Congratulations to all 253 of you that have been selected and the few that will be signed as undrafted free agents. Your hard work has officially paid off and now you can live the life you’ve always wanted, just don’t be a jackass. Make good choices. Every god damn year, there are multiple cases of young players getting into ridiculous situations that have HUGE impacts on their futures. With age comes maturation… usually. But for a large population of NFL players, maturation has not set in. And for them, it’s not college anymore, it’s a professional league. These athletes are playing “professionally,” so they should live up to the expectations of being just that – a professional athlete. These are a few examples of players who are doing it the right way and quite a few who are morons…

The perfect example of a player doing it the right way is Rob Gronkowski, the guy loves getting wrecked, being under the public eye and playing football to the best of his ability. Gronk is an absolute beast and despite all the partying, he has two Super Bowl rings. Yes, it’s true that he was in those pictures with a porn star and had a little controversy surrounding him, but he knows the balance between business and being a savage. Gronk isn’t seen on the news convicted for drug abuse; he knows better than to do that.

Another example of a player doing it the right way is Drew Brees, the guy is top 3 in yards per season year after year and he stays out of the public eye as much as possible.

People who think before they act usually have long careers in the NFL but let’s bring it to the other side. The morons of the league. Starting with some domestic violence.

Ray Rice is first team All-Scumbag on this list of dumbasses. In march of 2014, Rice was arrested and indicted for third-degree aggravated assault relating to an incident in which he assaulted his then-fiancée. He was at first suspended for 2 games to start the season but… People weren’t pleased with Ray’s punishment after the video of him throwing an absolute haymaker surfaced (classic Roger Goodell blowing it). Ray’s career was ruined simply because he couldn’t keep his hands to himself.

There is another large issue that has caused the downfall for numerous NFL players: DRUGS. NFL players just love drugs, whether its painkillers or weed. They will eat or smoke it and just don’t give a shit. These players work their asses off to make it to the NFL and then throw it away just to get high.

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One of the examples of drug abuse is Josh Gordon. He’s one of the most talented wide-receivers in the NFL and an athlete with the chance to place himself among the NFL elite. Instead, he has thrown his career away. On June 7, 2013, the NFL announced that Gordon would be suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season due to violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Then on August 27, 2014, Gordon acknowledged that the NFL suspended him again, for one year, for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. His suspension was reduced to 10 games amidst the new NFL drug policy, but that didn’t prevent Gordon from returning to bad habits. Gordon faced another year-long suspension in January 2015 after testing positive for alcohol use. He entered the NFL’s substance abuse program after pleading guilty to a driving while impaired charge in September 2014 and was prohibited from consuming alcohol
during his time in the program. Gordon was officially suspended for one year on February 3, 2015 and wasn’t able to return until the start of the 2016 season. A special NFL talent, gone to waste.

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Most recently, a career that has gotten a lot of “spotlight” is that of Aaron Hernandez. The saddest to think about is when young people don’t get opportunities to be great. Over a course of a life everybody seems to get opportunities and your life is a compilation of your choices. Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison, that in itself is a horrifying story and I don’t know about his early life but it was probably less than ideal. But, Aaron Hernandez had choices and opportunities that a lot of young people never have. I’m not a very religious or spiritual person but the man upstairs gave him Tim Tebow as a college QB, a role model for many, and Urban Meyer as a coach who is recognized as a top tier coach in football. Then he got Tom Brady, the goat, and Bill Belicheck, a mastermind, and he even got financial wealth. But even he threw it all away. My sympathy goes to people who actually deserve it like orphans, people with life threatening illnesses, burn victims…people without opportunities to live normal lives. I can’t exactly classify Aaron Hernandez as anything else but a murderer. His life ended the way he lived it – brutally. I can’t classify Aaron Hernandez’s life because he was given many opportunities to turn it all around, over and over and over… He chose a life of being a criminal and when you live a harsh life like that, this is the outcome.

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Let’s admit it: money is king today. It’s what makes the world go round. Money is success, the more we have the more successful we are. Now I would argue our cultural values have been financialized. Humility is not a value anymore because it’s way too passive, it’s a get-rich-on-the-internet or get-your-15-mins-of-fame type of world we live in today, and we see it everyday but we all want to succeed, right?

So the question we’ve got to ask ourselves is – “What is success to us?” If it’s more money, that’s fine I have no problem with that at all. I’m a big fan of money. Maybe it’s to be famous, not a problem either. But whatever your answer to that question is, don’t choose anything that will jeopardize your well being or your image. Prioritize who you are, who you want to be, don’t spend time with anything that antagonizes your character. Life is not a popularity contest.

 

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