Keeping it really real, for real

PacmanSo I’ve read this column about three times now, and I’ve wanted to write a post about it for a couple of days.

It’s by Page 2’s LZ Granderson and it deals with — you guessed it — the current NFL conduct scandals.

The premise of the piece is that people like Pacman Jones (left) and Mike Vick, who come from underprivileged areas, feel more of a responsibility to pull their friends out of the slums.

Granderson bases his theory on first-hand experience gained growing up in not-so-nice Detroit.

I’ve read it over and over because I can’t decide if it’s a valid argument. Are Pacman and Vick really feeling more of an obligation to pull their friends out than anyone else?

I’m not from a poor community by any means, but I have had friends who made bad decisions and probably aren’t where they imagined they would be at this point in life. But doesn’t everyone?

And, even if I was extremely wealthy and felt obligated to pull my friends out of trouble, would I really let myself sink back into the behavior that I tried so hard to escape? Honestly, I guess it’s an impossible question for anyone (me) who hasn’t come from that situation to answer.

But I do think for Vick to say, “I set up this dog fighting club out on my private land to get my friends out of the ghetto,” is a lame excuse.

Granderson closes with:

Either way, it’s hard being the one in the ocean with the life jacket while your friends are drowning all around you. . . .Especially when you know you started off on the same sinking boat not too long ago.

But if these guys tried so hard to escape their old lives, and feel such an obligation to pull their friends out, why do they always seem to end the same trouble-inducing situations? Who exactly is that helping?


1 Response to “Keeping it really real, for real”

  1. August 1, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Since I’m not straight out the hood either, one could say my opinion is invalid as well, but….

    Once you’re on MTV’s Cribs and have plenty of money to blow at the strip clubs, who goes with you out on the town? Is it your new friend the gardener? Do you befriend other rich people in town?
    Meet some new people at church? No. You just bring along your old friends. I don’t see it as the athlete saving his friends from drowning in poverty. In fact, the whole premise is faulty.

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