The moment we all heard that Vince Young was thinking about taking himself out of this world is the moment that we all should have put everything else we thought about this man to the side, and send a prayer for him. And if you're not into doing the supplication, getting on your knees thing, then just a wave of support and a few "I got your back" quotes towards him would suffice.
What matters is nothing else, except the man's well being and just giving him the support, love, and benevolence from us at a time like this.
Instead we get egotistical blowhards like Jim Rome questioning to man’s toughness and urging him to now get help (after reprimanding him last week about not being macho enough to assume the mantle) with their “Me-First, Me-Last” commentary (if you could even call it that).
We also get stuff like Jason Whitlock’s take on Young’s stunningly dilemma, who as usual portrays this image of “Blaming his profession as a whole and then taking on this moral authority of ‘it happened to me so I fully understand’” by talking about the depression that went through his life.
Here’s a little personal confession before I get back on point: When I got suspended from The Star for two weeks in 1998 and my peers in the media were laughing at my stupidity, I rarely got out of bed for those two weeks. I was mad and embarrassed and hurt and scared. Being a successful newspaper columnist was the No. 1priority in my life, and I thought I’d blown it.
Man, was I depressed. But I was also determined when the two weeks were up. Whitlocks don’t die. We multiply. I fell back on all the life lessons my mother and father taught me the previous 29 years.
I hope someone taught Vince Young something the previous 25 years. He reminds me of too many young athletes who have been unintentionally prepared for how to mishandle athletic success.
Again, it’s Whitlock at his finest (in terms of showing his narcissistic value), raising real points and showing the temerity to mention the problems that went on in his life, but missing the big picture as he tends to sometimes do. But he certainly doesn’t miss mentioning himself and being this moral voice of reason now, does he?
And even the great and honorable Bill Rhoden of the New York Times misses the boat on this one too. Even with his tremendous character, integrity, and downright to the Earth’s core benevolence, the venerable writer got it wrong in his column as well, focusing on the intense microscope that Young has to face as a quarterback in comparison to Donovan McNabb, Warren Moon, Doug Williams, and other black QB’s in the National Football League.
No situation, whether it is about being a black quarterback in the NFL, or the Titans franchise figure in regards to being another young pampered athlete surrounded by “Yes” men and “Help me” family members, has anything to do with what needs to be look at right now in regards to one Vince Young. And that is making sure that he is loved.
None of that other stuff at all matters. None of it.
All of those things take away from the real matter at hand, all of those irrelevant things.
See, we can talk about how Young now may see what Donovan McNabb was talking about, in regards to African-American signal callers and the pressures they face unparallel to their white counterparts in the NFL, another time. We can talk about how Young has to realize the scrutiny that he will continue to face for the rest of his character, and how he will have to deal with it for, another time. We can talk about how he has to mature as a quarterback, another time.
(And at the same time, we can talk about the Titans not giving him or their team a legitimate number one receiver, another time. Because even if he develops into one, there is no way in hell Justin Gage is a top flight receiver. He probably may not be most teams number two receiver.)
We can talk about him being a leader of his team, another time. We can talk about him not understanding that thousand of players and quarterbacks in the NFL would line up as ASAP to be in the situation he’s in (prior to what has been revealed this week). A situation where, for him, long time fiscal security has a great chance of happening, and that is an accomplishment considering the sad state the economy is in now. And we can talk about him not gasping the full fact that he is a hero and a role model for some out there.
All at another time.
But that’s just “Us” focusing on what “We” feel about Vince Young’s situation and life decision making. And that’s downright selfish and insensitive.
Instead of “we”, it is all about “him”. But about “Him” in terms of his choices, but just pointing aside what we feel has transpired in his life and just being there for this man. Just dropping a letter of condolence to him instead of shaking your head asking, “What is wrong with him?” Instead of telling him “He needs help”, why don’t you say “Vince, I don’t know you, but I love you and we are with you man.”
And refusing to place him under a total cloud of doubt and untruth like many have already decided to do is what is needed right now. When I hear the likes of Keyshawn Johnson talk about how Kerry Collins would be the quarterback even when Young comes back on this team instead of primarily eyeing in on the 25 year old’s mental state, it shows how “we” can focus on “we” at a time and place when “we” should look clearly (and with an open heart) at “him.”
Whenever someone contemplates suicide, and has the utensil (or utensils) in his or her hand to do just that, looking at whether they are fit or tough enough mentally to do their jobs or just giving off advice as the first option shows how “out of touch” some of us are with each other. What’s the point of giving advice when he first needs someone to just show him support when adversity is hitting him harder than any defensive players in the league could do? It makes no sense.
The life of Vince Young is at that emergency state, and yet, we have hapless “me” figures like the Romes and Whitlocks of the world, who would rather focus on him being “tough enough” or relate their own life experiences (in regards to Whitlock, who talked about his states of depression) instead of doing what’s best for the situation. Their ability to have an outlet that allows them to alter people’s perspective on things is too important for them not to do as so. But that is just a poor and embarrassing job of not even showing the full consideration of Young’s cerebral at the moment, let alone them needing it to be told to them.
(And to cast more shame on the media in this country, we have a story coming in from the Pro Football Weekly , with no sources from what I see, indicating that Young wanted to come out of the Tennessee Titans wild care playoff game against the San Diego Chargers in January, with the Titans leading at halftime. Now, I’m not saying it isn’t true, but why release that now, especially with no sources, when the man is going through what he is going through? It is utterly distasteful and classless.)
Seriously, those that really care about Young fully aren’t going to be taking about how he is handling adversity on the sidelines last Sunday, or how he may have been caught drinking beer in a photograph at an off season party. Like he’s the only quarterback that does drink? Like he is this horrible team figure who doesn’t give a damn about the team and cares from himself, because of a slip of whatever Colt 40 or alcoholic beverage he drunk? The BS and incongruous irrational has got to stop.
Some people will say, “How the hell can this guy be love with all the things going with him in his life, with all the money that he is making? You have got to be kidding me!”
But the reason why is because he is a human being. Like you and me, no matter what person he is or what he does right now or where he is currently at.
He is still a person at the end of the day. Nothing more, nothing less.
We are fortunate that Young didn’t pull the trigger with the gun that he had that day. In fact, we are fortunate whenever anyone, and it could be happening at this very moment while you are reading this, decides to not take his or her life after seriously weight that option in their cerebellums.
Right now, Vince Young doesn’t need to hear lectures telling him “Hey buddy, you seriously need help right now.” He already knows that, and he has his mother, family, and maybe his closest friends telling him that. And though that is not here dismissing anyone that say that aforementioned advice (or wants to say that to him), because it does show a concern for the man and his well being, the fact of the matter is this: That is all secondary to what needs to be shown first to Vince Young:
Our love and support.