After one of yesterday's practices, a reporter asked Peyton Manning about the rookies on the Colts team. In his answer, without even being prompted for it, Peyton made a point to discuss all this silly NFL "rookie hazing" stuff [emphasis mine]:
One thing around here, I know you’ve seen all highlights on the rookie hazing and the haircuts and all of that, we just don’t do that around here. We don’t really treat those guys like rookies. We expect those guys to play for us this year and to play well. I think we are probably not very patient. We don’t cut them a whole lot of slack. If they are on the team, we expect them to know the offense and be in there. That’s why we treat them all like veterans.
Personally, I have always had a dislike for this dumb rookie initiation-hazing garbage, like the Tim Tebow "Friar Tuck" hairdo or the Jaguars making their rookies shave their heads into the shape of a penis. Keep it classy, Jags.
This is the NFL, not a frat house. Rookies are paid millions of dollars not to get silly haircuts and be treated like second-class players. Manning's line about treating the rookies "like veterans" is likely the reason why the Colts have such tremendous success with rookies playing their first season for the Colts.
I mean, it only makes logical sense that a rookie will perform well when all he has to worry about is his performance on the field, not some stupid haircut his veteran teammates are forcing him to get.
Mike Florio Michael David Smith summed it up best:
Although I'll admit the [Tim Tebow] haircut is funny, I have to side with Manning on this one. NFL rookies ought to be treated like the professionals they are, not like freshmen at a frat house.
Again, this is just how I feel about rookies, camp, and all this: They're there to work, not f*#k around. This is true for the veterans as well. If you are taking time out of your time to haze a rookie, that's time taken away from making yourself a better football player. AKA, it's wasted time.
Rookies are just as valuable to the club as veteran players are. They should show respect to their elders (example: Carrying a vet's shoulder pads), but be treated as equals.