Titus Young's Mind Is Playing Tricks On Him


There's no way know for sure if Titus Young Sr. hit rock bottom within the past seven days or so, but he's at least standing on the doorstep. In less than a week's time, the former Boise State and Detroit Lions wideout was arrested for a DUI, released, arrested again for attempting to hop the fence into the impound lot where his car was taken, released, and once again arrested for allegedly breaking and entering a home and then assaulting a police officer.

The first two incidents incited anger. Athletes should be required to hire drivers for evenings they know they're going to get wasted. Taking it further, every athlete's car should be installed with a breathalyzer and shouldn't start if his or her BAC surpasses a given limit. I drove drunk home before, woke up the next morning and immediately dropped to my knees thanking God for getting me home safely and in one piece. I didn't remember how I got home, stopping at any stoplights or how I managed to park my car. I could've lost my life, or even worse, I could've taken another person's.

So upon hearing Young was arrested for driving intoxicated, I was upset. Then to hear he attempted to jump the fence on some "Project X" stunt gone horrifically wrong to retrieve his car, my first thought was like everyone else's, "Bruh, are you a f*cking idiot or simply just that stupid?" Through a few degrees of separation, stealing your own stuff is how O.J. landed in jail, and his recent pics show everything there is to know about prison and how it facilitates the aging process.

By the time the third arrest surfaced, anger was still present, but concern for his well-being was emerging. Titus' decision making the past week would make even former FEMA Director Michael Brown (you know, the main guy who botched the whole Katrina disaster in the worst manner possible) scratch his head. Yet, the fact this isn't a "R.I.P." post is proof there is some sort of silver lining in the midst of a dumb-ass series of events. Bill Palttos, the owner of the home Titus allegedly broke into, was fully prepared to make sure Young left his house in a body bad if push came to shove.

There's plenty of jokes laying at the feet of the receiver who has only caught 81 passes since entering the NFL, too. Like, for instance, imagine the skit Dave Chappelle could come up with had his show been on its 11th or 12th season by now. Or "The Boondocks" if Aaron McGruder ever decides to compose a fourth season. Or how does a former professional wide receiver who probably runs a 4.4 40 get caught on foot by police? Has Reggie Bush already picked up an offseason gig in "the D" because if not that's pretty embarrassing. Or the fact we should've known buddy was off his rocker when he said he was a better receiver than Calvin Johnson. Or imagine how drunk you'd have to get to attempt to break your own car out an impound lot? Or why in the blue hell did he have to take a mugshot with a G-Unit wifebeater on? Those man bra-straps are quite unbecoming.

Then there's the issue beyond the anger, beyond the frustration and beyond the jokes that belies something very serious. Titus Young has a problem. A problem which has become his calling card of sorts. A problem which once caused him to purposely line up on the wrong spot on the field in a loss to Green Bay. A problem which caused him to become a distraction in practice, team meetings and even punch his own teammate Louis Delma last May. A problem which his father says stems from a wicked elixir of depression and bipolar conditions following a concussion his rookie season.

In one respect, it's a PR move potentially capable of drawing some sort of public sympathy following a week full of SMH-worthy moments. In another, there likely is a layer of truth beneath the surface. We're living in an age where the NFL — despite being the country's most popular sport — struggles to find enough ice to place on the proverbial bruises and black eyes it takes from an image standpoint with each lawsuit and death.

We laugh at Young for his idiotic transgressions. Yet, we mourn when Junior Seau places a bullet in his chest leaving his mother to deliver one of the most emotional and rawest reactions ever recorded on TV. We mourn when Jovan Belcher takes the life of his child's mother and then moments later his own in front of his coach and general manager. We're damn near moved to tears when Jim McMahon says he barely remembers what he walks to the mailbox for every morning.

And Titus Young isn't headed down the same path?

While typing this, the Geto Boys' undeniable classic "My Mind Playing Tricks On Me" appeared on shuffle in what could be seen as a rather fitting soundtrack. Titus' mind — whether through years of physical abuse from the game of football, too much alcohol or a combination of the both — led to three asinine decisions, two of which had the potential to have him laying in a morgue. And now, his football career may be all but toe-tagged. Meanwhile, those around him, both intimately and from a distance, see the dangerous path this is taking. Titus' mind may be playing tricks on him, but it couldn't be more clear for the rest of us peering from the outside looking in.

I don't quote Lil' Wayne too often, but he was right. We have to find middle ground. We need balance. Then and only then can Titus Young get his life in order. If it isn't already too late.

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