Friday, September 12, 2008

Vince Young police report

Courtesy of the Nashville City Paper, here is the official report that was filed after the Metro Police got involved in tracking down Vince Young. Troubling.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

VY till I die

Boy, is VY having a tough time of it. I'll admit, when I heard he left the season opener with an injury, part of me hoped it would keep him out a few weeks so he could take a deep breath and reset. Little did I know a media manifested mental meltdown was in the works. But sure enough, next thing you know Jeff Fisher is calling the cops to hunt him down and a crisis negotiator tags along just in case.
Now speculation is rampant. Is he losing it? Does he want to play football? Is he a coddled mamma's boy?
I know media members have to speculate to some degree. Columnists wouldn't be worth their salt if they don't offer insight, ideas and possibilities. But when you're coming out with theories on the mental health of an individual, you're moving on to some shaky ground.
Of course, Jason Whitlock can't stay out of the fray.

No one revolutionizes the starting quarterback position. The position revolutionizes the person playing it. Just ask Donovan McNabb. He figured it out and changed his game. Over the objection of idiots, McNabb developed his skills as a pocket passer. He concentrated on becoming a student of the game. If he can stay healthy over the next three or four years, McNabb will surpass Warren Moon as the best black quarterback ever to play the game.


But McNabb has never threatened to quit or asked out of a game because the Philly fans were too rough. McNabb understands that in some instances the scrutiny of a black quarterback might be a tad more intense than that of a white one. He also understands that the best way to combat it isn't whining. It's performance. It's work ethic. It's professionalism.

It's not a coincidence that McNabb comes from a supportive, two-parent household.

I bring that up not to castigate Vince Young and his mother. I don't even know the story of Young's upbringing.

I raise the issue to point out that in modern professional sports — with the astronomical players' salaries — ownership and management examine the upbringing of the athletes and factor that into their decision-making.

Vick's failure, Young's potential failure and the guaranteed money they were given will make ownership more reluctant to anoint another kid from the 'hood a franchise quarterback straight out of college.

It takes some gumption to suggest Young's struggles in the NFL are due to his upbringing in the same breath that you admit you know nothing about his upbringing. Then again, Whitlock has never been short on gumption. Texas students that were around when Young was making college football fields his personal playgrounds know all about the life and times of young Vince Young. There's Vince's dad going off to jail. There's Vince in handcuffs and an angry mother storming in to take care of business. There's gang activity swirling about Vince and the women in his life serving as a bulkhead to deflect it from him.
And finally we find VY, one of the greatest college players to ever step on the field. He scored eight touchdowns in a pair of Rose Bowl appearances. Both were wins of course, and one was a national championship game, of course. If I can add, he racked up 839 yards of offense in those games, "the Granddaddy of them all."
I'm not saying he's guaranteed to succeed in the NFL. As Houston Chronicle columnist Richard Justice reminds us of the player—and person— he was at Texas, he also pulls our attention to the uncharacteristic struggles off the field.

Those of us that knew him at the University of Texas are having trouble believing this is the same guy that was so tough, so mature and so fiercely competitive.

He wasn’t simply the best college football player on earth those last two years at Texas. He was the guy that made everything go. Teammates and coaches alike looked to him to lead.

He led the Longhorns in the locker room and on the field. I thought the Texans were fools for not drafting him because I couldn’t comprehend him failing. Now it’s getting harder and harder to believe in him.

In three seasons, he has missed a team flight, sulked when things have gone badly and gotten steadily worse as a player.

That’s not the Vince Young that Longhorn Nation loved. That Vince Young didn’t pout when people doubted him. He fed off it, used it to drive himself to do more and more.

I don't know if Young will ever but he deserves a little more than uneducated speculation. The latest developments to the story suggest that everything is fine. It was all just a big mix-up. Time to stop overreacting.
I'm not that much of a sucker.
But it might be a little less convoluted than people think.
Young has never been known for his acting skills. He'll never be confused for a chameleon. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and always has. So the taped interview we've all seen rings true.
Something is going on. I won't argue. But everyone goes through rough patches. No, you don't need to follow his mamma's instructions and pray for him and tell him it'll be OK, but these doomsday prognostications are a bit much.
Young has a winning record in the NFL. He's been to the playoffs. He stays out of jail. And, yes, he gets upset when he gets overwhelmed. But there's no reason to think he won't overcome it.
As always, you can count on Mack Brown for a more optimistic take. I'll give him the last word.

