Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Having a sad

I believe I have previously confessed to being a New England Patriots fan. Yes, I know, to you football is probably stupider than Celebrity Apprentice, but there it is. If you haven't been living under a rock you know that Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is in jail, charged with murder. This is bad news for the team because his if-anything-even-more-unstoppable counterpart Rob Gronkowski has had multiple surgeries and who knows if he'll play again or how good he'll be. When they were on the field together, they could not be defended. But now genius coach Bellicheck and golden boy quarterback Tom Brady will need a plan B.

You don't need me to tell you that making heroes and role models of athletes is fool's gold. There are some good and wise among them but the ranks of professional athletes are not the place to go looking for such. In fact, that's where you go to look for arrogant pricks because they've been entitled, worshiped and enjoyed impunity since high school or even earlier.

This, however, is an outlier. Hernandez had just signed a contract for $40 million and trousered a $16 million signing bonus. He has an 8 month old baby and fiancee. If you haven't followed the details, according to the prosecutor's statement in court, Hernandez summoned a couple of low-life acquaintances from his old home town of Bristol, Connecticut, and they all went and picked up this guy Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of said fiancee and so was a potential brother in law. They drove him to a gravel pit and shot him five times. The only motive offered by the prosecutor was that Lloyd had spoken with the wrong people in a bar. Who knows what that means.

For those of you wishing to commit similar murders, here are a few tips. If you leave your cell phone on while driving around, the police can retrace everywhere you have been. They can also read all your text messages. Also, too, there are surveillance cameras all over creation. It's not just the NSA that can see all this, the only difference being that the police need a warrant. But if you kill people, they can get one.

Another tip: if you bring in small timers on a big ticket (e.g., life without parole), they'll flip like pancakes. One of the accomplices walked into a police station in Miramar, Florida, and said "Hi, you're looking for me?" He's obviously planning to be sweetly cooperative given the right incentive, and I'm sure the DA will be happy to offer, say, 10 to 20, maybe out in 8, in return for a well performed recital.

So, a trial presumably awaits but assuming the worse for Mr. Hernandez, unfortunately, the $16 million won't be taking care of the baby. In addition to the wrongful death suit from Lloyd's family, rumors are flying about that Hernandez was responsible for a drive-by shooting in Boston last summer that killed two completely innocent, law-abiding clubgoers. It seems they had been involved in some sort of altercation earlier in a bar at which Hernandez was present. Oh yeah. A guy in Florida is already suing Hernandez for shooting him in the head after -- wait for it -- an argument in a bar.

I would advise Hernandez to stay out of bars from now on but that probably won't be necessary. The point of all this, if there is one? This guy is starting to look like a psycho Steven King could not have imagined. Also astonishingly stupid. Most folks who shoot people over nothing have nothing to lose. Maybe he's been bumped in the head too many times, I wouldn't know. But whatever the reason, as I've said before, when the cerebral cortex goes haywire it can act in totally unpredictably. Anything can happen. It's a wondrous gift, this network of neurons that distinguishes us from the beasts, and a terrible curse.


robin andrea said...

I did see headlines about this football player Hernandez, but didn't read any of the news stories. Sounds like a crazy murderer to me. It would be interesting to see if his repeated head-bonking will be raised by his defense.

Anonymous said...

As a freshman nerd I lived in a dorm with two football players. As a nerd I had to conclude they were truly dangerous, to be avoided always and not to make any unnecessary eye contact.

I never would have thought that 40 years later I would be at least moderately successful doing things that nerds do, married to a high school cheerleader, president of her school class and a NHS award winner. Go figure.

I wonder where the "Hawk" and "Cruncher" are today?