Doug Baldwin is at the same time extremely complicated and narrowly single-minded in his focus.
Admittedly, Baldwin never feels like he’s good enough, but he doesn’t think therapy would help.
“I feel like they’re just going to tell me stuff that I already know,” he says, laughing. “I know I’m (messed) up.”
Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times went in depth with the Seattle Seahawks’ chip-on-the-shoulder receiver and uncovered some key reasons why Baldwin comes across as so abrasive (the entire article is fascinating and we encourage readers to take the time to read the whole thing).
Among the issues tackled was the perception that he is willing to cut out personal relationships to achieve his quest for greatness on the gridiron.
It’s not a perception.
“I have to sacrifice personal relationships,” he says.
“I’m not the fastest, the strongest, the most athletic, the tallest,” he says. “But in order for me to be good at what I do, I have to focus on my craft so much that it alleviates those other things. I can’t have personal relationships like other people do. I can’t spend time on that.”
Baldwin always felt like an outsider during his time at Gulf Breeze High School, and at college his resolve to keep people at arm’s length only intensified.
Even now, with a Super Bowl ring and a key role on an annual Super Bowl contender, he still has a hard time letting people into his heart.
“It’s like I go through life and all these relationship that I have, they’re more like acquaintances than they are true relationships,” he says. “It’s not fulfilling. I don’t know. It’s a very cold feeling at times, but it’s what I’m comfortable with.”
He worries that he won’t know what to do with himself when football is no longer a part of his life.
It’s a legitimate concern.
One cannot help but feel for him as he searches for some balance that doesn’t seem possible to achieve. Perhaps someday soon, the therapy he now pushes out of his mind will come calling again to help him find some purpose in life outside of football.