News travels very fast these days. Just yesterday, as I finished writing about the demise of former Jets linebacker IK Enemkpali due to a terrible mistake he made, I got word that he will already get his redemption in the NFL. Rex Ryan, the former coach of the Jets, and the man who was initially behind inviting Enemkpali into the league, has decided to sign him to his new team, the Buffalo Bills. This move by Rex Ryan is no surprise to me, as he is known to be a man of theatrics, but something Ryan said in his interview struck with me. When Ryan was asked about why he signed IK, he said, “He made a mistake…There’s no question about that. But instead of listening to this person, that person, or whatever, we had IK last year, a lot of us were around IK, and he was a good teammate. Simple as that.” The words of Rex Ryan and this situation as a whole are just reminders that a solid first impression, and a good reputation are key when it comes to getting anywhere in life. The fact that Enemkpali was known by Rex as a good teammate, is the driving force behind his redemption. IK was not the greatest of linebackers, and I would not say he was a “must have” player, but the fact that he worked hard and didn’t step on any toes while Rex was around has effectively saved his career. I am glad to see that second chances can come out of a foolish situation, and I hope to see Enemkpali on the field for every game his new team plays against the Jets. I dont condone the actions that lead to his dismissal, but I still believe that one mistake should not define the life of any person.
Everybody makes bad decisions once in a while, but nobody can accurately predict the consequences of their choices. I’m sure that IK Enemkpali, a former linebacker for the New York Jets, never knew his mistake would cost him 1.8 million dollars and probably his career. A couple of days ago IK was involved in a locker room scuffle with the Jets’ starting quarterback, and while some reports have called this event an argument, many players on the team have classified this altercation as a sucker punch. The Jets starting quarterback, Geno Smith, and Enemkpali were arguing over 600 dollars the millionaire quarterback owed the linebacker, and the situation ended in an unforeseen punch. Aside from the obvious foolishness of the situation, I find it extremely alarming that this player didn’t take a moment to think about just how much that punch would cost his team and himself. In one punch he changed the trajectory of the team’s season as they are now without their projected starter for up to 10 weeks, and he also may have sent his own life into a place he would never have predicted. The New York Jets organization immediately released the linebacker after the punch with the coach saying “you don’t get a second chance after a sucker punch,” and it seems as though the NFL life of Enemkpali will end, less than two years after it began. The New York Jets have been something of a punchline in the NFL, and this punch situation shows that this “joke” of a franchise has some real work to do in order to get back to the level of discipline other teams show in this league. I wish Geno Smith a quick recovery, and I sincerely hope that this one lapse in judgement won’t mean the end of the career of Enemkpali. We all make mistakes hopefully his wont be the thing that defines him.