"Anybody that knows Vince knows how competitive he is. Vince sets a high standard for himself and when he doesn't reach that standard, he gets disappointed," said Brown, who sent a text to Young on Monday night. "But he's fine. He's moving forward. He's been criticized before. His worst moment here was his best moment because after he played so poorly against Missouri, he never lost another game.

"So anybody who thinks Vince Young's not competitive, that he won't step up, and he's not going to compete and get that thing turned around doesn't know Vince Young. He'll be fine and we're pulling for him, can't wait to get him well and get him back out on the field."

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

52-10... Need I say more?

Every Texas season should open with a 52-10 win over a patsy. (Despite what FAU apologists would have you believe, the Owls are a patsy.) Sadly, for the first time in two years, I didn't see the game. Sacrilege I know, but I was hosting family, and they didn't want to go the sports bar.

So I get to read recaps and box scores. And I like what I see.

Colt McCoy has, theoretically, established himself as one of the Longhorns' most effective dual threat QBs ever. Seriously.
With his 222 yards passing and 103 yards rushing, he became the second UT quarterback to break the 200/100 barrier more than once in a career. Vince Young, who gave McCoy a hug before the game and got his number retired, accomplished the feat five times.

With three passing TDs and one on the ground, McCoy got a jumpstart on everyone's favorite statistic. Vondrell McGee and Cody Johnson also scored on the ground, while Blaine Irby, Chris Ogbonnaya, Jordan Shipley and James Kirkendoll pulled down touchdown passes.

Kirkendoll's scoring reception came from none other than John Chiles. While Chiles did nothing with his feet, his passing seems improved. The TD pass was the first of his career, and he completed an impressive 4-of-5 passes. In all of last year, he was 1-for-9 with his arm. So, he quintupled his career passing totals in one game. I'm going to take the liberty of attaching more importance to that accomplishment than it probably merits.
Last year, his QB rating was 26.98. This year, it is 228.32
His completion percentage a year ago: 11.1% Now: 80%
Hallelujah. Jump for joy. He's legit.
I hope.

Oh, and about FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger's remarks earlier this week. Well, the AP said it all.

Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger had rankled Texas with comments suggesting the Longhorns weren't tough and could be intimidated if hit hard enough. When the Longhorns walked into the stadium about two hours before kickoff, defensive tackle Roy Miller pulled off his shirt on the field and appeared to be yelling at his teammates to get them fired up as several Owls players stood nearby.

Texas had little trouble pushing around the Owls' defense. While Schnellenberger had said he wanted to get "three hats" on Texas ball carriers, Florida Atlantic seldom appeared to have three players even close in the first half.

If three late hits is Schnellenberger's idea of tough, I have nothing but ill wishes for his squad this season.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

As if Texas needed bulletin board material

With football season about to...(don't do it, Ryan...) kick off (wow, you did it), I hope/plan to check in more often.

Florida Atlantic comes to Austin for the season opener in four days, and Owls head coach Howard Schnellenberger is confident that his squad can put up a fight. Why, he's down right cocky.
"My defense will get to a point where they will be mean, nasty and ornery bastards and that’s what you need for Texas. Texas will move the ball with tit-for-tat, screens and options, but we’ll make them pay a price whenever they catch one of those dinky passes. We’ll put three hats on them and make them not want to get up, that’s the way to beat Texas."
The Longhorns got off to a slow start last season and didn't seem themselves until the Holiday Bowl, but Schnellenberger is forgetting that the talent he puts on the field doesn't afford him any "way to beat Texas." Greg Davis' tit-for-tat, screen and option-based attack has been around awhile, but that hasn't stopped him from taking part in seven consecutive 10+-win seasons. I'll deride Davis' offensive scheme right along with Schnellenberger, but I'll also laugh when it steamrolls his Owls.

