A Young Man's Journey
Vince Young had it all: the perfect NCAA National Championship game, top NFL draft pick, excellent rookie season. This season, the storybook career came to a screeching halt, amid a knee injury, booing fans, declining performance, a police search, and allegations of the danger of self-harm. As speculations about what went wrong run rampant through today's TMZ-infused sports media, one thing seems clear: The transition from instant success to struggling young QB was difficult. The San Diego Union Tribune's Jerry Magee makes a valid point: "For persons to become depressed should be expected in an environment in which the pressures are as acute as they are in the NFL." It seems likely that the stress of struggling in the spotlight, along with booing fans and the mental and physical consequences of a serious injury, became overwhelming.
And we're left with more questions than ever about psychology in the NFL. Why wasn't there more support for Vince Young? Why did it get to the point that Titans coach Jeff Fisher alerted the police, concerned for Young's safety and state of mind? Perhaps Magee is right when he asserts that "Young should have been conferring with a therapist in the hours after a football game's conclusion."
Where do you come out on the Vince Young story? Should the NFL do more? Should Vince Young just 'man up', as sports pundits would assert, and play through the tough times? Are there enough mental health resources for today's young professional athletes?
Check out the rest of Magee's column on mental health in pro sports here and let us know what you think.