Tennessee Titans: What Were You Thinking When You Heard The News?

Christopher ThorntonCorrespondent ISeptember 13, 2008

What you were thinking when you heard the story of Vince Young being sought by Nashville Police at the team's request?  Be honest with yourself.  Wasn't something like this the story you expected to read the next day?

Why did Vince Young commit suicide?

Vince Young, quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, committed suicide today while sitting in his car on a side street near Nashville, TN.  It was the apparent end to a day-long odyssey that began after a family quarrel led to Young storming out of his house, apparently without his cell phone so that he could not be found easily. 

Nashville Police had been actively seeking Young for most of the day after having been notified by Titans personnel of Young's apparent threats to harm himself amid published reports of his having quit the team.  Young had recently suffered a knee injury and had been replaced by a backup quarterback.

Why does such a talented, rich, visible person decide to end it all?  What more could he have wanted that he did not have?  Surely an NFL quarterback is at the top of his profession.  Clearly, his mother still loved him.  Okay, enough.

All conjecture, of course.  I'd like to say that I have no animosity at all for Young, the Titans, or the NFL.  Vince Young, as far as I can tell from the right side of the state, is still alive and most likely will continue to throw interceptions and be lustily booed as well as cheered when he throws touchdown passes. 

That's the life of an NFL quarterback.  Feast and famine, not for long, living with the knowledge that even moderate hits can put you down for the season, if not your career.  I enjoy watching football and will continue to watch.   

Do interceptions hurt that much?  Does booing go that far under the skin?  Are we seeing the middle part of a boxing movie where the main character is in the depths of despair before he is re-awakened to  his passion while the horns play a loud fanfare?  I don't see an orchestra at the stadium waiting for its cue to tell him to start throwing 60-yard touchdown passes.

None of it happened.   

I would hope that he's not a prisoner of his situation, at least financially.  It would be so easy to be the ATM for all your family and friends when that big NFL salary hits your account.  I couldn't imagine what it might be like to reach that level only to find that you don't want to do it anymore. 

Then, the bills you piled up as the quarterback are still there, but you don't have the quarterback paycheck to pay them any longer.  You can't just quit.  Thus, he may be trapped.  Trapped, on the sideline with a towel over your head with an entire stadium expressing displeasure at your performance. 

You can't be the quarterback without the drive, and the drive isn't there.  Now what?  There's lots of younger quarterbacks just chomping at the bit, hoping you'll fail so they can have a shot.

Something for the next crop of college quarterbacks to consider, isn't it?  Could it be helpful to consider the ramifications of this situation, even if only to educate the next bunch?