"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." -Abraham Lincoln
You ever gone on a date with someone that doesn't drink? Rhetorical question. Chances are, you probably haven't. You know why that is? Because people that don't indulge themselves in some life's vices are extremely hard to relate to. I'm not saying you need a drinking problem, or a drug problem, or a gambling problem, or an infidelity problem to be normal. However, I am saying that one or two of those things, in moderation, make you who you are. They shape you. They make you approachable . We are talking about a surfer boy from Hawaii, that went to a major University, and played at the very highest level in college football. If a person with those experiences doesn't have at least one skeleton in his closet than it becomes worrisome. Think about Marcus Mariota's position. He's the quarterback of an NFL team now. A leader of men. Men that are likely to have troubled pasts. Men that have undoubtedly seen some shit while coming up through the ranks of college football. Mariota's job is to create chemistry between those men on the field, and to a lesser extent, off the field. How can you be on the same page as your quarterback when you can't understand him as a person. The guy that managed to avoid every single demon he may have encountered in his past is the outcast. He's not one of the guys. It's natural to fall victim to an evil or two as a superstar, pseudo-celebrity, football player. In fact, it's actually expected.
Yeah, in theory, NFL teams would much rather have the player that has no rap sheet whatsoever. They generally try to steer clear of the Junior Galette's of the world, but if the choice is between a choir boy and a kid with a blemish or two on his resume then give me the kid that has worked through his troubles. The kid who has things that make him tick. The kid who has a little bit of personality to him. The other kid? The one that always makes the right, by the book, decision isn't going to ascend to the top of the NFL, because football is a volatile game. The right play isn't always the right play. It's result oriented. Sometimes the questionable decision is the one that makes a good player a great player, depending on how often that decision ends up successful. If there is a sport that lends itself to reckless behavior it's football, and sometimes a little bit of recklessness off field translates to a successful player on the field. Give me the guy that knows how to handle both extremes over the player that always plays it straight down the middle.