By the way, now that I no longer cover Texas, I might allow myself to sound like a bit of a fan sometimes. That's my prerogative. But the author of FAU Sports Beat should really rethink his approach.
He proudly proclaims himself the sports editor of FAU's University Press, and he covers the team. As a journalist that should be asking tough questions as necessary and avoiding any appearances of fanhood, his declaration that he is "excited to cover the most dynamic up-and-coming football program in the country: the FAU Owls" is a bit over the top. His "Scout the Enemy" section of links might get a pass—not from me, though— but poll options of "Longhorns cover" as opposed to"Owls WIN!!!" are just embarrassing.
Be more professional, bro. All those silly college sports editors around the country have a hard enough time getting any respect from their counterparts in the local media without you going and waving your little FAU pennant that you bought at the University Co-op.
For the record, I voted that the Longhorns will cover. 59% of the people agree with me.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TBL interviews VY

Over at, they got a hold of Vince Young and asked him a few questions.
Some of the talk was about the new show, some it was a lot more interesting.
A couple highlights:

Q: Busy offseason for you - the shoe, going back to Texas to take classes … what’d you take?

YOUNG: Oh, it was busy. I definitely want to get my degree and send that message out to kids. I’m only one credit away and I’l be walking across that stage next May. I don’t understand how more people don’t want to go back - how can you sit in college all those years, make the grade, and not want to get a degree? It’s like you wasted your time if you don’t. I’m an education major, and I took lit classes and child development classes.


Q: That’s wild - you’re attempting to be a role model by getting an education and talking to college football players, and yet and the massive story about you this summer centers around a shirtless photo at the club.

YOUNG: That irked me a whole lot. I’m trying to build an image and be a role model that God wants me to be. I don’t understand what’s wrong with having fun with a lot of guys I haven’t seen in a long time. We had a couple drinks, but nobody drove home. Somebody must have wanted to make money, and they put the pictures out there. That comes with being an NFL QB, I guess. There were other football players there, but you won’t hear their names mentioned. But it was bad because I didn’t want kids and parents to see that stuff and say, ‘he’s not the right role model.’ That’s why I apologized. But I’m going to continue to have fun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

VY Launches Signature Shoe

Vince Young is still banking on that 2006 Rose Bowl performance.
I mean, I love the guy, but his performance in the NFL hasn’t been good enough to earn him a signature shoe. Nonetheless, the Reebok VY Electrify launched today. It comes in both football cleat and trainer versions, and it can be had for a piddling $99.99.

Here’s what Vince said.
"I'm happy to be working with Reebok and Dick's Sporting Goods to launch my new cleat. I know it takes a lot of faith in an athlete for a company to create a signature product and I will do my best to make Reebok and Dick's Sporting Goods proud," said Vince Young. "As I say in the commercial; 'I play in the greatest football league in the world. Experience, ability, and intuition got me here and I'm better equipped now than ever.' This cleat is awesome and I can't wait to wear it when it counts - in September."
Yep, that sounds like the VY I encountered a corporate mouthpiece. And that's alright.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Augustin Goes Pro for Good

This is a cross-post from my new blog, Monozygotic, but it was too relevant not to post it here.

So D.J. Augustin went ninth in the draft to the Charlotte Bobcats, not bad for a sub-6-foot point guard. I’ll admit, I was skeptical when he announced he’d go pro. After covering the Longhorns during his sophomore season, I knew how good he was but I also saw him struggle against Memphis. It seemed like that would be the best example of what he’ll face in the NBA, and it didn’t go well.

Plus, I knew how family-oriented and focused on academics he is. During the conference portion of the situation, he said he’d be coming back next year, and I didn’t think he’d change his mind.

But I guess I was too close to the situation to be able to assess it accurately. For the distant observer, it was obvious. He was an AP All-American and bound to be a lottery pick. He got the chance to live out his dream and make a ton of money in the process, and he could do it NOW.

Or he could play another year of college ball.

Before last season, Augustin worked out a lot with T.J. Ford. Ford had a message for him: “You’ve got to run the show. You’ve got to do it.”

He’ll have the same mission in Charlotte. A Charlotte Observer columnist, Tom Sorenson, saw this coming and delivered a short scouting report on Augustin.

“Augustin, 20, is almost slight. But he runs an offense beautifully. And get this: He would rather create shots for his teammates than for himself. And he can shoot. There is purity to his game.”

That sounds about right.

Good luck D.J.