Ottawa; Or how to constantly shoot yourself in the foot

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?..

everybody diservse a second chance, if he screws up again release him and pretend the hole thing never happend. What their front office is probable thinking is that he might put some butts in the seats. Which I don’t think is a bad thing to do in Ottawa, because we all know that Ottawa need more fans out.

A second chance? Did you read the same article I did? This will be his eight chance. How many should one get?

Heijust got out of the hopital, to me thats all one BIG screwup. It sounds as thou he is on the right track now, so I say give him a chance, and if he screws up again release him and pretent it never happend.

Bipolar is a very hard condition to understand…as you can see by Underwoods behaviour…I would say, and I am no physc. that given the proper medication this guy could be close to a 100% … there are good recovery examples out there. EVERYONE deserves a chance(wasn’t on meds. before) and if it works out, great for Ottawa. It’s going to take alot of understanding from fellow players and fans alike to make this one work…but the total onus is on Mr. Underwood. :arrow:

How many NFL players have criminal records and are still in the NFL?

The GLOBE is hardly a sports paper , and they don’t like the CFL…

Yes everyone deserves another chance. But having said that, the Renegades are NOT the Betty Ford Clinic. The Ottawa football club has been this route too many times. Why would Underwood fill any more seats than Dexter Manley did? It’s a consistant balanced team and management the Rens need. The Ottawa franchise needs fixing. Stay focused or the whole football operation will be in rehab before the season is 12 games in. :!:

I agree; at least I had heard of Dexter Manley…this guy is a complete stranger to me.

If he were that good a player, he’d still be in the NFL. Like hellothere said, there are a lot of convicts in the NFL. It sounds to me like no one there wanted to take a chance on him because he’s not a good enough player. If Tom Brady needed help, they’d get him help.

If this were the Eskimos or the Alouettes, I’d think, “Hmm, they’re taking a chance on the guy…good luck to them, and I’m glad it’s not my Ticats.” But the Renegades are in no position to be taking chances like this. The whole ownership thing, bringing back the Gliebermen, the stadium lease, … the organization is one big house of cards. This guy whacks out one more time and the whole thing could come crashing down.

Right Big Dave. The picture could be too familiar for Ottawa fans. The Glieb’s say this time things WILL be different. Mmmm…first the existing coach and general manager will be replaced by Forest Gregg (again) who is 70 and hasn’t been in football for 10 years. Then they bring in another NFL rehab which could disrupt team chemistry. If it’s deja vu in Ottawa this season I think the Commish could end up in hot water. Hope not.

give him a shot…if he looks like the old Underwood he won/t be in this league long…things don’t look good in the cap. right now and they sure don’t need any more controversy over their situation than they have now…IF Underwood is a liability and can’t help the Ren’s cause I’m sure ownership and or Paopao will rectify the situation in a hurry…but cripes give it a chance. :!: