Let’s Be Blount

William Smith

Section:009

#OverAchiever2 #Blog6

            As I turned on the TV, there was a familiar sight presented by ESPN. It turns out LeGarrette Blount, once again, has made the news after he lost his cool. I’m sure many remember the images of Blount, while still playing for Oregon, punching a Boise State linebacker following a loss.

  Regardless of whether you knew this previously or not, it happened. He lost his cool and his temper, and acted very recklessly and immaturely. I am, though, a firm believer in second chances and that people need to make mistakes to learn the proper way to handle certain situations. This is similar, in principle, to the way that John Stuart Mill thinks. He says that we need “freedom and a variety of situations in order to develop, and I can agree with that”. Blount said, following the situation, “I should have handled [it] better…I shouldn’t have said anything. I shouldn’t have done anything.”

Unfortunately, Blount hasn’t learned how to handle himself just yet. Being an undrafted free agent, cut by one team, and traded by another wasn’t humbling enough for him to learn. When the Pittsburgh Steelers decided that Le’Veon Bell deserved almost all of the touches from the running back position, Blount panicked and became unraveled, leaving the field prior to the end of the game.

            A lack of touches, by most accounts, is no reason to bail on your team. If frustrated, you would think that handling it internally within the organization would be the choice Blount would make. Instead, he showed that he was above the team and did not finish the game on the field with them. As a result, Blount is now a free agent in the National Football League, once again. Bell came out today and said he understood that Blount “pushed those buttons, and that’s what happens.”

There is no doubt that he will receive interest from teams in need of a running back. He has always been praised as a good talent, but his attitude has been questioned just as much. My hope is that he doesn’t wear out every opportunity and that he learns from these past situations to become a better leader on the field. This would mean becoming a leader that Mill would look at and be able to use as a prime example of how development comes through experience. If a reunion with the Patriots is truly in the cards, this could be Blount’s last chance to prove John Stuart Mill right.

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6 thoughts on “Let’s Be Blount

  1. I have been following college football a very long time and do remember Blount punching BSU player. I was speechless. The first words out of my mouth were “WHAT?!?!?”. I remember thinking that this guy has so much talent and just through it all away.

    Blount has received chance after chance in the NFL and unfortunately, I think this is his last straw. As you probably know, he was picked up by the Patriots this week. I really think he is talented but believe this is his last shot. If I had to take a guess though, Bill Belichick has the best chance of any coach to straighten Blount out.

    With the Patriots in dire need of a running back, I think this is a great opportunity for Blount to step into a leadership role. I believe he wants that opportunity, but everybody is starting to bet against him and his attitude. If he has the opportunity to fight for the starting role with Vereen and Gray, he has the talent to become the outright starter. Doing so will also include straightening out, which I think Belichick will do.

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  2. I would argue that since Blount’s actions have continually affected his teams in a negative manner, that perhaps this behavior transcends Mill’s philosophy regarding time to devlop and personal freedom. LeGarrette Blount’s actions have hrt others besides just himself, which Mill did believe warrants a response. You don’t even mention in your post, that he was caught with marijuana a couple weeks before the season started, along with other transgressions. His talent has afforded him not just a second-chance, but also many chances after that. He has now signed with the Patriots, getting yet another opportunity to move past these incidents, but I think that it would be foolish to think that he will succeed. When the only team that wants you, is one that had a murderer on their team, Aaron Hernandez, numerous seasons, that doesn’t bode well.

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  3. Great Post William,
    I do agree with your argument from Mill’s point of view, but I also think this topic can be connected to some of Edmund Burke’s ideas. First, Burke believed that tradition and history was the best source of knowledge. Burke would disagree with teams signing Blount, as his history of bad attitude would be the deciding factor in whether or not he would be a player suitable for a team. In addition, many teams used the concept of “pleasing illusions” when signing him. They had the illusion of a solid NFL running back that would produce for them. However, the “illusion” here is that his personality issues would not rise again and he would be a level headed running back. Just an interesting approach I believe can also be taken on this topic.

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  4. William,

    I agree with what you said about Blount and him deserving a second chance. However, at what point does he stop deserving chances? Obviously, the punch he threw while at Oregon must have been a major red flag for NFL teams to being with, and he has now been with 4 different NFL teams (5 if you count the two different stints with the Patriots separately) in 5 years. Obviously, these teams have worn tired of Blount and his attitude, and he has had far more than two chances. While Mill obviously believes in second chances, I don’t think he would really argue that people deserve third, fourth, fifth, and even sixth chances, which is what Blount seems to be on now.

    Also, to pull another concept from Mill, he believes that you can do anything as long as it doesn’t harm others. While I am wholeheartedly in support of this on a day-to-day basis, I believe when part of a team, this is not necessarily true. When part of a team, any actions (even those that don’t necessarily harm others) can be harmful to the team concept. His attitude has clearly been a sore spot in the locker room and harmed the team concept, and Mill would disapprove.

    I do think, however, this is his last chance. If he fails again in New England due to his attitude, he will not have more chances with NFL teams in my mind.

    All in all, this is a good blog that connects an interesting player in the NFL to a good concept from Mill.

    -Korey Burdman

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  5. Prior to this article, I was unaware that Blount had punched the Boise State linebacker. Like the commenter above me, I am surprised that he was even given a chance by an NFL team, but that speaks to how much talent can overcome personal problems. When Mill says that we learn through our various experiences, do you think that there is a set time, or number of experiences, that are necessary before one learns how to act the right way? In Blount’s case, do you think after his most recent debacle, will he finally understand the appropriate way to conduct himself? He seems like a poster-child for someone that has all the talent in the world, but allowed his temper to overcome those abilities. It is hard to believe that he will prove John Stuart Mill right before his career ends.

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  6. The video of Blount punching a Boise State player is absolutely shocking. Quite frankly, I cannot believe he was even put on an NFL roster following this incident. Regarding your relating this situation to Mill, I think your analysis is extremely interesting but incomplete. Though Mill believes we should learn through our mistakes, this situation is different. Blount’s mistake was not just in action, but in intention. This is a critical distinction. If Blount were pursuing a noble end and used mistaken means, it would be acceptable and would warrant a second chance. However, because his intentions were wrong, does he really deserve a second chance? Is it even possible for him to learn from his mistake if he didn’t realize his mistake was wrong in the first place?

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