What makes all this drama interesting is Whitlock's take on the plight of young athletes who lack the intestinal fortitude required to handle the rigors of such a spotlight. He references two negative examples: Young and Michael Vick. He also contrasts them with Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. Unlike Young and Vick, McNabb seems to have adapted to his environment in ways that allow him to excel.
To what does Whitlock credit this difference? The influence of fathers. He argues that the position of quarterback in the NFL (like many other roles in life) requires "thick skin and genuine self-confidence." "It doesn't take much to crack a man with no real identity, especially if he's grown accustomed to having all his shortcomings rationalized."
Here's the most interesting quote:
It's not about color. It's about fitting the profile of someone who can handle all that goes along with being an NFL quarterback. If I'm an owner, I spend my quarterback dollars on young men who were raised by strong fathers. It wouldn't be an infallible system, but on average I bet I'd hit more winners than if I turned over the leadership of my team to a kid who isn't used to having a strong male authority figure.
This makes me think along a couple of lines. First, honest evaluation is important and neglected. Second, being and having a strong male authority figure is important and neglected. This article makes me want to be a better dad.
What do you think about Whitlock's analysis?