In life bad decisions seem to be an inevitability, while I personally can look back at many of my poor decisions and pinpoint where I went wrong, it is rare to find the flaws in a decision at the time it is being made. A couple of days ago I blogged about the poor decisions NFL players make during their time off and I specifically mentioned a player on my favorite team who made an extremely dangerous and foolish decision. Jason Pierre-Paul, a defensive lineman of the New York Giants, injured his hand while lighting fireworks this past weekend. Today it has come to light that the injury JPP suffered was way more serious than originally reported. Pierre-Paul’s hand injuries were substantial enough that they required the amputation of the index finger on his right hand. While I’m sure JPP never thought a little fun with fireworks would cost him a crucial part of one of his extremities, this will undoubtedly go down in his mind as the worst decision he has ever made, and a decision that quite possibly just cost him at least 60 million dollars. The funny thing about bad decisions is the fact that when we consciously make them, they usually don’t turn out that bad, what I mean is that if we know something is a foolish choice we seem to regret it the whole time. It is as if no matter what, we will always regret a bad decision, either during or after the fact. I know poor decisions are an inevitability, it is just a good idea to look at life from the point of view of the wise, and keep your choices on the smarter side.
The holiday weekend is a time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little time with the family. This July fourth weekend, several NFL players decided to head out and enjoy their hard earned money. The amount of notoriety these gentlemen hold would lead many to believe that it would be reasonable for them to keep their plans “low key,” but when it comes to free time, NFL players seem to always find ways to get into the most damaging situation. I don’t want to single out the NFL as the only sport in which athletes make poor decisions, but it seems as though professional football players just make mistakes at a much higher rate than any other group of American pro athletes. Over this weekend, several players received suspensions for drug use and a couple of players made career threatening behavioral mistakes. As for the drug use, the rule book is clear, and considering these player contracts are not guaranteed, it is extremely foolish to lose 1/4th of your year’s salary due to recreational drug use. The NFL does not allow players to use marijuana, and while many players use it secretly, it doesn’t seem as though it will ever be allowed openly, so players need to be smart about their decisions and stay away from things that will cost them money and playing time. The two more serious events of this holiday weekend were the shooting incident involving the Packers’ Andrew Quarless, and the fireworks injury of the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul. Andrew Quarless faces a definite suspension and possible prosecution for shooting a gun into the air during an altercation in Miami. Quarless most likely won’t face jail time since Florida laws are less stringent on guns than other states, but he has definitely hurt his team and could have possibly hurt his career, all in the name of having a good time and staying out late. The fireworks incident regarding Jason Pierre-Paul is especially upsetting to me, because I am a Giants fan and I know how important he is to the team. Medical reports are showing that JPP may just have minor injuries and burns to his hands, but his hands are important to his job, and he has no reason to be playing with fireworks as a professional athlete. Time off is a great thing, and everyone deserves a vacation, but NFL players need to be smarter with their actions and use their time off wisely, their jobs could and often do depend on it.