I didn’t plan on doing a post on this topic, but I can’t let this one go by.
Former (because the Patriots released him a couple of days ago) New England Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez, is charged with the first-degree murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose body was found in an industrial park about a mile from the home of Hernandez.
Charges Against Aaron Hernandez (Source: espn.com)
|Carrying firearm w/o license
|Poss. large-capacity firearm
|Poss. firearm w/o FID card
But a lesser known story, because of timing and lack of notoriety, rookie defensive end/linebacker Ausar Walcott was charged with attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree endangering an injured victim, in Paterson, N.J.. Like the Patriots, the Cleveland Browns quickly cut Walcott as well.
While we should not expect athletes to be less deviant than any other part of society, it is very surprising when we think about all that the athletes have to lose, namely money and freedom – both present and future.
The term “jock” is defined as:
2. Sports An athlete, especially in college.
3. Slang One characterized by excessive concern for machismo.
Therefore, “jock culture” could be defined as social behavior patterns of males involved in athletics, that is what many would call hyper-masculine. Testosterone run amok.
The social behavior patterns in that world plays by different rules in its subculture than the rest of society. For example:
– in sports, men get what they want, when they want, if they are the best on the team
– in sports, men are allowed to act in violent ways between-the-lines, that if done off the field, ice, stadium, would land them in jail (the aforementioned Ausar Walcott is learning this now)
– on that note, top athletes from high school to the pros, are often above the law as crimes even outside the game, are often “swept under the rug” by local law enforcement, the league, or even fellow players.
Those are just a few examples, but they certainly aren’t exclusive to only jocks, but any person with fame or notoriety amongst their peers.
In October 2009, the USA Today
reported on Hernandez who was then a tight end for the Florida Gator’s, and wrote:
“‘The difference between the impossible and the possible lies on a person’s determination’, reads another of his father’s favorite quotes on Hernandez’s arm.
When Dennis Hernandez died at 49 in January 2006 after complications from routine hernia surgery, his then-16-year-old son’s world was shattered…
Hernandez played in every game his freshman season, starting three, but off the field he was still reeling.
“It was a rough process, and I didn’t know what to do for him,” Terri says. “He would rebel. It was very, very hard, and he was very, very angry. He wasn’t the same kid, the way he spoke to me. The shock of losing his dad, there was so much anger.”
Says D.J., who is three years older, “He was just lost.”
Meyer stepped in when he realized a good kid was headed down the wrong path. “Urban became his father more or less and the team was his family,” Terri says.
Every morning, Hernandez arrived at Meyer’s office at 7:30 and read the Bible with his coach.
One day in February 2008 when Hernandez was struggling, Meyer met with him at noon in his office.
“It was a 10-hour meeting. We finished at my house at 10 o’clock. Then it continued the next day,” Meyer says. “When your guy, your idol, your soul is taken from you, how do you deal with that? I just think there’s a part of his life that was not there. He needed discipline; he needed someone to talk to.“
Details are few about Dennis Hernandez, but the man sounds like he made some kind of impact on Aaron’s life. So much so, that Aaron was never the same when his dad departed this life.
I’ve asked dads reading my blog this question, and I will do it again, would the family miss you if you were gone? I’m not talking about your income, because your wife can fill those shoes herself or find someone else to fill that void quickly if necessary if you’re honest enough with yourself. But can your presence be duplicated? I hope not, I hope you would be missed if you were gone. You’ll be missed because all that you’ve taught them cannot be duplicated.
My heart goes out to all involved in the above cases. More is yet to surface about Ausar Walcott and I have no clue about his immediate family. I hope his dad is still around and can reach his son, because he is going to need him at this point in his life.
If you’re the father of an athlete, be just as vigilant against sports and jock culture from taking your boy, as you would with “the street”. Currently, my family isn’t too popular with coaches because we refuse to play on Sunday. Not because we feel God is going to be mad or something as we have freedom to honor God on any day, but because that is the day we attend church and spend time together as a family. Athletic games and practice have Monday through Saturday, but they are not having access to my family and disrupt our time every day of the week.
Why? Because when our kids have been influenced more by jock culture than Cool Pappa’s culture, they’ll do what they always do…cut ’em and plaster their indiscretion all over the news, not needing him on Sunday’s any more.
Aaron Hernandez may have learned this one if he’s guilty, because his Sunday’s will be spent making money for the prison industrial complex and not himself for the rest of his life.