SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Goofball Express

Its chief engineer today has to be the Cowboys' Dez Bryant. Prospective NFL players take courses on the pitfalls of excess. It also could stand to reason that they have good parents, that they go to a place of worship, that they have mentors somewhere. Apparently, though, in the case of Dez Bryant, despite all the warnings of becoming a statistic, part of the detritus of the NFL landscape of busted legs, heads, relationships and bank accounts, he figured that he'd be Superman, transcend it all, and handle it. The only thing, though, that seems to be getting handled is lawsuits.

It was bad enough when the veterans set him up to pay $55,000 for a dinner for a bunch of his teammates. That was wrong, in bad taste, and if I were the coach of the Cowboys I would have singed the team's leadership for doing something so stupid. It's not cool to take advantage of the youngest folks, even if you were similarly taken advantage of.

Insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over again when it's futile. Somewhere, somehow, there's a toxic, insane culture in the NFL that leads talented young men to bankruptcy. Look, I'm not saying that each of these young players needs a financial guardian. But where's the players' union to set them up with a mentor, perhaps a retired player with a sense of finances who can guide the youngest players about temptations, about pitfalls, about saving a good chunk of their money. This is just so sad to see. Here's a talented young receiver, and pretty soon all he'll be doing is playing for his creditors. That is, if he'll continue to have the will to do so when he realizes that there won't be much left in it for him, except memories of the excesses that were his rookie year.

The Goofball Express is already booked beyond capacity. When will the lunacy end?

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