A Game With No Clear End

When you’re cut for the second time in three months, you begin to see football, and yourself, in a new light. You’re waiting for a call from a new team, or for an alarm to go off telling you it’s time to move on

Without a uniform to wear, Austen Lane is struggling to come to grips with his future in football. (Bill Frakes/SI)
Without a uniform to wear, Austen Lane is struggling to come to grips with his future in football. (Bill Frakes/SI)

By Austen Lane

JACKSONVILLE — When writing part one of my crazy football story 10 weeks ago (you may recall What It’s Like to Get Whacked, about being cut from an NFL team), I knew in the back of my mind that part two would be my redemption piece. The first article was about sadness, frustration and disappointment when I was cut out of the blue by the Jaguars in June, a bad fit for coach Gus Bradley’s new defense. The second part would capture my return to glory, a phoenix rising from the ashes of self-doubt and uncertainty and depression into the light, back into my rightful place playing in the NFL.

See, the Kansas City Chiefs had picked me right after the Jaguars fired me, thinking I could be a fit as a fast, pass-rushing type defensive end. And the first game of the regular season, perfectly, was Chiefs-Jags—in Jacksonville. Part two was going to be a story of perseverance, hope and the power of a positive attitude.

Unfortunately, this is not that story.

There is a special time every year when Sundays aren’t just for church and doing work around the house. The special months between September and January feature Sundays when you assemble your friends, drink some beer and, most importantly, watch football. That’s for fans. As a player, Sundays were everything to me. Sunday was the one day a week I could just let it loose and have fun.

These days my Sundays aren’t as amazing as they used to be. Quite honestly, they stink. The smile I woke with every Sunday morning is now replaced with a scowl, much like the one you might come across in a long line at the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Post Office. This is my normal Sunday now: alone on the couch in my apartment in Jacksonville, flicking through channels like someone with advanced OCD. I watch parts of games, but even that enjoyment is now corrupted. It’s impossible for me not to key on the defensive ends and nitpick everything they do.

Having played sparingly in the preseason and hurting from a rib injury, Lane sensed that his run-out against the Packers in the final preseason game would be his last with the Chiefs. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Having played sparingly in the preseason and hurting from a rib injury, Lane sensed that his run-out against the Packers in the final preseason game would be his last with the Chiefs. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Ever watch a football game and question your own morality? That’s what I find myself doing every weekend. I have never wished harm on any player in my life, but I am also not blind to the fact that with injuries comes a higher chance of me playing on a team again. Instead of checking box scores and stats, I find myself checking injury reports. The inner conflict in me struggles to wrap my head around the fact that I am actually looking up the injury status of players whose availability, or lack thereof, might open a spot for me on one of the 32 NFL teams.

It’s been four weeks since I last stepped on a field. That was at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. We’d beaten the Green Bay Packers in our last preseason game, and that should have made me happy. I’m an ultra-competitive guy. Always have been. As a seven-year-old I used to the throw the Candy Land board across the room when I lost. I should have been high-fiving my teammates after beating the mighty Packers. But no.

First, I was coming back from torn rib cartilage, and the heavy wrap made it tough to breathe. As the game ended, the look of my body language told the story of a guy who just lost the Super Bowl. As teammates around me were cracking jokes and walking in the locker room I just sat there looking around the stadium. For the first time in my entire life of playing football, I got a thought in my mind that I swore I would never get.

At that moment, for the first time in my life, I didn’t love football.

I don’t know if it was my rib injury that hampered me in camp, or my frustration of not being able to show what I could do. In the last two preseason games I had played a total of 12 snaps, and seeing how I wasn’t a starter, I knew this would be my last day on the team. Still, in the locker room I put on a fake grin the best I could. I congratulated some of my teammates, and we listened to coach Andy Reid’s postgame speech and had our team prayer. You could feel the excitement in the locker room. But one of my teammates saw through my fake happy demeanor.

“You okay?’’ he said.

“Hell, yeah, man,’’ I said, mustering up enthusiasm. “Just a little sore.”

