Don’t Give Up On V.Y.

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: September 13, 2008

HOUSTON — Everyone loves a winner, but no one likes a loser. People love to be around winners, but oh when the winning stops and the human side starts to surface, and heavy criticism comes.

Two weeks ago, Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young was on top of the world smiling and loving every minute of the University of Texas jersey retirement ceremony that took place prior to the Longhorns home opener against Florida Atlantic.

Never again will anyone wear the No. 10 jersey as a football player, but you better believe that many will wear the No. 10 jersey of a player that they admire because of what he accomplished on the football field at the University of Texas.

WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING! But the character of a person is.

A negative spotlight has been cast on Vince Young for the past few days all because of continued high expectations. Yes, its true, Vince did appear on “60 Minutes” last year and he did say that the Titans would win a Super Bowl under his leadership.

Yes, he did say at the end of the interview that “No one could tell him nothing!”. However, if you paid close attention to the interview you would know that his reply was cut short.

Young has been the spotlight of media attention and fans for quite sometime. He has been criticized on every level of the game. It seems that people have forgotten that he is human, and that he too is capable of making mistakes.

Everyday that he steps out on the football field is not going to be a bed of roses. He should not be judged because of the company that he keeps. No he’s not crazy, no he’s not suicidal, no he’s hasn’t been spoiled by Texas head coach Mack Brown as one writer put it.

He’s just Vince. You have to know him to truly understand him.

Vince Young is a very giving person, who has a enormously large heart. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone that has had a impact in his life. He only wants to please them by making them happy. I know because for six and half years, I worked behind the scenes to help get him to where he is today.

People need to remember that he is still a kid at heart. He has not matured in every aspect of his life, and most importantly he’s still growing. Maturity comes with experience, and he will become a better person, because of all of the controversy that is going on now.

Slowly but surely , he is getting rid of all types of excess baggage. He is realizing that he can handle his own stuff; however, unfortunately for him , he has attracted too many people who look at him as a meal ticket!

The sad part is that these people really don’t care nothing about him ! If they did, they would give him some space and let him live his life in a godly manner.

Vince has always been and will continue to be a competitor. And its because of that competitive spirit that he becomes hard on himself when he doesn’t perform up to his standards.

He knows that he’s the franchise player, and he knows that he the leader of the Tennessee Titans team. He’s just down a bit because he has an injury, and he has worked extremely hard during the off-season to make sure that he has a great third year!

Unfortunately, the injury came and now this is just another hurdle that he has to pass. It was interesting to read so many columns and stories of reporters who gave their opinions of the situation without ever talking to him.

One writer called him a spoiled brat, another called him a troubled young man, and one even called him a $50 million NFL flop!

But, let him turn things around and win a championship and these same reporters will be singing a different tune! His coaches and teammates are behind him and he will be back on the field this season after he has been cleared to return to the field from his injury.

As for his excess baggage, they all need to get lost! They’ve already prospered enough off of his talent, with houses, cars,clothes, money, etc,etc,. If I’m not mistaken, there is only one Vince Young and not a lot of imitations.

It’s time for him to stop worrying about what others want him to do and start doing what he needs to do, so that he can remain focused. He doesn’t need to surround himself with folks who are always going to let him do what he wants do, versus what is right!

When I worked with him while he was at Madison High School and the University of Texas, we didn’t have any distractions. Everyone was on the same page and everyone knew what was going on at all times.

Vince will tell you that I always told him what was right and how to handle a particular situation. That’s the same thing that Coach Ray Seals and Mack Brown did.

And speaking of coach Mack Brown, lets get the record straight. Mack Brown does not baby his players. He just takes the time to show that he cares about his athletes beyond what they do on the football field. As a matter of fact, the entire University of Texas Football program does that.

What’s the problem, people can’t care about folks anymore. I didn’t even go to UT and the coaching staff have always treated me with love, care, and concern, just like they still do today. Whoever made that commment has never been to UT and they definitely don’t know Mack Brown.

It has been very disheartening to see so much negative stuff written about Vince this past week. We’re in Houston, getting ready to go through a major storm in Hurricane Ike and, all people want to talk about is what he should do? Vince is going to be Vince and he will bounce back from this minor setback.

When Vince was a student athlete at Madison, he received various death threats and stuff from athletes who were out to hurt him. They called him a dumb jock and sent rumors out that he was a special education student who couldn’t read plays.

However, he ended up leading the Marlins to a 14-1 record and a State-Semifinalist in 2001. He was recruited by over 150 colleges and universities across the country, but was told that he would never make it at the University of Texas.

However, he went on to post a 30-2 record and lead the Longhorns to the 2006 National Championship over USC in the Rose Bowl.

He is now only two classes away from completing his college degree which he will earn in the Spring of 2009. He was selected as the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Titans. He had a very successful first year, winning NFL Rookie of the Year honors, and earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

Although he had a dismal second-year, he is looking to have a better year this season once he returns to the field. So if you continue to say negative things about him, that’s fine, because he knows that only what he does for Christ will last.

And besides, most of you’ll are only around him because he has alot of money!

Where were you’ll before, when the kid was in school and his family didn’t have any food at home to eat during the Christmas holidays? Where were you’ll when his mom was out of work and needed some money to help pay the bills?

Where were you’ll when his immediate family needed someone to drive them to Austin, Texas to see him play in the game?

When Vincent is able to get by himself and reflect back on where he has come from and what he and his family has been through, several things will happen. He will think about the people who truly love him and where those people are now.

He will come back stronger than what he was; he will get rid of those who mean him no good; and last, but most importantly, he will continue to seek God like he has never done before!