August 10, 2013

Why Can't Athletes Be Content With Success?

By - Jaquan Murphy

In one of the more troubling stretches in sports in recent memory, the summer of 2013 has featured an array of prominent figures making the news for all the wrong reasons. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, former Pro Bowl tight end Aaron Hernandez and 3-time American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez have headlined a summer of negativity.

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So why can't big name athletes just be content with success, fame and fortune?

Even a star collegiate athlete is basically living the high life. They're essentially viewed as rock stars all over campus. Girls adore them and teachers favor them, making for a relatively easy school life in general. All eyes are on these players anyway, so why do some guys feel the need to draw more attention to themselves when they're already operating under a microscope?

It's not that hard of a task to stay out of trouble. Believe it or not, it's possible to go your entire collegiate life without finding any. You can go to parties without getting into fights that could jeopardize your scholarship. If you're of age, you can go to a bar without causing a scene. Many incidents that get college athletes into trouble are situations that they could have avoided altogether in the first place.

The same logic holds true at the professional level. Many incidents that blemish a player's image are situations they could have avoided. DUIs, bar fights, things of this nature. If guys would just stop and remember what got them where they are in life, problems could easily be averted.

Social networking is said to be a problem as well, but it is only a problem when people make it one. If some of these athletes were not where they are, would their opinions even really matter? No, they wouldn't.

I don't really know what it is about pro athletes. They get thrown tons of money to play a game. Nothing more, nothing less. Never was there an "above-the-law" perk in anyone's contract, so I don't get why some athletes think they're above it. There isn't an "invincibility clause" either, so I don't understand why some guys act like there is. It baffles me that players just can't be content with playing the game they love.

If you're an athlete and you want more publicity, give back. If you have a mansion or two and five cars, you can afford to donate and give back to the community. Help renovate a recreation center or help build a playground. Do something positive. Every team loves a guy who not only is a good player, but better person.

Otherwise, think before you act. It's not hard to do. Just ask yourself, "if I do this, what could the repercussions be?" Or, "how many millions do I stand to lose by doing this?"

Simply put, just play ball. Concentrate on your sport. Work to master your trade. Do what you need to do to be a great athlete. Avoid all the other stuff off the field. You can still have fun, just don't be a negative image. Stop seeking more attention. You'll get plenty by performing on game day.


  1. Amen. It comes from a sense of entitlement. "I'm better at sports than everybody else, so you all need to bow to me and give me what I want NOW!" They remind me of one of those hideous children from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You may have hit it when you said they are playing a kid's game. I don't think any of them have ever grown up.

  2. Like the article says, just play ball (& collect the $).