When the Oakland Raiders signed Javon Walker to a large contract back in March, the entire Raider Nation held their breath.
Many were unsure of the decision but as each day went by oxygen became more available and it was easier for us to gasp for air. Unfortunately, our worst nightmare has become a reality.
By now the entire NFL has heard about the recent incident with Javon Walker, so I'd rather not go into detail about it too much. If you haven’t, I'll put it simply.
Football players aren't untouchable and are just as prone (or MORE prone) to being victims of criminal behavior. In reality, professional athletes are sheep living amongst wolves. And it is the people who they choose to surround themselves with who are their shepherds.
Fortunately in this situation, Javon and the rest of us can count our blessings and move forward. Things could have been much worse. I could be here today writing an elegy on the life of Javon had he not made it out alive. Because we all remember the terrible story of Sean Taylor (Rest in Peace.)
Someone once said that out of everything bad comes some good. I believe some good will come out of this.
For one, it wakes the whole team up that money means nothing without life. That everything can be taken from you within a heartbeat. That even though these gifted athletes may feel their living in their own world, anyone can enter it to cause havoc. To embrace their existence and to understand the rare opportunity which they are so blessed to be with; to play the greatest sport in America for a living. It also gives a heads up to young players such as Jamarcus Russell or more importantly young prominent Darren McFadden who faced similar issues coming into the league.
These professional athletes are living the dream. We as spectators are all just a part of it.
Many are already saying that giving Javon Walker that large contract might be the biggest mistake Al Davis ever made. In my opinion its too soon to tell, but it was disheartening to learn that a player who a team and his fans are relying on so deeply could act so selfishly. Had he been doing what Kiffin asked of him, which was getting himself in better shape maybe this could have all been avoided. But what can you do, Raider football must go on. I myself believe Javon will triumph over this but once again, the important thing here is that he survived and still has the opportunity to become whatever he so chooses to be. Sean Taylor didn’t have that option.
Javon could be a great receiver in this league or he could be another busted-up player who fell victim to the corruption of the world and let his demons get the best of him.
The choice doesn't lay in my hands or yours. It lies with one man, and that’s Javon Walker.
The choice is his, but I can assure you Raider fans will continue to rally behind their receiver and come September will be cheering for him on Sundays. That’s a promise.
God Bless America and Long Live the Raider Nation