Suppose Leonard Fournette Likes Chihuahuas?

This blog needed a strange title if, for no other reason, to encourage many of us to stop in our tracks, get out of our predictable ruts, and let college students, both young men and women, live their lives.

IMG_20150714_155958I draw inspiration for this blog from a nicely written piece by Barrett Sallee for Bleacher Report (October 1, 2015) entitled: SEC Extra Points with Barrett Sallee: Enough with Leonard Fournette NFL Talk. I must compliment Barrett; ethically, he was right on the money.

The short piece was written in response to several writers around the nation who are encouraging (make that pushing) LSU’s amazing running back Leonard Fournette to sit out the 2016 year in order to save his body for the NFL draft. The writers want to shove Fournette into the NFL because he is such an amazing talent – and, well, they could not imagine any other outcome for his life other than for him to scramble into the NFL and earn large pots of cash.

Barrett Sallee wants the “experts,” in fact anyone not named Leonard Fournette, to decide the football player’s life. He had an important point to make.

To start, Leonard Fournette has no desire to leave LSU let alone rest his body for a year. He wants to help his team regain its lost glory. He wants to use his gift to make LSU relevant. Maybe the Broncos could use Fournette or the Jaguars or the Lions for that matter, but for now he wants to stay at LSU. He does not need the pressure of national sports media prognosticators telling him how as a sophomore he should be living the rest of his life.

Far too often, we are quick to advise others because we cannot imagine them following a scenario that is not of our own making. I know a man who when he was about to turn 50, looked in the mirror one day and realized he was living his life for everyone but himself. He was a very successful sales executive with a fancy car and a club membership. He quit to become a pastry chef. Oh man, did it make his wife angry! Last I heard, he opened a bakery, has lots of customers and he is happy as a clam or cake or whatever.

Leonard Fournette walks across campus

As absurd as this example will sound, suppose one evening LSU Sophomore Leonard Fournette is walking across campus and he spots a sickly, stray Chihuahua shaking under a bench. Is this possible? Yes, it is possible.

Something turns over in his heart. This massive guy picks up the seven pound dog and decides to nurture it back to health. Is this possible? Yes, it is possible. In fact, whatever you do and whoever you are, if you have ever had a pet you cared about, you could imagine this being damn well possible. People have done strange things for the animals they have loved; it makes us more human.

Leonard takes the dog to a veterinarian and he and the vet make the dog well. But a strange thing happens when he is at the vet’s office. He begins to ask questions. He wonders what it takes to become a veterinarian.

It sits with him and –.

No, I am not suggesting – even remotely – that this will happen. He will undoubtedly go on to the NFL and make millions of dollars. It is his destiny; maybe. The point is that he is still a young man of only 20, and he should be allowed to live his life. He does not need, as Barrett Sallee suggests, anyone deciding his future for him.

Unfortunately, and far too often, those in the world of sports can only view athletes in two dimensions; that they are cut-outs, destined to moving along a pre-arranged track. An outstanding collegiate athlete, in their minds, should drop out at the earliest possible moment, go professional and make millions.

Perhaps Leonard Fournette wants to help LSU for a while and enjoy his collegiate career; perhaps he has no desire to rest his body before turning professional. Or perhaps, while walking across campus one cool evening –.

 

 

 

 

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