not so on the Chargers, we have L.T. What has L.T. been doing while Donnie was expressing himself? Nothing really, except setting all sorts of team and league records. Did he publicly boast of his achievements? No, he simply said how it was the result of the team and a whole. Frequently, he has given credit to the offensive line, even though he has never had the line in front of him that he deserves. When he was snubbed and not sent to the Pro Bowl following the 2003 season in which he set an NFL record as the first player to ever run for over 1500 yards and have 100 receptions, he never complained and instead worked on ways to improve and help the team. After his early success in the league, did he ever seek to redo his contract for more money? Nope, but the team did and again L.T. was modest in his acceptance of the contract and once again supported the team.
Perhaps in this era of me first players, filled with examples of professional athletes who exhibit skills on the field only matched by their selfish and greedy behavior off the field, Donnie is not all that bad. But when you have the likes of L.T. on your team, the actions of Donnie are not accepted, but rather viewed in a harsh light.
You see, L.T. is the lightning, he does a tremendous amount of damage on the field, but his damage is specific and confined to opponents. But Donnie is the thunder, loud and roaring, spreading far and wide. He too causes damage on the field, but his constant reverberations travel far and wide and they shake not only the opposite team, but the entire area as well. L.T. is the brilliant light that dazzles us, while Donnie is the loud noise that makes us cover our ears.

Posted by Bo Navarro on June 28, 2006 09:11 PM


Jun 24, 2006
Very good take, and analogy. I don't think it is quite that simple, but certainly Donnie's whining in the harsh light of LT's classiness gets pretty tiresome.
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