But unlike my last day in Jacksonville, when I got the news this time I didn’t have any emotion. I was over it. Not sad, not angry. Just done. As I walked out of the locker room, I knew it would be the last time I’d share this room with these guys. I had to totally fake it when another teammate said to me, “Big homecoming for you next week—I know you’re going to be fired up.” All I could think to say was, “I know! Can’t wait.” Even though I knew it was a lie. A shame, because playing Jacksonville had become something of an obsession with me. I saw myself lining across the guards, working a pass-rush move and sacking Blaine Gabbert. It was always the same, and it always ended with me not celebrating but looking over to the Jacksonville sidelines and nodding my head. For three months I visualized it. Now I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

I left the locker room that night and met my mom and my best friend, both of whom were at the game. They knew what I was thinking.

“Mom,’’ I said. “No sense in going apartment-shopping tomorrow.”

That was it. Talking football fell to the wayside.

*  *  *

The emotion was different this time—less shock, more frustration. It took time for Lane to rebuild his confidence and motivation. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
The emotion was different this time—less shock, more frustration and questioning. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

The final cut day is the worst day in the NFL. In one day a team is required to go from a roster of 75 players to 53. That’s 22 phone calls that are going to be made on every team to grown men, telling them they’re unemployed. Some of those players have families, some players are depending on game checks to make ends meet, and some players simply don’t see the cut coming. On this day I never worried too much because for the first three years of my pro career, in Jacksonville, I knew I would have a roster spot when the season started. This day, I found myself not worrying either. I already knew I’d be one of the Kansas City casualties.

The next morning, an unknown Kansas City phone number appeared on the screen of my cell phone. I knew what was waiting for me. It was pro personnel director Chris Ballard.

“Austen,” Ballard said to me, “we are releasing you. Please come to the stadium.”

My release from Jacksonville was a roller coaster of emotion. This one? As emotional as a kindergarten play. At the stadium I acted like a bitter ex fresh out of a long relationship. I left all of my gear, cleats and gloves behind in my locker. The memories they represented would only frustrate me more. I thanked Chris Ballard for the chance; I always thought he was in my corner. I never spoke with GM John Dorsey or coach Reid. That’s just the way some teams do it.

I saw some of my former teammates, now suffering the same fate as I’m suffering. A few guys looked shocked, while others like they were expecting it all along. We wished each other luck and exchanged numbers. These guys were complete strangers to me six weeks earlier and now I find them close allies—simply because they provide a positive outlet for me, like a drug addict in dire need of a sponsor.

Outside the stadium, I called my agent, Scott Smith, with the news, and he was there to pick up whatever pieces of my psyche that felt broken. He said I should have about a 50 percent chance of getting picked up. So I decided to drive home with my Mom. Maybe the short vacation would be good to clear my head before I make my start with another team.

Kansas City to Iola, Wis. Nine hours. About 615 miles. Lots of time to think. And time for a GM to phone me, offering me a rescue from the waiver wire.

We left at 8 in the morning. I kept thinking, as Missouri turned into Iowa: Is this ringer working? Do I have cell service out here in the country? Four hours into the trip, we’re north of Des Moines. Every five minutes or so I check my phone. Nothing. Nothing but texts from friends wishing me well. I text back that I’ll be fine, and I’ll get picked up soon.

Home in Iola. No call. It never came. I started working out. I saw old friends and family friends, and I told them the call will be coming soon. A week went by. The call never came, not even when teams could start signing players after Week 1, meaning they don’t have to guarantee your contract. Essentially, you sign a contract with a team, and they pay you week to week, and can cut you any time with no guarantees.

My shield of self-denial comes down. Reality comes back, knocking on my door. Reality bites, I must say. I had lost my ”constant” in life. While some people have family, kids or faith to keep them grounded, I had football. Family and faith are a big part of my life, but I spend the most time with football. Football was the one thing that kept me balanced, and while everything had changed the past 15 years of my life, football stayed the same.

My shield of self-denial comes down. Reality comes back, knocking on my door. Reality bites.

It was my escape and comfort. Now it is gone.

Even though I enjoyed spending time with my family and friends, I started losing motivation to work out and I began to sleep in way too long. I sat glued to my couch from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., flipping through channels or napping. Sleep was my ally. I felt if I slept maybe I would wake up and realize that my predicament was just a bad dream. For the first time in my life I wasn’t cleaning out my mother’s refrigerator. I’d lost my appetite. The only productive thing I would do all day was stretch. I tricked my body into thinking that if I made some kind of effort, my day wasn’t a complete waste. Looking back on it now, it was. My days used to be filled with excitement of game preparation and sharing the unexplainable camaraderie with my teammates. Now the highlight of my day was waiting until 6 o’clock for my friends to get done with work so we could go to the local bar for $3 tacos or $4 burgers.

