Arizona finds itself in the unusual position of being 2-0 after a comprehensive 31-3 dispatch of Miami earlier today. Said result came on the heels of a Miami Herald article in which the Vince Young Situation became the basis for a larger conversation about players’ state of mind. The paper’s Jeff Darlington spoke to a succession of Dolphins, including a guy who knows a thing or two about being pilloried, RB Ricky Williams.
Williams suggests every player deals with some depression when it comes to the competitiveness of football. It isn’t the initial depression that matters, Williams said. It’s the ability to bounce back from it.
”If you’re not depressed after you lose a football game, you’re not healthy,” Williams said. “But how long that depression lasts, and how you respond to it, that’s the more pertinent question.
“For all intents and purposes, football is our lives. Even on our day off, football is thrown at me at the grocery store or anywhere I go.”
Rookie quarterback Chad Henne can remember plenty of times during his up-and-down career at the University of Michigan when the booing on the field carried over to his everyday life. His fiance often dealt with the ridicule when she attended classes, put into the awkward situation of hearing others poke fun at his performance.
”When it gets to the point where it’s really bad, it almost feels embarrassing,” Henne said. “In college, you don’t want to go to class or go out in public. But you still have to face it each day.
Williams doesn’t believe there is enough being done to help players battle with the potential mental problems that can face them.
”I don’t think we’re given a lot of help in doing it, but there’s definitely a way,” Williams said. “I don’t think there’s anything in place to help players deal with it — especially young players like Vince.”
Hall Of Fame running back Jim Brown said the background of a given player — whether he was raised in poverty or without a father — can have an impact on the way that player should be treated later in life.
”I’m just saying, if you’re in a culture with no fathers, you can’t be demanding and rough and aggressive with a player to get through to them,” Brown said. “You’ve got to be understanding and caring. These players have already dealt with the rough times. In some sense, these players are already fractured.”