LeGarrette Blount has learned his lesson and should be reinstated by Chip Kelly
This weekend I read online that the University and Chip Kelly have decided to tentatively reinstate LeGarrette Blount, making him eligible to play again this year for Oregon football. I support this decision, just as I supported Kelly’s decision at the outset, which I felt was brave and principled.
From what I read, it falls upon the Pacific-10 or the NCAA to decide whether or not to allow Chip Kelly’s reinstatement. This will consist of guys about my age, over 40. As they adjudicate this matter, these gentlemen would do well to remember what they may well know from their own direct experience: that being a male in one’s early twenties often results in mindless stupidity.
It is a fact that every man in mid-life knows. The inside resume of the typical male comes decorated with “Special Accomplishments” of the extremely dumb variety: Like the time I vomited on that guy at the David Bowie concert, or, when a former associate woke up under a big round table he had served as a waiter the previous evening — during Sunday Brunch. (He got drunk after his shift at that restaurant where he worked and decided to sleep there rather than go home.)
Most of the time when young males do stupid things, they get off lightly or get away with it. In the case of the Bowie Concert, I was out for the price of tickets and scorched with a massive hangover. My former associate put his bow tie back on and crawled out from under the table, and started working. He later told the manager that he forgot to sign in.
Rarely do such episodes of male insanity result in national TV exposure and a punishment so severe that an entire career is ruined in seconds, potentially.
At age 21 or 22, well over 90 percent of one’s life has been governed by a different set of expectations, ones pertaining to ‘youth.’ Yet by this same age we are officially adults, and expected to know or be responsible for everything — from the very first day.
This demand may be legally appropriate, but when it comes to learning life’s lessons something more spiritual is often in order. This is most certainly one of those cases.
LeGarrette Blount has learned a tough lesson. He is a young man who is one or two years into a process called ‘adult life’ that ought to last most of us fifty or more years. It is unfair to destroy his shot at an NFL career for basically acting as foolish as the rest of us have at one time or another in the past, especially considering that he has owned his mistake, and above all, because he is now a father.