Suddenly a weekend of partying and drinking was sounding better than focusing on getting my dream back. That’s when I knew it was time to head back to my home in Jacksonville.

*  *  *

Without football, Lane turned to boxing to help fill the competitive void in his heart. (Bill Frakes/SI)
Lane turned to boxing to help fill the competitive void created when football was taken away. (Bill Frakes/SI)

With the change of scenery I was back on my normal regimen of weight training, yoga and running. But even that didn’t fill the void that football once took up. My workouts lacked intensity, and for the first time in my life I found myself losing self-motivation. That’s when I decided to visit my friend Matt at his boxing gym. Boxing has been my saving grace. While it’s not football, it’s the closest thing I can find. With every session I get worked to the point of having my heart beat so hard that I can feel it ringing in my ears. I get pushed to the feeling of almost puking, and then I get pushed some more. I don’t have time to think about football when I’m working on four-punch combos and have to focus on avoiding the mitts when they come back and try to hit me in the face. Hitting the heavy bag as hard as I can for a minute isn’t an activity; it’s a fight to survive. Boxing at the World Gym provided my cardio, and it made me have heart. You need heart to box—and to play football at a high level.

I still find myself telling people that I will get picked up soon, and the most frustrating thing is not knowing if that’s a legitimate statement or not. Four months ago I wrote my first article, a replacement Monday Morning Quarterback piece. I discussed the importance of present and future. I had a plan all written out, and it sounded like I knew what I was talking about. I thought I did, but the problem is this: How long do you go down the road, waiting for the NFL dream to continue? How long do I chase this pipe dream before I end up like an Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite talking about the good old days and how he should have played longer?

Every day I live with the fear that I’ll never get another chance. That same fear drives me to push every day. It’s now my biggest motivator.

That’s the torturous part of this. There is no alarm that goes off and says: No one’s calling. Stop fooling yourself. Get a job. Enter the real world.

Every day I live with the fear that I’ll never get another chance. It’s real. I feel it all the time. I feel for the first time I’m going to wave the white flag. Quit. The game was just too hard, and I couldn’t do it.

Ironically, that’s the same fear that drives me to push every day with a relentlessness I never knew I had—and that I’m not sure I’ve ever used to do anything in my life. My fear is now my biggest motivator. Others run from fear. I accept it. I embrace it. I eat with fear, sleep with fear, train with fear. When fear and my motivation are no longer married inside me, then I know it’ll be time to walk away.

That’s the moment I’ll finally find peace.

But not yet. I’m not ready.

Epilogue

So … life takes some strange turns. I finished this story and filed it to The MMQB on Tuesday of this week. Less than an hour after I finished it I got a text message from my agent.

“Get ready,’’ Scott Smith texted. “You have a workout next Monday with an NFL team.”

I’d rather not say the name of the team. Don’t want to jinx anything. But the hope is there.

And maybe, just maybe, there will be a Part Three of the Austen Lane story coming later this fall at The MMQB.

Already cut by two NFL teams in 2013, Lane knows his window of opportunity is closing. A surprise tryout is giving the young defensive end renewed hope. (Bill Frakes/SI)
Already cut by two NFL teams in 2013, Lane knows his window of opportunity is closing. A surprise tryout is giving the young defensive end renewed hope. (Bill Frakes/SI)
More from The MMQB
88 comments
mike202
mike202

It's Tuesday, what happened?  Rooting for you Austin.

CaCaCaCleveland
CaCaCaCleveland

Austen Lane nails it. Not just as a former football player facing the end of his career but as any human being who faces the end of what they considered themselves to be.

Austen, let me say this...being cut by two teams in one summer is definitely life changing. How you approach your life after football is important but you are young. You WILL figure it out.

