Respect. It's the "in" thing. If you don't respect, then, well, they won't respect you... I guess. Respect includes not hurting the feelings of a steroid induced cheater with the a dance that even Chad Johnson would say, "boooo, no." Respect includes trash talk... as long as it's friendly. Respect includes not stomping on the mid-field team logo, hugging your opponent and welcoming hugs from others. A handshake? Required. Because if not, you'll disrespect the opposing coach.
The days of earning respect are over. It's given to you, no questions asked. You have to do nothing -- as long as you shake hands like a politician and hug like the Dave Matthews Band video Everyday. If you're a career backup that longs to play football, you have respect simply because you haven't lost it yet. Respect is the only reason for teams to fight. Respect, in the NFL, is another word for fodder.
LaDainian Tomlinson leveled charges against the Patriots for having no class. "When you go to the middle of our field and start doing the dance Shawne Merriman is known for, that is disrespectful." If impersonating a player you just beaten is a mark of disrespect, then we're in trouble.
Merriman provided some insight to what characterizes a three-time Super Bowl Champion. "It's like a guy on a fast break in basketball and dunking the ball and getting excited. You've won three Super Bowls. You don't do that." Right. Perhaps that's why you're sitting at home with your lights out shirt eating popcorn. Then again, the lights will be on watching the Patriots play the Colts in the AFC Championship.