Out of touch……maybe. Lacking perspective…..quite possibly. Inability to fully rationalize…I suppose it’s possible. It’s very possible that as someone that’s “just a fan,” I just do not get it.
The life of an NFL football player is one that I’ll never fully understand. I don’t know what it takes to maintain a career in the NFL. I assume it’s a year long, life long process of tuning one’s body and mind. The players that are fully committed are following nutrition programs, training muscles, studying film, icing muscles, heating muscles, and doing things that this simple mind doesn’t fully comprehend.
Aching bodies and the physical pain is persistent for many living the life of an NFL player. I would think there’s a consistent mental struggle in weighing if the punishment is worth the financial rewards of a professional athlete. The physical grind of playing football is excruciating. I can recall playing football throughout my high school years very vividly. Friday nights were what I lived for as a player. The competition fueled my existence as a young man, playing quarterback to the best of my abilities. But waking up on those Saturdays was absolutely brutal. I couldn’t move, I was stiff, I was covered in bruises, and it was painful. And that was simply high school football!
But, (yes there is a but) what I do not understand is the propensity of the NFL player to find trouble. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was officially charged with a felony and two misdemeanors stemming from a late March hit and run incident.
Here’s a young man within the 49ers organization that isn’t too far removed from his rookie symposium. A symposium flooded with life lessons: how to manage finances, what to look for and do off the field, how to take care of oneself, help transitioning from college to pro football, and various other valuable information. There are endless resources within the 49ers organizations to utilize and observe on how to do things properly within an NFL career. Names like Vernon Davis and Patrick Willis come to mind immediately. You don’t have to look any further than Aldon Smith to see that trouble isn’t hard to find.
Yet, as an organization, the 49ers are looking at their second player within a year that will be facing some serious legal possibilities. Exactly what is it about the combination of youth and wealth that entitles an individual to do whatever he/she sees fit?
I wish I could answer that myself. I’ve never seen wealth. More than likely, I probably never will either. But, when a young, talented professional athlete has the possibility of a privileged life set before them, why blow that opportunity? Why don’t they properly utilize the resources set before them? Are there ties from the lives before wealth and notoriety that can’t be broken? The questions that boggle my mind are endless.
It’s a mystery that will persist as long as there are professional athletics. Somebody, somewhere is going to slip up. When that slip up occurs, the news will spread like wildfire with media outlets, including social media, covering the news for the whole world to see.
The social shame in itself is not a deterrent. It’s obvious that most who attempt to break the law, do so until they get caught. And IF they do get caught, there’s no guarantee a lesson will be learned. It’s all personified for the “fan” when this type of news hits OUR team. We all want our team to win every game. Add to that, we all want our team to win the right way on the field and maintain status as overall good people off of it. And for the overall majority, the 49ers organization and its players do a great job of this.
It’s easy (and fun) for us to point the finger at other organizations and players when they make the news for all the wrong reasons. But, when that news surrounds our team……well, it just plain sucks.
Sidenote: The story or lack thereof regarding Colin Kaepernick broke upon completion of post.