I just hope that when you turn 50 or so you do not face what you are facing today. The experience is very much the same as you outlined in your article but the comeback is much more humbling and certainly not guaranteed. Job offers are non existent for many of us. There is always a younger, eager person who may not have as much experience but offers more of a long term solution to the employer. Effects of abuse on your body take a toll and make simple things that younger people take for granted, like walking sitting or standing, much more difficult. And the older you get, the more set in your ways you become. Can't teach an old dog new tricks? Not true. Old dogs learn new tricks but the motivation changes. The patience level is less. And flexibility is tested on the simplest tasks.

Hope you get your new team and that you bank every last dime that you can.

Caymon
Caymon

Fantastic article, Austen! Whether the latest tryout works out or not (and I hope that it does), you should continue writing; you've got a talent for storytelling and I'd love to see you develop it. Great work here. Good luck out there.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

Beautifully written piece. Thanks for sharing a really tough time in your life, and I hope that you get that new opportunity.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming...if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt. 

I suspect that the vast majority of us in any career field are probably normal, average people trying our best to make it in extremely competitive arenas. This well written article identifies with that struggle. Let the cold timid souls below wallow in regret and resentment. Good hunting.

Martha Hart
Martha Hart

Dear Mr. Lane, All best wishes chasing your dream... always remember that you have a gift for writing. You're a keen observer, brave about facing strong emotions, and convey them in a way that we can all connect with, even though not all of us are into football...

... doors close, windows open. From experience, I highly recommend helping others to make yourself forget your own woes. Whatever your path, I hope it will include writing.

Best wishes...

purplemountainsage
purplemountainsage

You're one smart hard working dude.  No worries.  Whatever you get going on, football or someting else, you're going to kick its ass.

AVL
AVL

Nice writing and no harm in holding on a little while longer.....

GrangerHodgson
GrangerHodgson

Excellent article.  I am in awe of your optimism.   I understand you have a dream but you have to understand, the odds are against you from the start.  Even if you get there and get a job, odds are you are going to get hurt and have a short career.  Start thinking about a life after football now and start making plans now.  Use your time wisely and it will payoff for you later.

JasonFlook
JasonFlook

This story was very intimate, and very well written. I would read a weekly column by you sir, any day of the week.

KevinB2014
KevinB2014

Great article. Sad topic. Well written. You certainly can do a lot of things after football, potentially some of which that involve writing.

But that's for the future. Right now, you're still a football player and there is no reason to stop being one yet. Optimism and a positive attitude are essential for you to succeed, so I hope you don't lose those qualities. It sounds like you might get picked up and play some more NFL ball this season.

If that doesn't work out, though, is arena football or CFL an option? Staying in the competitive, professional game in any venue is probably better than sitting on the couch or half-heartedly working out, or doing some odd jobs hoping the phone rings, because the people you have to beat out for a roster spot are working their butts off every day! If the NFL teams are judging you, fairly or unfairly, as marginal to make their rosters, the CFL and arena leagues would be judging you to be potential all-star material. Try to keep playing the game you love and excel at it. Look at Jerrell Freeman. Ryan Grigson saw what he was capable of based on his CFL accomplishments and now Freeman is a starter for the Colts. I believe keeping active at your craft is essential for you to have the opportunities you want in the next few years.

As for the people who are telling you to read the writing on the wall and take the hint: NFL football isn't for you.......don't listen to them! Yes, there is a time for everyone when we need to heed that kind of message. Clearly, this isn't that time for you yet. Don't give up on your dream yet. You're too young for that, and this is the prime time for you to live your dream.

You've no doubt heard all the clichés about failure. But most are valid. Thomas Edison was wildly successful; granted over 1,000 patents; had many important inventions. But think how many thousands of times he failed. The only true failure is the one when you don't get up, dust yourself off, and try again. Anything other than that is a learning experience. I saw an interview on PBS years ago of a Silicon Valley executive who said that when he was hiring top execs, he would ask them what their biggest professional failure was. If they couldn't give a whopper of an answer, he wouldn't hire them. He wanted to hire people who had tried, failed, learned from their failure, and picked themselves up to try again. Otherwise he wasn't interested.

