I read this article this morning in the Globe and Mail. Can anyone tell me how can a team make weird decisions day after day?.. I underlined some very intersting facts in the text.
Ottawa bets on troubled player
By DAVID NAYLOR and
Thursday, May 26, 2005 Updated at 4:15 AM EDT
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
Ottawa Already facing a significant public-relations challenge in the arrival of soon-to-be owners Bernie and Lonie Glieberman, the Ottawa Renegades have added one of the most troubled players in recent National Football League history to their roster.
Defensive end Dimitrius Underwood was a first-round selection out of Michigan State by the Minnesota Vikings in 1999 before a slew of off-field problems destroyed his once-promising career.
But the Renegades are apparently willing to take the risks associated with a player whose difficulty dealing with bipolar disorder has led to two suicide attempts and several incidents of bizarre and dangerous behaviour.
Bipolar disorder causes radical emotional changes and mood swings, from manic highs to depressive lows.
“This is really a story about a kid who is trying to get his life sorted out,” Underwood’s Dallas-based agent, Scott Casterline, said. "We’ve got a good track record over the past 12 months, and we’ve got a good support group to help him. Hopefully, he’s made his mistakes and it’s about moving on. As long as he takes his medication, he’s evened out and he’s fine."
Casterline said the goal of the 27-year-old Underwood is to play well enough in Ottawa to earn another shot at the NFL, where his previous experiences were disastrous.
After being selected 29th overall by Minnesota in 1999, Underwood walked out on the Vikings after one practice, returning a $1.75-million (U.S.) signing bonus and announcing that he would become a minister.
He signed a month later with the Miami Dolphins. Before ever playing a game for the Dolphins, he was arrested for non-payment of child support and then tried to kill himself only hours after being released from jail.
Underwood played the 2000 season with the Dallas Cowboys, but attempted suicide in January of 2001, running into highway traffic and asking motorists for a gun.
During the 2001 season, in which he played four games, Underwood was once released from hospital on a Saturday, attended team meetings that night, then spent much of Sunday’s game with his hands covering his face on the sideline.
Arrests followed in 2002, for punching a police officer and robbing a person who was in a wheelchair. After a brief stay in a psychiatric hospital last spring after a highway altercation with police in Dallas, Underwood has been working to get himself back into shape.
“I’m hoping everyone gives him the opportunity to succeed, especially the fans in Canada and Ottawa,” Casterline said. “Just give him a chance, that’s all we ask. We and he needs their support.”
Ottawa player personnel director Chris McRobbie and head coach Joe Paopao declined to comment.
Underwood is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa tomorrow. He apparently has been able to secure legal entry into Canada, despite being placed on five years of probation in 2002.
Maaan… the fun is about to start in Ottawa. And his agent who says Underwood really needs Ottawa fans’ support… don’t he knows the sane members of that team already struggle at getting fans support?..