I am now back from spring break and ready to pick things back up. I forgot to mention that I would be gone in the first place, but I’m saying it now. My apologies for that. Anyway, on to the real story.
So by now, I imagine most have heard about Dez Bryant’s little incident at a Dallas shopping mall, in which he was told to leave the premises after he and some of his friends refused the request of some off-duty security officers to pull up their pants because their underwear was showing. That in itself wasn’t the real problem. It was how Bryant reacted to the request: excessive profanity, of course.
This was reported last week, but I actually didn’t hear about it until yesterday, when I saw a more recent story relating Deion Sanders’ reaction to the event. As has been said many times, Sanders had been a mentor to Bryant since his time at Oklahoma State, and it was circumstances related to their relationship that ultimately caused Bryant to lose his eligibility there.
So, Sanders throws in his two cents about how Bryant is immature and needs help. This isn’t anything that wasn’t said before last year’s draft. All I remember hearing was that he was very talented, but he could have “character issues.” Most of this stems from the lying incident in college.
Now there is a rift between Sanders and Bryant, one that Bryant doesn’t seem to understand, according to the ESPN story. Apparently, Sanders operates a youth athletic program, and he doesn’t want Bryant around to potentially negatively influence the children he is trying to mentor.
“I have no desire to speak to the kid. In regards to me, I can forgive, but I can’t forget. You can’t tarnish the other things that I have going on and the other kids. It’s sort of like I can’t allow something to poison the fruit of many other kids. I can’t do it, so I cut off those ties a long time ago.”
I might be out of the loop, which I often am, but I really don’t know what Sanders is talking about. If all of this comes from the fact that Bryant lied about having met with Sanders, that’s something I don’t quite understand. Bryant was clearly scared and didn’t know what to tell the NCAA investigators. He was afraid that having any contact with Sanders would lead to him becoming ineligible (ironic, isn’t it?). I’m not making light of being dishonest, but he panicked and made a bad decision.
There is clearly more to all of this than what is being said. For all I have read about this, everything Sanders is saying is pretty vague to me, and he really doesn’t say much. It does mention that Sanders was upset that he was blamed for Bryant’s lie. I don’t recall that being the case when all of that came to light, but I could be wrong. At any rate, Bryant is either as clueless as I am, or he is just playing dumb for the media, because he seems pretty confused by it all.
I hope this isn’t a sign of future problems for Bryant, for his sake and for the team’s. So far, the incidents he has been involved in have been relatively minor, but it is still a concern that they are happening in the first place. At least this is happening in the off-season. It’s less of a distraction for the team, since no official activities are going on, and for the sake of my blog, I have something to write about. Thanks for the material Dez, but I’d rather have more positive things going on.
Just as a closing note, I just want to say that I like Sanders and Bryant, and I’m not trying to bash either of them. I loved watching Sanders play for the Cowboys, and I think he is a fun person to watch and listen to. I like Bryant, and I think he can be a key contributer for the team for many years. I much prefer discussing his on field performance any day, and I hope there won’t be any more incidents to take away from what he has done so far and what he is capable of doing in the future.