I know that most of you are wondering what the hell is this about. Comparing two people that are totally different. But are they really different?
Both JaMarcus Russell and Britney Spears captured the heart of a nation when they emerged as superstars. Britney Spears sold tens of millions of albums in the United States, JaMarcus Russell was welcomed as a savior in the Raider Nation when he was the 1st overall draft pick in 2007. JaMarcus and Britney were both on top of the world. Then things got bad. Really, really bad!
From 2003-2007 Britney Spears went through failed marriages, custody battles and other gossip magazine headlines like a head shaving or went bare-foot in a gas station bathroom. Now, the main reason that things got worse than they probably were... the media!
From 2007-2009, JaMarcus Russell was one of the worse quarterbacks to play the game. Game after game was a front page story because of how bad Russell was. The media slammed Russell, and thats okay when he plays bad. But the media also went into opinion mode and they all started labelling JaMarcus the biggest bust in the NFL.
Crowds of papparazzi would follow Britney wherever she went. Pictures of her walking out of Starbucks with a drink were bought by magazines for $500. It was even a front page headline if she went to a basketball game.
Who else was photographed at a basketball game? JaMarcus Russell. He was on the front pages as well because it was a sign that he was not interested in his career according to the media. The media also made yellow journalism style articles about Russell's bling-bling.
Then, in the fall of 2007 Britney Spears released a new album, Blackout. She didn't advertise or promote it very much, but it was a sign that she cared about her career. She then went on to release another album, Circus, in 2008 and launched a global tour in 2009. Now, she is back on top of the world.
Back to Russell. After the 2009 season he went to Arizona to work with Eddie Anderson to get into football shape and work on his mechanics. A sign that he cared about his career. This past weekend, Russell showed up as an improved player at Oakland's mini-camp.
Russell is "ready to compete" and "work his tail off" to get back to the top of the depth chart. If Russell is true to those statements, he will become one of the better QBs in the NFL and he will be the man Raider Nation fell in love with in 2007. He will be back on top of the world.