This year’s NFL Draft will be remembered as the most compelling in its history. It had every component of what we have grown to expect from the NFL Draft, on the highest higher levels, coupled with elements and imagery the likes of which we have never seen before. The night started as predictable as the sun rising in the east, with the two top rated quarterbacks Jared Goff, and Carson Wentz going #1 and #2 without a to the Rams and Eagles respectively. There was a bit of a surprise that Joey Bosa of Ohio State went 3rd to San Diego, but it was understandable given their woes on their defensive line. Then bizarre story that would define the draft for all drafts to come, began to surface and consume both commentators, and tabloids alike.
The real-time human drama began 13 minutes before the start of the NFL Draft. In an instant former projected first pick overall tackle Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss became both; a shocking testimony and precautionary tale, when a video surfaced from his twitter account showing him smoking marijuana through a bong attached to a gas mask. There had been whispers about his off the field issues, but this was definitive and irrefutable imagery. Now there will be those whom say “if he wouldn’t have been smoking drugs in the first place, much less having it recorded, he wouldn’t have ever had this trouble’. And they would be correct. Our decisions are the foundations of our future, but I’m reminded of Romans 3:23 ALL have sinned come short of the glory of God. Therefore, he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Imagery is shocking and indelible to the American psyche. We learned this a 2 seasons ago with the Baltimore Raven RB Ray Rice, who has never played another down since TMZ released the video of him and his then fiancé in an elevator. As a result Ray Rice has never played another down in the NFL, and a zero tolerance domestic violence policy has pushed forth sport-wide. Recently there have been two multi-million dollar lawsuits awarded to celebrities for violations to their privacy and revenue losses. As far as Laremy Tunsil he was projected at the top of the draft order before the images were released. Even with the fact that whispers were surfacing about “character and off the field issues”. Those were rumors, and innuendos, but this was undeniable imagery. The mere whisper, or rumor is said to have costed Hall of Famers like Dan Marino, and Warren Sapp millions in lost revenue.
We asked ourselves during this real-time human drama questions like; who would do such a thing? How far will his draft stock slide? What is he thinking right now? What are GMs and owners thinking? What will happen next? If Hall of Famers like Dan Marino and Warren Sapp slid in years past, how far will Tunsil? To his credit, I must say that Tunsil responded versus reacted. The revelation of a difference being response is calculated, thought out and trained, while reacting is primitive and knee-jerk. Tunsil stayed calm and cool throughout the process. He never displayed anger or dejection in any form or fashion even with every camera fixed on him during the entire debacle.
Then finally the same team that took Dan Marino 33 years ago, chose Tunsil 13th overall. Other tackles were drafted before him, but he was still a first-rounder. His response made me proud as well; as he kept saying “I’m blessed” repeatedly. The fact that a young man could keep his composure and disposition together while the biggest real-time cyber smear campaigns in NFL Draft history was taking place was a testament to him, his mother, and his faith. The Dolphins saw the video and said to themselves this was a discretion of his youth, and we all make mistakes. That’s why we have white-out, erasers, and spell check.
Decisions are the foundations of our futures. We must decide on what we do, and who we attach ourselves to. That’s why the bible says I in Matthew 7:24 a wise man built his house upon a rock. Choose that which gives life as Deuteronomy 30 instructs us. I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: The culprit(s) will be exposed soon enough. Initially we thought it was his stepdad who has a 2 million dollar lawsuit against Tunsil, but I purposely delayed article because it now looks like it may have been his former unlicensed financial advisers whom Tunsil fired prior to the draft. Apparently they had Tunsil’s old cell phone and released the video without Tunsil’s permission. Recent history tells us that celebrities have been rewarded multi-million dollars in punitive damage for just such an egregious act committed against them. Only time will tell if Tunsil will be added to this list.
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