Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Fallen Soldier

Kellen Winslow II is lucky to be alive. The should-have-been second year tight end for the Cleveland Browns was in a severe motorcycle accident earlier this week, and while his football career is in jeopardy, it should be the least of his worries.

It's being reported that Winslow has suffered a broken tibia and fibula, a broken femur, a smashed knee cap and a torn ACL. Some of these injuries occurred to the same leg in which Winslow fractured in his second professional game last season. Additionally, Winslow may have broken ribs, a punctured lung and a lacerated liver. The internal injuries are of dire concern to his medical staff, and the injuries below the waist have threatened the longevity of a once-promising career.

But the injuries on the inside and below the waist are directly related to what Winslow has between the ears. Although his father made the Kellen Winslow name famous, the second-coming has done nothing but tarnish it. While in college, Winslow came known for as much as his playing exploits as his cocky demeanor and brash attitude. He wasn't liked - by fans, coaches, opposing players, etc.

It's unfortunate Winslow had an accident. After all, I would never wish this sort of injury upon any human being. But it does lead me to think about the "what goes around, comes around" karma. Winslow is a self-proclaimed "soldier," although his battles occur in the trenches of the football field - not on a battlefield. He never seemed to put it together upstairs, and while a player like Chris Henry drops to the third round for crossing his arms and being immature, Winslow's name let an incompetent head coach like Butch Davis forget about the attitude problems that could plague his career. He was drafted in the top 10 and handed $40 million without a second thought.

Perhaps it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Winslow has always operated under his own terms, and now - with his leg not even fully healed - he was out violating his contract and crashing a motorcycle while doing a wheelie.

If the Browns are smart, the new management and Romeo Crennel's staff will find a way to void the contract and alleviate itself of Winslow's burden.

I feel sorry for the fans of the Cleveland Browns, and the new staff that thought it had one of the best young playmakers in the game, but something inside me believes Winslow simply got what was coming to him all along.


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