16
Sep
08

Dear Vince

Yes, you can party like a rock star. However, you play professional football like a pansy. It is apparent that there was good reason that the Houston Texans took a pass on you with the first pick in the 2006 draft a few years back. They Texans chose Mario Williams, who has proven to be a devastating defensive force that plays all the time without any self esteem issues, even though they really needed a QB. The Saints took Reggie Bush, who may have been a little shady in college and still is having trouble defining his role, but is certainly having an impact. The Titans took you as the third overall pick. Since you were the conquering hero from the University of Texas, who you had just driven to a national title, you were thrown right into the fire. You got burned. First season was 12 TD’s and 13 interceptions. You followed that up with a 9 TD, 17 interception season. This year, you popped your leg and got booed. Not exactly what you are used to. From the Associated Press:

The official word out of Nashville was that nothing was wrong with Young other than a sprained left knee that will keep him out of three or four games. There was scant mention that coach Jeff Fisher was so worried about his quarterback’s mental health that he sent police out on a search Monday night to try and find him.

This wasn’t just a case of a coach wondering whether his quarterback had stumbled off to a strip club. Earlier that day, the Titans had sent a psychologist over to talk to Young at his home, so evidently they were worried even before he went off into the night without his cell phone and with an unloaded gun in his glove compartment. His agent would downplay it later, saying Young was simply at a friend’s house eating chicken wings and watching football. But whatever Fisher told police it was enough for them to send unmarked SWAT units out and call crisis negotiators in. Those kind of things aren’t usually done when someone leaves for a drive and doesn’t come home on time. They’re usually done when someone is distraught and could hurt himself or others.

We may never know what was in Young’s mind that night. We do know he appeared disconsolate after throwing two interceptions and getting booed in Sunday’s game, and that it appeared Fisher had to force him to re-enter the game before he got hurt. His mother told The Tennessean that Young was tired of all the negativity and the boos. Felicia Young said her son needed people to give him space and to pray for him.

“It is hard, all he is going through right now. He’s hurting inside and out,” she said.

But it was just a few boos and one lousy game — which the Titans went on to win. What happens if things really go south for Young? Is a pro athlete with enormous skills and a contract that could bring him $58 million so mentally fragile that it could be dangerous for him to go on the field and perform?

VY… you are in the real world now. It’s not the crystal palace of college football adoration. You’ve been paid a lot of money and you play on a mediocre team. Man up or move in with Ryan Leaf. Keep your shirt on, practice hard, trust your team and figure out a way to succeed. Or become another in a long list of people with more sizzle than steak.

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