Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's How You Handle It

During the past year, I'm sure either you or someone you know has had to deal with some kind of life changing adversity. Inevitably, someone will tell you about how your character comes out during the tough times or some similar motivational speech.

Two NFL players who have dealt with uncertainty during their careers are Vince Young and Charles Rodgers. Both were top five draft picks, both haven't lived up to expectations. The difference though, is how they're handling it.

Young came in as the Rookie of the Year at quarterback for the Tennessee Titans and lead the team to the playoffs for two straight years. Then last season, Young had a putrid opening game against Jacksonville where it looked like he had never actually thrown a football before. The rest is history as Kerry Collins (no stranger to quarterback controversy himself) led the Titans to the best record in the AFC last season.

Meanwhile, Young was allegedly suicidal, his mother told the media to leave her baby alone (always a good move in the world of NFL football), and everyone decided Young was a bust at quarterback.

But even if you think he's crazy, you've got to give VY props for his brio concerning his NFL future. In a recent interview with Esquire magazine, Young discussed his completely screwed up childhood and then said "I don't know when I'll start again. But I will be the next black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. And I will be in the Hall of Fame." He dares critics to write him off.

Young should probably worry about getting a starting job before he talks about the Hall of Fame, but that's always been the way Vince Young works. He exudes a stupid amount of confidence.

Back when Young was at Texas, he was talking National Title even when Oklahoma was embarrassing the Longhorns year after year. Yet the Longhorns won a title and Vince Young was the greatest college quarterback this side of Tim Tebow. I don't think odds makers will advise you to bet on a Vince Young bust in Canton, but at least he's still focused on football.

Meanwhile, Charles Rodgers chose...unwisely for a successful NFL career. During an interview with ESPN, Rodgers admitted to smoking the reefer on a daily basis after he was made the second pick of the NFL draft. I've never held a grudge against pot smokers in sports as long as it didn't interfere with the job. Anyone who saw Rodgers play can attest that pot eventually interfered with his job.

Apparently weed didn't dull his senses enough, so when he broke his collarbone, Rodgers became addicted to pain killers. So now you have a pot smoking receiver who is addicted to Vicodin. This is not part of the Jerry Rice training regiment for success. Rogers washed out after a few seasons and hasn't been on the field since.

So I guess those motivational speakers were right, it is how you handle your life when it's going sour that defines you. Vince Young may not ever be a Hall of Fame quarterback like he promises, but at least he isn't the subject of videos like this:

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