Work even harder at your chosen profession and there is still a lot of time for you to succeed at it. There's no room or time allowed for feeling sorry for yourself, however. You need to work harder at conditioning and body building than your competition in order to succeed, so don't give up. I hope to soon be reading about your successes. Best wishes.

entprof
entprof

Giving the players voice is the best part of MMQB. This is well done story. Good luck on the try out, but it is time to begin figuring out life after football, probably well past time.

wishbonedays
wishbonedays

Good read...I hope there is a 3rd installment that end better. Good luck...hope your playing days are not over.

AaronHalley
AaronHalley

Buena suerte!  Hope all goes well.  You also seem to have a good head on your shoulders, and writing comes more naturally to you then most so-called sports journalists. No matter what life throws at you, you'll be fine.

JoeF
JoeF

"Success is never permanent, and failure is never fatal." -John Wooden. Hang in there.

parkbrav
parkbrav

I can't say anything for sure, but a lot of times these under-performing teams make a lot of bad decisions about their players. That's why they under-perform.

Joseph20
Joseph20

Good luck!! Hope you get picked up and get to live our your dream.

6marK6
6marK6

Cut by the Jags, ouch!!!

MichaelMahoney
MichaelMahoney

Wonderful insight, gripping story.  The end of playing football professionally will come for you sooner or later.  Keep believing that today isn't that day.  But when that day comes, realize you can do more with your life.  You're intelligent and disciplined - I'm willing to bet you can have a major impact working with youth.

marklosangeles
marklosangeles

Great piece. Good luck. Hope you get to live it out until you're ready to go. 

/Ignore the negative cubicle warriors below. 

Bahia
Bahia

Successful people fall down many times before they are actually successful, and the reason why they fall down so many times is because each time they keep getting up.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

You are no longer a player, just a fan.  When you get cut by the worst team in the league, it is a wake up call.  Most American males dream of being professional athletes at some point.  Most accept the truth at an earlier stage in life.  You are one of the fortunate ones who got a chance to live the dream for a short time.  Murray State gave you an opportunity to prepare for life after football.  I hope you took advantage of that opportunity. 

WendyRadun
WendyRadun

God has a different plan for you! Maybe you can get out their and teach kids football and become a coach! The children are our future and they need good mentors! The only you should fear is God! You also should write a book on how people deal with situations like this!

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

OK. So what's the difference than those getting laid off by their employer?  MANY people know the feeling of losing a job due to circumstances beyond their control.  Move on

epeeist
epeeist

Fantastic, insightful as was the previous one. Aside from the insights into the business and mental aspects and attitude associated with this process, Mr. Lane even discusses morality re "wanting" spots to open up from injury (I'm reminded of the old British military toast for a "bloody war", because many deaths = opportunity for promotion...). I may use this as an example in a group discussion.

Reading his struggles with motivating himself to exercise even got me motivated to find another athletic activity that makes me want to work out!

I hope that Mr. Lane is successful in his tryout; whether or not he is, I'm sure he'll continue to be a success in life.

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

Very enjoyable and insightful read . Maybe if your football career ends here and its going to soon anyway , it is a young mans game , you can end up on the journalist or analyst side of the business . You seem to have a talent for it by reading this article .

MikeWendlandt
MikeWendlandt

Austen, I remember when you were just a skinny reed in HS, and were bulking up during college and the summers back in Iola, and to see you now is awesome. As a fellow journalism student, you are an inspiration to the true emotion of writing a column and have a bright future in the field. When your time on the field is done, you'll have no problem finding a place as a writer. Good luck man! I'm pulling for you!

PaulBarth
PaulBarth

Great article, well written.  There's talent here beyond the football field that I hope SI takes advantage of.

David1963
David1963

I am a KC Chiefs fan and I was definitely pulling for Austen to make the team.  Unfortunately there are only 53 roster spots, which is why playing in the NFL is so special.  With that being said, since Anthony Spencer was just lost for the season, I'm hoping the team that called was the Cowboys (my wife's favorite team).

OttoSchlosser
OttoSchlosser

This is a good example of how unprepared we can be when life yanks the rug out. Good to read that Austen is coping in a positive way. Sounds like he will go into the next workout with a realistic attitude and be thankful for the opportunity.

tjh4
tjh4

nice article. He writes about as well as Chris Kluwe. I couldn't help but see the parallels between his situation, and someone who is drowning. Hope you make it to the surface Mr. Lane.

