The Other Side of the Coin

It's important to me for readers to understand that I in no way, shape or form condone LeGarrette Blount's actions following Thursday's game. Like most everyone else who sat comatose for those minutes following Thursday's debacle in Boise, I was momentarily frozen in disbelief at what I was seeing.

Within minutes of the final whistle, LeGarrette Blount was leading SportsCenter, within hours the was dominating the radio airwaves, and in less than a day it was fodder for every talking head either within or outside the parameters of the sports world. A talented young man had thrown his collegiate football career overboard and a coach, a university and a program being thrown to the media wolves.

True, that's to be expected, after all there's a reason I knew it was coming but the force and direction of the ensuing tsunami was a bit troubling.

I get that Blount's actions were deplorable. I get that such actions could have but luckily didn't lead to something larger. I also get that there was really no other recourse than what the University of Oregon took, but what about Byron Hout and his behavior?

There's been uber-discussion surrounding Blount and his despicable display of sportsmanship but it's my opinion that the only thing worse than a poor-loser is a poor-winner.

I'm not comparing the two (Blount and Hout) actions. One was physical while the other was rubbing it in the opponent's face, neither are respectable acts and both are on the wrong end of the sportsmanship argument.

Boise State hasn't been exactly forthright about what Hout's punishment will be. It wasn't until last night and to some extent this morning, that I started to hear the same people who were so adamant about Blount's tirade begin to address Hout's behavior. After all, if not for Hout's taunting, Blount walks away. If not for the tap on the shoulder pads, Mr. Blount likely isn't dominating the search engines and if not for smack talk, Oregon's former starting running back has a game, a season and a future career to look forward to.

If it sounds like I'm excusing LeGarrette Blount, justifying his response, and assigning blame in an effort to redirect some of the criticism, I'm not. I'm merely attempting to speak to the errors of our ways. In this case "our" is the media, the same media who regularly jumps on a story, rips the flesh from its bones, and devours it with every ounce of sensationalistic energy, without regard to depth and the lives of those involved.

I've read comments suggesting Blount should have his scholarship revoked. I've heard others say that criminal charges should be filed. "LeGarrette Blount is a thug and has no place in the world of collegiate sports or on a campus of higher learning" so some say.


The guy made a mistake. It seems many want those who've erred to change for the better, but don't want to provide an avenue to do so. At least the Ducks don't think that way and that's why they are keeping Blount on scholarship.

Let the guy breathe. We live in a world of second chances; one only has to look in the direction of Michael Vick to see so. LeGarrette Blount made a mistake and he's paying the price for it. His career at Oregon is done, his reputation has been forever marred, and his desired career has hit an Everest-sized bump in the road, but his life shouldn't be over.

It has been said that LeGarrette Blount's post-game apology was meaningless and "much too late."

I couldn't disagree more. To apologize is one of life's most difficult things -- and there's no such thing as a "late" one. Blount may have gotten it wrong last Thursday night in Boise, but thankfully due to some rational thinking people in Eugene, he's got the rest of his life to get it right.

And I'll be rooting for him.

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