Vin-sanity: Repeating The Same Thing And Expecting Different Results

tre wellsCorrespondent IJune 16, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 7:  Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans puts his hands on his helmet during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee on September 7, 2008. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Vince is a grown man, and this attempt to turn his NFL career into some kind of Dr. Phil reality show is making a mockery of what’s left of football’s purity.

I have always maintained that football is the greatest sport known to man if for nothing more than the chess-like strategy it entails. However, maybe it’s chess that deserves more credit for being a truly pure game of strategy and skill.

I couldn’t imagine a game of chess in which a contestant still had his queen, but couldn’t use it because the crowd booed it after the last move in which she failed to capture the rook.

This isn’t the Y.M.C.A. or little league. Not everyone gets to play. There are no ribbons for participation, and no one is taking you to Chucky Cheese after the game.

Vince knows this, too, as it should have become a stark reality to him when he cashed the checks that made him an instant millionaire. He is now and continues to become an example of what happens when you eat the carrot first, instead of having it dangle in front of you.

Supporters of Young will argue that he needs help outside of football to aid in his mental makeup and growth. While this may be true, he has had multiple opportunities, not to mention the vast amount of resources to take advantage of that kind of help, but has failed to do so.

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Instead, he chooses to party and “make it rain.”

He plays the role of victim extremely well as he repeatedly contends that his situation is out of his hands, telling Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, “whatever they want me to do that is what I am going to do. If they want me to sit on the sideline and be there to watch the game then that is OK with me, but at the same time I am getting my checks and I am fine."

But the team wanted him to stay in town and watch film during the offseason last year. Instead, Vince chose to go back to school. I personally have no problem with someone going back to school and bettering themselves, but I can’t help it to laugh at the irony of the fact he was already in school when he chose to leave early so he could cash his check.

Vince has become really good at saying one thing and doing another. In the same interview referenced earlier, Vince says “I just have to stay focused and prepared and continue throwing the ball and being ready when they need me."

I have trouble believing this since the last game he started he actually refused to go back in the game after receiving a “spattering” of boos from the Titan faithful. He also told Sports Illustrated that he wanted to retire after his rookie season because “It wasn't fun anymore. All of the fun was out of it. All of the excitement was gone.” These retirement thoughts were after a year in which he won Rookie of the Year honors and came within a game of the playoffs.

I’m not sure he is adept at accepting responsibility for his actions. Instead of working to repair his image in a town and for a team that has invested so much in him, he goes to Baltimore and opens up on the radio about the desire to play somewhere else if he can’t play here.

In an interview with Baltimore's WMAR-TV, he says, “if them guys don't want me to be in there, it's time for me to make a career change for myself. Because the fact is I'm ready to play ball. If they're not ready for me to play ball, then somebody is."

Again, Young fails to accept responsibility for his actions, and instead portrays himself to be the victim.

The mood around Nashville regarding the Tennessee Titans backup quarterback is darkening. In a very forgiving sport’s city, a once bright star is losing its luster and questions are surfacing as to whether any of its shine can be brought back.

We have been down this road with questions regarding Vince’s leadership abilities, but his maturity and mental growth continues to remain stagnant at best. It just seems blasphemous, in this economic age where people are losing jobs and struggling to pay their mortgage, that Vince would do anything but work harder than he ever has to earn the $25 million the Titans gave him.

But like a spouse that chooses to seek another partner and start over instead of fighting to make the marriage work, Young has implied he is seeking a fresh start.

The Titans have been ready. They still are. I doubt they are waiting for a permission slip from his mother saying he is ready to play.

Instead of receiving the tough love Young so desperately needs, we heard his mother speak out as to why Vince may be struggling, saying, “he just needs a lot of love and support."

I love moms. They are the greatest, but once again, this isn’t field day at middle school or church ball. There should be 25 million reasons why Young should do his job without a lot of love and support. He also needs to do it for the Tennessee Titans and not be thinking about the next team and a “fresh start”.

It’s bad enough that teams lose draft picks, money, time, and effort on athletes that become busts because the talent just isn’t there. These are very lucrative jobs that shouldn’t be compromised because someone wears their heart on their sleeve and can’t take criticism.

Money is tight for everyone. I’m pretty sure Titans season ticket prices aren’t going down this year while his fans continue to pay for his 58 million dollar contract.

We have been able to hear bits and pieces of Young’s interview with Michael Smith, and so far it’s the same old Vince. Teasers for the interview in July say that we will see a side of Vince we never have before.

I can only hope that means Vince will look the camera in the eye, take responsibility for his actions, and tell us that he is going to win the starting job back, instead of waiting for it to be given back to him.

At the University of Texas, Vince was the man. In Tennessee, they are still waiting for him to act like one.