Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/18/14
JaMarcus Russell is attempting an NFL comeback, and he got a boost from an excellent piece ESPN aired on Sunday. The story, which was called, “JaMarcus Russell, Waking Up,” did an excellent job humanizing Russell. In less than 12 minutes, the video powerfully tells the story of Russell going from top high school talent to No. 1 NFL draft pick to bust. It delves into Russell’s personal life and suggests that Russell’s poor 2009 season — which was his last in the NFL — was the result of his inability to focus and mourn following the death of two of his uncles, including one with whom he was close. Quotes from Russell like, “Just cause you got money doesn’t mean you’re not human,” make you empathize with him. His mother’s comments concerning the codeine arrest were equally moving. “It was the worst day of my life,” she says. “All this hard work trying to raise him to be the right, productive young man, I just felt like I had failed.” The video did an excellent job of transforming Russell from a punchline to a legitimately sympathetic figure, which was probably the goal. It attempted to explain why he failed in 2009, and why he deserves and is ready for a second chance. Though the video did an excellent job making a sales pitch for a team to give Russell another shot, I can understand why teams would be skeptical of signing him. Russell had such a poor work ethic during his first stint in the NFL, it would be hard to believe he could do a 180. But, kudos to Russell for at least attempting the comeback, getting his story out there, and not being bashful about admitting his past problems. Hopefully he remains in decent shape even if he doesn’t get another shot. We certainly wouldn’t want to see Russell at 315 pounds again, because that is not a good look for him:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts


Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Report: Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

CJ Wilson: Josh Hamilton’s relapse a ‘tame scenario’

Head coaching candidates for the Denver Nuggets

Check out these leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Aqib Talib’s aggravated assault investigation suspended

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Female Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

Notre Dame wears 'Father Ted' patches during spring game

Five things to watch during the NBA Playoffs

Hanley Ramirez put hole in Green Monster during BP

WATCH: A-Rod belts two homers in win over Rays

Ubaldo Jimenez hit Pablo Sandoval with pitch, was ejected

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Report: Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.