12.9.08

Really? A quitter?

Well, after reading Don's post, I have to say I'm a little torn.

I'll tread lightly here, because deep down I don't at all believe achieving in sports is the be all and end all in life, but I do have a problem with quitters.

Let's say, you're a gifted athlete. I don't mean you're just good at sports, I mean when the chips are on the line, against some other really, really good athletes, you're a dominant force.

So, now let's say you cruise through high school athletics, get a Division 1 scholarship to a school like, oh, Texas, and even there you have greater than moderate success. You're a hero on campus, ESPN and Sports Illustrated write articles about how popular and loved you are- maybe the most beloved Texas athlete ever. You even win a NCAA Championship. I'd say at this point, things are going pretty well.

Then you hit a little snafu, if you will. You're so good, you're a high pick in the NFL Draft! But that means you go to a crappy team. Which means you're an exceptional athlete playing against other exceptional athletes who've been playing at that level longer than you have. Naturally, we'd expect a little learning curve, even for a star athlete such as yourself. Especially at the quarterback position.

But you show promise, make a few outstanding plays (we knew you would), and generally leave everyone, including yourself, expecting great things. There are holes in your game, but they're overlooked due to your vast potential.

Then you struggle. Teams figure out how to expose those holes, and all of the sudden, you've got work to do. Time to buckle down right? The learning curve was always there, you just found a way to delay the pain of the process. Well, not anymore. Vince Young, meet the learning curve. Charmed, I'm sure.

I guess what I want to get at here, and I don't know Vince Young from a hole in the wall, so I'm going to be real professional and speculate, is that Vince is not used to not having success. I know how hard I can be on myself for my performance in sport, and I am not a professional athlete. It's a personal expectations thing.

But I have a problem with quitters. Especially in the circumstance where, if the quitter in question simply showed a little perseverance and extra work, and maybe some patience, he'll turn out to be outstanding. If you want to quit football because you hate the game that's fine. But I don't think he hates football. How could you play this many years of your life, with all the hours that go into football, even at the high school level, if you hated it.

I think Vince is frustrated. I think Vince needs to buckle down. It'll come. Hey, maybe he's fine. I heard he went out to eat chicken wings with his buddies. Sounds pretty relaxed to me. I love eating chicken wings with my buddies. I did it on Tuesday. Maybe Mom just spoke out of turn. Things likely just got blown out of proportion.

At the end of the day, it's probably the opposite of how it seems now. Vince LOVES football, and after some time off, away from the boo's, he'll come back and be fine. I guess, I feel it would be a shame to see someone so gifted walk away so young. No pun intended.

(Editor's Note: Jon Adams wrote this yesterday, before Vince Young announced he would be returning to the Titans. We figured we'd wait until today to post this, since it was September 11th. Even though Vince is back, we still think it's still a valid post.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you, John. I feel bad for the guy, and it's obvious Vince Young didn't have a great upbringing. But having your life spin out of control because you've always been used to unfettered success does deserve some criticism.

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