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Jason Campbell is a role model for people and facial hair everywhere

The long offseason, with its lack of newsworthy events, is rife with character pieces or player storylines, though they've typically covered lesser known players. Dave Fairbank surprised me with an entertaining read on starting quarterback Jason Campbell in today's Daily Press. It's a worthwhile read in full, though impressed me because it has so many character-quality related quotes from Jason Campbell. For instance, there is little question that Pacman Jones does not have his image in mind when he launches dollar bills at a stripper. What is going on in that man's mind prior to making it rain is not the effects of his actions. Jason Campbell, on the other hand:

"You have to understand when you leave that practice facility and leave that field, you're a target. People are watching to see if you're going to make mistakes.

"You also have little kids watching. That's the main thing. Your little cousin could be watching and seeing exactly what you're doing. So when you're around him, you want to make sure you're saying the right things and doing the right things in front of him."

I do not want to overplay this angle, as the truth is that professional athletes are not necessarily role models, nor do I want them raising my kids. Though I have none, I plan on taking it upon myself to teach them about the world rather than letting people who are famous for being athletic do that. So do not treat this post as a demand that all professional athletes behave concurrant with socially accepted role-model-like behavior. I'm not saying that Pacman Jones cannot enjoy a strip club (up until that moment he starts punching and threatening people with guns). I'm not saying CP or Santana Moss cannot go out to a club and get intoxicated. I am not saying that athletes should be held to some ludicrously altered standard than the rest of us self-destructive morons. Just because I cannot run as fast or lift as many weights as these guys doesn't mean I'm incapable of acting every bit as foolish; and that's my right (again, up until something criminal is done).

But all things equal, people who don't punch women or bite security guards are far more entertaining to watch, read about, and listen to than those that do. And as far as I can tell, Jason Campbell doesn't plan on punching or biting anyone. He also disagrees with me about the role of the 21st century athlete:

"Whether a lot of guys like it or not, you are a role model at this level," Campbell said. "And rightfully so, you should be, because you're in a position that could help change kids' lives and help change their families' lives."
And I have no qualms with that. In acknowledging that he reaches a lot more people, young people, due to his high visibility, than Skin Patrol, he clearly understands that the public life carries with it attendant behavioral limits. It also provides an opportunity to do good for those in need, which JC also appears to recognize. For instance, when Mike Vick cancelled on a football camp, Jason stepped in to sub.

Anyways, sorry if I bored you with this fluff stuff, though I'm an admitted sucker for character in the NFL. If nothing else, we know that our quarterback sounds like a decent person. And his mustache is well groomed.