Growing up, we all called them heathens. In the South it’s actually pronounced with an R at the end so it sounds like “heatherns”. I am not going to say that is proper use of the word, because when you look that term up in the dictionary, it refers to someone who does not follow a religion or is a pagan. Maybe, as we say in the South, they lost their religion. I guess the meaning of this word evolved for Southerners because we are a God fearing bunch if nothing else. And if God don’t have you, then the Devil must. And if you want to go around raising hell by beating people up, robbing them and just acting a fool, then I would say most Southern women would call you a heathern. And most God fearing people might even say you had lost your religion and that you need to find God. I am going to say I think the Southerners have nailed this one.
By now most of you know who I am talking about. There was an incident on the University of Alabama campus two days ago that involved four Alabama football players. They are; Eddie Williams, who was considered the #1 player in the State of Florida last year at his high school, and a top recruit, D.J. Pettway, Taylor Hayes who has actually had some playing time as a linebacker, and even played in the BCS game, and Brent Calloway. You can read the bloody details on some other website, but it boils down to this…They decided they were going to go out on campus, beat a couple of kids up and rob them. Brent Calloway is also being charged with fraud in the use of a debit/credit card and Eddie Williams was later cited with owning an unlicensed gun. Heatherns!
I don’t know these boys personally, but I am pretty sure their Momas/Daddys/Grandmas did not raise them to act like heatherns. So what on earth possessed these boys to decide “hey, you know what? Let’s beat the crap out of this kid, until he’s bleeding and take all his stuff, that would be cool and fun!”…And then “hey, that was so much fun, let’s go up the street and do it again!”
WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!?!?!?
It’s almost like the Michael Vick syndrome, just ask the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu who was arrested last year for drug possession and kicked off the LSU team. Coach Les Miles (who I have never cared for) said he was a quality player, he just could not get a handle on his behavior issues. Someone else even told me “he’s a great kid, he just has issues.” Well applause to Les Miles, I know he didn’t WANT to kick Tyrann off the team, Tyrann was winning games for him. But at some point he must have realized, okay, this one bad apple is going to ruin the whole bunch, and I hate to do this, but he’s got to go. Tyrann knew he was doing things he wasn’t supposed to be doing, but he was doing them anyway. And it ended his career. No more playing football for one of the best teams in the SEC, no more being mentored by some of the best people at Louisiana State University, no more free rides. And guess what else? No future playing for the NFL. It’s almost like they cannot stop their bad ways, even when everyone else is trying to help them.
So I realize that these are kids and being on such a team is a lot of pressure. However, if you cannot reign yourself in, reign in that bad behavior to reap the benefits of all the things be laid out before you, then you do not deserve those great things. You do not deserve to play on a winning team, you do not deserve everyone working hard for you, media attention or National Championship rings. So kids, you’ve got to decide…how are you going to play this? Are you going to play the game of life to win?? Or are you going to be a heathern and screw up your entire future with one stupid, senseless act? It’s really up to you.
For the last two days I have been thinking about this story and how I might blog about it, but I was never worried about it. Because I know that Nick Saban does not put up with any BS in his house. His statement was simply “…this type of behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football team” and with that, all four students have been indefinitely suspended from the football team. What’s done is done, good for Saban.
So see fans, I am not worried about the team, Saban keep tabs on things and he doesn’t put up with kids acting like heatherns. I DO worry about those kids’ Momas, Daddys and Grandmas and how they will stay awake worrying what they could have done differently and how did things go so wrong for their son who had such a bright future? To the parents reading this, all you can do is raise your kids to be the best they can be. By the time they go off to college you just have to HOPE that everything you taught them sticks, but at that point, they are responsible for themselves, and you have done your job. So stop beating yourself up, these kids need to take responsibility for their own actions.
And to the players reading this, before you go and do something stupid that is going to mess up your really bright future entire life, ask yourself “what would Moma say about this?” and if it causes you shame…THEN DON’T DO IT. Do not be a heathern. Go out and be a good, responsible, kind citizen who your parents, AND YOURSELF, can be very proud of, okay?
Thank y’all. And Roll Tide.