Webster’s Dictionary defines a project as “an extensive undertaking requiring concerted effort.” That’s why no one likes 8th grade science (the projects) and why it is so difficult to change that boyfriend you describe as a work-in-progress.
Let’s face it. You ladies enjoy undertaking a project to change your guy for the better (in your opinion). Maybe he drinks, watches too much sports, plays too much golf, hangs out with his friends, never reveals what he’s really thinking, etc. You know, all the behaviors that make males so very male.
The point is you see a guy you like and after getting to know him, you realize he is about 83% of the perfect man. The remaining 17% is all you. You will convince him that golf on Sundays is boring and that Pottery Barn is far more entertaining. You will convince him that The Bachelor is more engrossing than the Rose Bowl. And you will convince him that his friends are all drunken morons (probably true). His potential at 100% of the perfect guy helps you to live with the rough edges until he eventually succumbs and you win.
The same idea takes place every year in pro sports. This year, Michael Vick, John Smoltz and Allen Iverson are all projects teams are willing to shell out millions with the hope that they become great once again. In the meantime, they will have to live with the interceptions, homers, and turnovers that all resemble a toilet seat left up for the umpteenth time or a forgotten dinner engagement with your mother.
Vick, now more famous for his dog fighting, was once the most electric quarterback of all time. He was a lethal combination of arm strength and foot speed much like the dual threat that is the one and only Cher. But after spending more than a year in prison, Vick probably lost some of that physical ability. By signing him, the Eagles are taking a risk because he may never come close to his once dominant self, but if he does, Philadelphia just added a potent threat capable of taking any team to the playoffs.
Smoltz and Iverson are similar because their best days are behind them. Smoltz was just released from the Red Sox after getting beaten like Rihanna (too soon?). But now the Cardinals are gambling that the 42 year-old can regain his form in time for the playoffs. And he has by winning his first start for St. Louis.
Many consider Iverson the greatest little-guy of all time in the NBA. But the last few seasons have proven that his bad attitude and me-first persona outweigh his ability. So much so, Iverson cannot find a team to play for and the NBA season is only about two months away. The team that does sign him will be taking a major risk because Iverson makes the locker room about as harmonious as a Flava of Love house.
So take heart when your guy forgets your birthday or when his eyes wander to another woman. You can always dump him and you won’t owe him a blessed thing. But when the Raiders signed a project in the form of DeAngelo Hall last year to a seven year/$70 million deal with $24.5 million guaranteed, the team was on the hook for big money when (surprise, surprise) Hall played terribly, sulked, and was eventually cut from the team.
Sports (and dating) reveal there is a fine line between potential and pipe dream…