Everyone is searching for the fountain of youth. We all want to be young, flexible, and invincible. For professional athletes, the fountain of youth can prove to be deadly. The scary part is that the better athlete you are the more deadly the fountain.
Earlier this week, per ESPN Dallas, it was revealed that the Dallas Cowboys have set various restrictions on Dez Bryant,
• A midnight curfew. If he's going to miss curfew, team officials must know in advance;
• No drinking alcohol.
• He can't attend any strip clubs and can only attend nightclubs if they are approved by the team and he has a security team with him.
• He must attend counseling sessions twice a week.
• A rotating three-man security team will leave one man with Bryant at all times.
• Members of the security team will drive Bryant to practices, games and team functions.
In the short term, this is great for both Dez and the Cowboys. If he adheres to these restrictions and balls out on the field he could be signing at least a $40 million minimum contract extension in a few years.
It’s the same old story, trouble star athlete finds a way to beat the odds and not derail his own career. He lasts 10 – 15 years in the pros and make upwards of 50 million dollars. Two years after he’s retired he’s broke, in jail or sometime of trouble.
The more longevity a pro athlete has, the longer they are coddled and babysat by their organization — especially if the organization can trust the athlete on the field to make the big play, but they can’t trust them off the field to walk away from trouble. The better the athlete, the longer the organization treats them like they are six years old.
Dez’s situation is no different than the child movie star who is in rehab by before they are old enough to vote or the religious private high school girl with the strict parents who drops out of college and becomes a porn star. When you discipline people with an iron fist the out of control and undisciplined behavior after iron fist’s vice grip is released should be no surprise.
The Dallas Cowboys have no choice. Bryant has all the potential in the world to become a great receiver and the Cowboys are going to make sure they get the most out of their investment.
Dez Bryant has a choice. He can grow up and learn to discipline himself or he can become football’s version of Allen Iverson — on the field, off the field, and most unfortunately after retirement.
For more from Richard Boadu, checkout 6Magazine.com.