The Power Alley: When Dream Teams Go Bad

By Patrick Carr

What is a label? A label is defined as follows “An item used to identify something or someone, as a small piece of paper or cloth attached to an article to designate its origin, owner, contents, use, or destination.” Labeling is something that, fair or not, is part of our every day society. Every person is labeled in some way, whether its race, religion, social class; for better or worse, labeling is not going away. So what happens when labeling yourself goes wrong? What happens when you attempt to identify yourself with something before reaching the accomplishments to rightfully attain that tag?

Look no further than the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2010-2011 Miami Heat. “The Dream Team,” the teams of destiny, the teams with too much talent to fail, too much hype not to live up to it, but most importantly, too much individualism to truly make up a “Dream TEAM.”

Let’s start with the Heat. When I first turned on “The Decision” and watched Lebron James commit PR suicide right in front of our eyes, I knew it was destined for failure. I was further assured that the Heat were destined to fail when I saw the highlights of Lebron, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade parading around a smoke filled stage declaring themselves “The Dream Team” in front of a packed crowd in Miami. I mean, fans came out in bunches to watch that event. But you know who wasn’t there? The rest of the TEAM. Where were the 4th and 5th starters? Where were the bench players that are so vital to winning an NBA Championship? They were nowhere to be found. Lost amongst the shuffle and the labeling by the King James, DWade, and Bosh. Those three had already labeled themselves “The Dream Team” but forgot that they needed an actual “team” to win a championship, all the while a team sure was being built in Dallas wasn’t it? You had your stars with Nowitzki and Terry, but you also had your role players, and the difference between Miami’s stars and Dallas’ stars was the ability to realize that winning a Championship takes hard work, and a full team effort, and now Dallas’ humility will now forever be rewarded with the label of Champions for having done so.

Now onto our “Dream Team” flavor of the week, the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL’s version of the Miami Heat. Labeled “The Dream Team” by a back-up quarterback, Vince Young, who is more known by NFL standards as a head case, and failure to live up to expectation than the champion he was at the University of Texas. Accompanied by a starting quarterback who had been watching NFL games from a 26″ flat screen in a Leavenworth prison just a year before, a receiver in Desean Jackson too pissed off about his contract to perform, a cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha who has played in a man coverage system who was expected to suddenly adapt to a scheme he has never played in. Add to that a premier defensive back in Dominique Rogers-Cromartie who has been demoted to a nickel corner, and an offensive line that couldn’t protect Vick from a High School front four, and what do you have? A 3-6 underachieving, over paid machine of hype. Not a machine of production, but rather a team of overconfident propaganda and overall failure.

Chemistry is a vital part of every good relationship. Whether it’s a sports team, a personal relationship, a working relationship, it doesn’t matter. You have to have good chemistry to be successful in every aspect of a “team.” This is something that The Heat and Eagles forgot when they were labeling themselves “The Dream Team.” The truth is, we all have labels and the people who have been labeled as “one of the greats” all have one thing in common: someone else labeled them due to their accomplishments. Perhaps the Eagles and Heat should accomplish something first, and let everyone else worry about labeling them later.

Follow Patrick on Twitter @patrickcarr24

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