Reevaluating JaMarcus Russell

One of the best pieces of sports journalism I have ever read involves a recent interview with former Raiders Quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

The column is lengthy but worth it.

Whether or not one believes JaMarcus Russell, the man is a human being. He has been labeled one of t he biggest busts in NFL history. He has been called fat, lazy, and dumb.

I was thrilled when the Raiders drafted Russell. I totally thought he was the best choice. Initially I thought he did not have the talent around him, but he simply regressed. Cutting him was the right decision.

Yet Mr. Russell is saying that he has been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

This is very serious. I have sleep apnea, and in 2003 I had surgery. The doctor said I could have died before age 40 (I am now 39). Reggie White died of sleep apnea at age 43. It is a scary illness to have.

Sleep apnea can make people lethargic, and often exhausted even after sleeping.

Mr. Russell must get treatment for this illness because it is a life and death issue.

Jay Cutler was diagnosed with diabetes, and he is now having a successful NFL career. Mr. Russell has the talent to play football. America is a society of second chances. The one unforgivable sin is being seen as a quitter, but if Mr. Russell truly was physically impaired, that has to be taken into consideration.

I saw him enter a game on the road against Denver with the Raiders down 19-13. He came in off the bench and led the winning touchdown drive for a stirring 20-19 win over the Broncos. The guy has the ability.

So many people from Ryan Leaf to Todd Marinovich have failed. Maybe JaMarcus Russell will end up in that category. Yet if he truly is suffering from sleep apnea and can get it treated and even cured, I genuinely hope he gives football one more shot.

Good luck Mr. Russell.


Dolphins @ Giants

(Giants by 10, they cover)

Jaguars @ Texans

(Texans by 10, they cover)

Colts @ Titans

(Titans win)

Vikings @ Panthers

(Panthers by 3 1/2, they win but fail to cover)

Cardinals @ Ravens

(Ravens by 13, they win but fail to cover)

Saints @ Rams

(Saints by 14, they win but fail to cover)

Lions @ Broncos

(Broncos win outright)

Redskins @ Bills

(Bills by 6, they win but fail to cover)

Patriots @ Steelers

(Patriots by 3, they cover)

Browns @ 49ers

(49ers by 9, they cover)

Bengals @ Seahawks

(Seahawks win)

Cowboys @ Eagles

(Eagles by 3 1/2, they win but fail to cover)

Chargers @ Chiefs

(Chargers by 4, they cover)


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