The NFL does not just throw players out to the wolves (wolves being a relentless media and sometimes psychotic fans). It does attempt to prepare these guys a little for the dramatic way that their life is going to change once they step on that field and cash that first paycheck.
You know that check. The one that will be more than what most of us make in a decade if not lifetime.
To further help these guys understand what they are getting into the NFL has done something that is actually pretty smart--they've brought in past bad boys to talk about the difficult road they've had to travel. While the intent is good, if they really wanted to do something they need to bring in some other people as well.
Some of the victims of these very same players.
Tank Johnson and Adam 'Pacman' Jones
Tank Johnson was pretty much a victim of his own stupidity caring more about his guns than about playing football at times (or so it appeared). They of course gt him in a massive amount of trouble with the law and with the league nearly costing him pretty big by both. His message to the rookies could not have been more clear.
“While you’re playing in the NFL, you do not need a firearm for any reason,” Johnson said. “The NFL does a great job of putting these resources around you where you don’t need a firearm.
The keynote speaker when it comes to bad boys in the NFL will always be Adam 'don't call me Pacman anymore' Jones. His troubles are legendary; its a miracle that he is still in the league after all the things that he has done. At the same time he does stand as a testament to the possibility of righting the proverbial ship before it is too late.
Too late on his career at least.
I am sure that a message got through to some of the guys in attendance for Jones's talk, but I am sure that there are some guys thinking that they can still do whatever the **** they want. They just will not get busted like Jones did. Because unlike Jones they are invincible.
To get through to those knuckleheads the NFL needs to bring in the victims. They need to let the invincible wanna-be thugs see what happens to those that are not invincible.
Like Tommy Urbanski, the Vegas strip club manager that is now paralyzed when Jones 'made it rain' at the club and things got out of hand.According to the New York Daily News:
“I don’t think Pacman is going to stand up there and say ‘I acted like an idiot and now a man is in a wheelchair for the rest of his life,’ ” Urbanski said. “I could tell the rookies the truth about what can really happen when you give a guy a big contract and he acts like an animal and he’s above the law.”
That would wake a few more of them up. Let them see what happens when they start to think that the are invincible. As for the ones that it wouldn't--they'll deserve the jail time they get when the eventually get busted.
Tommy Urbanski; photo by Jacob Keppler/AP