Learning From The Past

Last night I watched ESPN's 30 for 30 series. They had a special showing called "The Best That Never Was". This movie was about a RB at Oklahoma named Marcus Dupree, the troubles he went through as he went through stardom and some of the bad choices that he and others made for him. As I was watching this movie, I noticed a couple of things that disturbed me.

Dupree was an immense talent, but no one ever stressed anything to him about the importance of being a student-athlete. Sports can be taken from you at anytime, so you have to be able to do other things in life. Obviously, no one stressed this to him because he felt like he had lost a lot when he had football taken away from him due to injury.

Another thing that struck me was that he nor his mom ever handled his money when he went to the professional ranks. The fact that he had to ask for money from his "handler" was disturbing. His "handler", Ken Fairley, was a snake and he basically used him. It's a shame that someone he trusted would do that to him, but this situation just speaks to the fact that you have to be aware of what is going on.

The last and final thing that I noticed was that Dupree had no father figure in his life. He had guys who were there in his life, but none of them were there when he needed them most. When he left Oklahoma, someone should have told him that he needed to go back and that things weren't always going to be great. He needed someone in his life to speak truthful and honest and not tell him what he wanted to hear.

People who are athletes, are raising young athletes or are coaching/mentoring young athletes, please make these athletes aware that stardom and fame doesn't last forever. You have to be multifaceted and multidimensional in life. Also, please be observant of who enters into these athletes' lives. Everything that looks good isn't always good and all athletes are not aware of this. If we as a society would stop preying on these athletes and start praying and caring for them, our society would be better as a whole. For all that haven't seen "The Best That Never Was", check it out.

8 Responses

  1. James Rutherford

    I haven’t seen it as on yet,but I plan on it.Words well said Mike athletes never look at the big picture they live in the here and now,I’m said to say.

    • I wish more people would look more into actually helping an athlete instead of trying to take advantage of an athlete or live through them.

  2. Mike

    Mike,

    Sounds a lot like what we discussed on the plane last night from Tampa. I’ll have to check out that episode of 30 for 30.
    Keep up the good work with the blog!

    -Mike

    • The 30 for 30 is really good. I would venture to say that its one of the best ones that ESPN has put on. And I thought about what we talked about on sports last night while I was watching it.

      Thanks for the support!

  3. The Sports Man's Wife

    I think people disregard the fact that these are still children in many ways. Even though they have big talent doesn’t change the fact that they are teenagers. Teenagers are usually short sighted. The adults in their lives have to be the ones to look out for their best interest and keep them focused in the midst of all the promises of fame and fortune. In Dupree’s case it didn’t seem like he had too many adults in his life who were looking out for his best interest. Either they didn’t possess the knowledge to do so, or they did have the knowledge but chose to use that knowledge for their own interests instead of his. It makes me sad sometimes to see the way these youngsters are thrust into the very adult world of sports and fame when they are still just growing up, especially when they don’t have a stable foundation. It is so easy for them to be takes advantage of. Then when the media jumps all over it, the adults in the situation run and hide while the teenager suffers the consequences.

    • Great comment. A stable foundation and a truly caring individual would have changed this whole situation.

  4. Kareem Howard

    Players who end up like come from a generation on poverty and lack of educations and well as a slave mentality that says “Get it while you can” that leads to bad decisions that will hurt them in the long one. The scholarship that you receive should be used to maximize their education and at least take the dirty money and invest it in case the football thing dies out. To me, the whole live today only mindset can get you into a lot of trouble.

    • Correct. That mentality can get you in serious trouble. The thing that I would like to see more is more mentors in these young athlete’s lives instead of “handlers”.

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