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The sad story of Aaron Hernandez and the dream of making it

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Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Frutman via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Aaron Frutman via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Aaron Hernandez

Spencer Seyfarth, Staff Writer

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READERS NOTE: This story has been revised extensively to correct factual errors found in a previous version.

Aaron Hernandez’s life is a sad story of a professional athlete who rose to the heights of being an NFL superstar and fell tragically to taking his own life after being convicted for murder.

With the support of a father who had played football for the University of Connecticut and an older brother who also played college football, Aaron excelled at sports, according to an article in the Boston Globe. But while he made the honor roll in high school and broke state records for pass receivers, Aaron also experienced major loss at the age of 16 when his father died during a routine surgery, according to the article.

Several articles written about Hernandez’s early years say that the loss of his father had a major impact on him. And while he was successful at school and on the field, he also developed friendships with “unsavory characters” that he would continue to associate with later in his life, according to the Globe article.

Aaron Hernandez, who began college at the age of 17, played for the University of Florida for three full seasons before declaring for the NFL draft during his junior year in 2010.  After failing a drug test, he was drafted as the 113th pick by the Patriots in the 4th round.

After making it into the NFL and playing for the Patriots, it might have seemed to casual observers that Hernandez was living the pro baller dream. He even played in a Super Bowl catching a touchdown pass in 2012, according to a USA Today article.

But the dream was shattered in 2013, when he was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a former friend and semi-pro football player.

Hernandez is not the first NFL player to reveal that professional athletes can be just as troubled as anyone else.

For example look at OJ Simpson. Simpson, who was one of the most famous NFL players in the 1980s, has lived under a cloud of suspicion ever since he was acquitted for the murder of his wife Nicole Simpson in 1994.

There are many other examples that you could come up with that have done stupid things thinking they can’t won’t get in trouble for their actions. For example look at Ray Rice and what he did in 2014. He punched his then-fiancée knocking her out and was later charged with third-degree aggravated assault.

Kids are looking up to these athletes and seeing what they are doing and it’s messing them up. There is a popular myth that pro sports can be a ticket to a perfect life, but clearly this is not the case. Pro athletes still have to learn how to live healthy balanced lives just like all of us to really be successful.

For some football or sports in general can help troubled teens breakout of bad home lives or neighborhoods. For me football and basketball were great ways to get away from everything because when I got on the field/court I would forget everything and just play my heart out. And usually that’s how it is for everyone they forget everything that’s going on with their life and play their heart out.

It’s when they are not playing that’s when the problems can happen. Even pro athletes struggle they get distracted and do stupid things like Aaron Hernandez and OJ Simpson.

We need to find a way to make sure that kids don’t go down the crime path and forget that they are not untouchable and if they make it big that they can’t do everything and anything that they want to at anytime.

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