A profile of Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin at Grantland is summed up this way: “How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.”
That’s a lot of burden to put on two shoulders, no, even if they’re strong linebacker shoulders?
Grantland writer Robert Mays catches up with Barwin at an Animal Collective show at Union Transfer:
This is life for Barwin — 12 hours earlier, he was arriving at Lincoln Financial Field to play the Giants, and now he’s casually taking in some Sunday-night experimental psychedelia. The 15-7 loss earlier that afternoon dropped the Eagles to 3-5, but for the third straight week, a once-struggling defense had played well.1 Barwin has found a new home in his first season with Philadelphia, where he signed as part of the Eagles’ transition to a 3-4 defense after four years as a pass-rushing outside linebacker for the Texans.
In a league where single-minded football obsession and the purposeful snuffing out of personality seems to be encouraged among players, Barwin has established himself as a unique character. From his promotion of green living and energy conservation to his public endorsement of marriage equality, he’s an individual in a profession where individualism is often demonized.
(Shrugs.) One gets the feeling this started out as a piece about the “un-Riley Cooper.” It’s fun to find out that Barwin’s consciousness extends farther than his playbook, but don’t we get to expect a little more than that from our athletes?