Blackmon Best Recognize Responsibility
By John Helsley
folllow on twitter @jjhelsley
First, a confession: at the age of 20, I did some stupid things; really stupid things. And things I’d now never want anyone to know.
So I know and understand the temptations of the young brain. In fact, I heard somewhere last week that there’s now some medical study that suggests areas of the male brain don’t fully develop until a young man is in his 20s, contributing to the feelings of invincibility many guys feel.
So I will throw no stones at Justin Blackmon.
But I will throw some cautions, because the situations — mine and Blackmon’s — are not the same.
Nobody cared what I was doing at age 20. My mugshot wasn’t making any newspapers (the internet wasn’t yet up and running).
My responsibility was to myself and to my mother, who actually did a wonderful job raising me, although I didn’t always prove it; and a few others.
Blackmon’s responsibility extends much farther. To himself and his family, for sure, but also to his teammates who count on him on Saturdays and to a school that holds him as a face of its football program and provides him an opportunity for education and fame and comforts that few other OSU students enjoy. And to the fans who adore him and cheer his every move, on the field and up the NCAA rankings and onto awards watch lists.
And he has a responsibility, too, to young cancer-stricken Olivia Hamilton, who has found a friend in the very generous and giving Blackmon, yet doesn’t need her heart broken.
People care about Justin Blackmon. And they’re counting on him, too. And he’s accepted that by slipping on his No. 81 Cowboys jersey and stepping into the spotlight.
That carries responsibility.
And it’s a responsibility Blackmon must recognize and appreciate.
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