A Packers fan's struggles with Vince Young
Vince Young Photo: Image by TODAY'S TMJ4
GREEN BAY - One of my favorite things about being a sports fan is the intensity you can feel. The joy in victories and the agony of defeat,s and in many cases the defeats stay with you much longer than the victories.
For me, January 4, 2006 will always be a completely awful day. I don’t have to look up the date, or strain to remember it; it’s right there, always there.
I know the NCAA sanctions have told me that it nothing that year has happened, but they can’t erase the pain. My school, USC, lost one of the most epic Rose Bowl games to new Packers quarterback Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns.
All the ESPY promos the following year talked about how great both schools were, both programs were and how great the game was. All the things USC had, Texas had.
But the promos ended with one line. “But they didn’t have Vince Young. They didn’t have Vince Young.” USC didn’t have Vince Young, they didn’t have a magical, if incorrectly called, conversion on fourth down that would ultimately seal the game.
After that game, I was, what some might call, irrationally angry at everything Texas.
For months, friends would distract me if we were out and an innocent stranger might be wearing some Texas gear. The mere image of a Longhorn symbol would cause my stomach to turn.
I mocked Vince Young, his horrible wonderlic score and his odd fashion choices. Before the 2006 draft, I warned that Young would become the next Michael Irvin (another villain in my life) and wear gold suits on the sideline. I cautioned that he would never be more than a distraction.
Flash forward seven years, Vince Young after going through four teams and a year off of football, the man who broke my heart that January night is now a member of my most favorite team, my Packers.
This feels weird.
B.J. Coleman still has yet to show discipline with the football, evidence by his two turnovers at Family Night, and Graham Harrell still has Graham Harrell’s arm. Calling the seat behind Aaron Rodgers empty is nearly an understatement.
Additionally, the Packers have struggled defending teams with mobile quarterbacks and will have to face both Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III within the first three weeks of the 2013 season.
Vince Young makes sense in practice. Give the defense something to practice against and provide more competition for the backup quarterbacks.
But Vince Young does not make sense in my heart.
The man I spent the last seven years of my life actively disliking, is now someone I must cheer for. I must wish him well, support him and (yuck) hope he succeeds.
I wish, as part owner, I could try to include him admitting that his knee was down into his contract, but I fear it is too late for that. It won’t be easy, but now that he is a Packer, I hope he helps the team and he is now part of my people.
That is until the Packers cut him in three weeks.
What can I say? Old habits die hard.