That would be my pitch if given the opportunity to speak to young athletes. I know I’m only 29-years old. And who am I to tell a blue-chip prospect what to do? Who am I to believe that kid would even care? I’m not going to tell you who I am because that doesn’t matter. What matters is this: whenever a young person makes a mistake large enough to jeopardize his entire good fortune it is sad. Period.
Aaron Hernandez is currently in a situation that has law enforcement putting the full-court press on him. Now, take his name out of the equation. Take out the All-American honors he earned at the University of Florida while playing for a BCS title team as their premier tight end. Take out the five-year, $40 million dollar extension he signed to catch passes from three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Lets also look past the trust given him by the best coach in the NFL (Bill Belichick) and the most respected of owners (Robert Kraft).
Now what do you have? You have a 23-year old man who is facing a whole lot of trouble if he is arraigned on the charges that are being mentioned in this story. Its sad to see anyone get in this kind of trouble, let alone someone we believe should be thankful for everything that has been placed in front of him. The point of this blog, The Locker, isn’t just to cast some sort of moralist slap on the wrist via the internet. Sometimes I look at stories and am fascinated by everything behind it.
Why would Aaron Hernandez feel the need to get into this mess? When Ray Lewis was in Atlanta all those years ago, facing equally as grim charges, why did it take the brink of losing everything before coming to the realization that he was a made man who didn’t need to run with a crowd that could cost him everything? Michael Vick had $100 million dollars from the Falcons and close to that amount with Nike, why was dog fighting more appealing to him? Rae Carruth, O.J. Simpson, Pete Rose, Plaxico Burress, and on and on and on. The names are countless, but the fall is never graceful.
That brings me back to Hernandez. Lets remember now all those things I asked you to try and forget. Lets remember that it isn’t so important to know that without Hernandez and Gronkowski the Patriots are in a legitimate pickle offensively. It isn’t even important how many games Hernandez could miss if he isn’t a guilty party in this whole mess.
The most important thing to note in this whole case is it is happening far too often. Talented, young individuals are finding themselves involved in the wrong situations for whatever reason and it needs to stop.
Lets make that the point of focus. Lets make that the narrative.