I’ve been thinking quite a bit about sports and religion lately and am working on an essay on the deification of the collegiate/professional athlete in terms of immanence and transcendence. Sean Taylor’s tragic death early this week certainly reminds us of the immanence of professional athletes and their very real vulnerability juxtaposed to the invincible nature that much of sports talk places on them. While Taylor’s immediate and NFL families will mourn his death for some time to come, further investigation into this tragedy might complicate what looks like a botched robbery. It is well known that Taylor had a sketchy legal background but that he was also, fortunately, turning his life around. I certainly hope that this is not a case of his past catching up with him. A friend recently alerted me to an article about Michael Vick that, unfortunately, applies to many professional athletes. On last night’s Inside the NFL on HBO, former standout wide receiver Chris Carter noted the inability of many professional athletes to break free from bad associations and that, ultimately, “the streets” always win out.
George Dohrmann and Farrell Evans’ article, “The Road to Bad Newz,” adds some complexity to what might be seen as an easy case of good quarterback gone bad.