Rob Parker (yes, that Rob Parker) wrote about the woes of poor NFL wide receiver Titus Young today. It’s clear he wants us to reserve judgment, calling the situation “sad.” It seems Mr. Young finds himself without a team after being cut by the Rams a mere nine days after they picked him up from the Lions. He calls Young a guy that “by all accounts actually loves the game.”
Did he seem like a guy that loved the game when he sucker-punched a fellow player? Lining up in the wrong place during a game to protest playing time certainly shouts, “I love my job!” (Against the Packers, no less)!!! Bragging that you’re better than Calvin Johnson, arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, is a clear sign you’d like to put the “I” in team.
Given my love for the Detroit Lions, it’s no surprise I’m not a fan of Titus Young. Or Rob Parker. Something Parker mentioned in his op-ed struck me, though; mostly because I agreed with it.
“Just because you have a great career, money and fame doesn’t mean you can escape problems in life.”
That very thought was on my mind last night as I read about the suicide of country singer Mindy McCready. In fact, I posted almost the exact same thought twelve hours earlier: “All the fame, money, and talent in the world does [sic] not make you immune from addiction and bad decisions.”
There’s a difference in these two stories, however. McCready was drowning in a sea of addiction. Addiction is painful. Clearly it’s hard to overcome. Sometimes, it’s impossible. I cannot begin to know what made her chose the path she did, but I suspect chasing fame and success had a great deal to do with it.
While it’s certainly obvious Young craves the spotlight, his “it’s all about me” attitude is proving to be the ultimate downfall. I just can’t muster up any sympathy for that. A delusion of grandeur is not exactly drug addiction. Though, the end result could be the same.
Given Rob Parker’s column, it’s not surprising to see why Young continues to have such delusions. Has anyone ever called this punk out? When he was at Boise State he was benched for the majority of the 2008 season. He wasn’t kicked off the team. And, he still managed to be drafted in the 2nd round in 2011. His antics went unpunished. His reward was a trip to the big boys’ table. (No Lions jokes, please). For this I’m supposed to have “compassion” for Young?
Parker, perhaps you should take a page from the book of the “talking heads” you accuse of “berating” Titus Young. It’s time this man is finally called out for his boorish behavior. Why continue to excuse him? You’re right. We’ve all got problems. Money issues, family issues, and work issues are something everyone can relate to. Most of us don’t get to punch our fellow co-workers, though. Not unless we want to end up in the back of a police car.
Let Titus Young commit career suicide. But can we stop making excuses for his lack of values before he does any greater damage to his life?
Image: Titus Young, a National Football League player; date: 30 October 2011; author:Jeffrey Beall; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license