GO22JETS
GO22JETS

Suffering???  Being in the  hospital with a serious health problem is suffering. Move on, you have your health, you appear educated -  get a new job. We all don't get what we want but it doesn't mean we are "suffering". I want to be QB of the NY Jets - aint gonna happen but  I am not "Suffering". 

RichardJacobs
RichardJacobs

I hope the Rams pick him up they can't be any worse than they were last night what we really need is a coach to call the plays do you remember who Shottie worked for before?THE JETS!!!

jbber
jbber

If I got cut from the Dline of the Jags or Chiefs, I would probably throw up

seenable
seenable

@mike202 I think he was referring to a Detroit Lions tryout he had in October. He didn't sign then, but did a month later.

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

@6marK6 I get you but you have to realize when you are as awful as JAX you are going to want to focus on youth . The other thing is you also have a brand new front office and coaching staff that are going to want to bring in " their own people " . As far as KC goes I have seen enough to know they have a filthy defense .

TheDoctorIsIn
TheDoctorIsIn

@WHO*IS*ESPN Thank you for demonstrating the perfect example of a crab pot mentality. For those that don't know what that is:

Crabs caught in a crab pot will cling to the crab above them, who in turn clings to the crab higher on the pot, until the weight is so great, all the crabs fall.

Drag a man down, kick him when he gets there, revel in his despair.

Who IS WHO*IS*ESPN? Read his many posts, the picture is clear.

Austen Lane shares with us fans the pain and sadness of pursuing a dream only to fall a bit short because of one reason or another, and bitter angry people take little cheap shots.

I read both of Austen's articles. At least Austen has benefitted from his time at college, unlike the guys that Who*Is*ESPN probably holds as heroes of football.

eddie767
eddie767

@WHO*IS*ESPN You are so right,move on. But,i remember you,b'ing and moaning,when ESPN went to just Facebook posts. So you're not the right one,to tell someone to move on so fast.

StevePotate
StevePotate

@WHO*IS*ESPN Yes, and this is an honest expression of that experience. That is what art is -- an expression of  humanity. Why would you be so bitter about someone's honest expression?

thatmanstu
thatmanstu

@WHO*IS*ESPN I think you have missed the point....If I lose my job,(as I have before),I will most likely go work in the same field for someone else(as I did)...as a professional athlete,the options are extremely limited.....having the talent but lacking the opportunity??...receiving the opportunity but lacking the talent??....small window,narrow eligibility,limited time frame....this is the point of the article and the elements of what  this young man is wrestling with....Your over simplification of his situation and lack of empathy are not commendable attributes....

Bad1v
Bad1v

@WHO*IS*ESPNGet a life you are just a negative person. Clearly you don't have the intelligence to understand that his article explains to those who never had the chance to play Pro-Football what it is like.  Only a miserable person like yourself would complain about this article. 

StevePotate
StevePotate

@GO22JETS You seem to have missed the point of this well-written and honest piece. Nobody cares what you consider to be valid suffering. This guy got paid to write this article, while you're whining, and providing an opinion that zero people care about, for free.

OwG
OwG

@jbber 

IKR. If you get cut from the Jags, maybe you're just not good enough to play in the NFL....lulz..

StevePotate
StevePotate

@OwG @jbber This guy wrote a great and honest article about his experience on the edge of the NFL. I like trolling and criticizing as much as the next guy, but there's a time and a place for anonymous vitriol. Get over yourselves. Rest assured that you don't have to worry about being cut from any team, because you are not nearly good enough to even be considered to play football professionally.

IdDoHannahStorm
IdDoHannahStorm

@OwG @StevePotate @jbber Reading the three of you is like watching Moe, Larry and Curly try to build a house.  We're all aware that teams have to make their final cuts and guys are shown the door.  The article is simply a first-person perspective of what that situation feels like.  Lane's story is not unique.  The guy absolutely isn't a victim and he isn't deserving of scorn for not making a team.  He's just putting a face to a situation.

jbber
jbber

@StevePotate @jbber I think you've met the word minimum. I'll have a look at this opus when I get home

StevePotate
StevePotate

@jbber Are you really trying to pull a moral card out here? What are you even trying to say? How did you make the jump to talking about "all the problems going on in the world"? Is this really your best response when you've been publicly called out on the internet for being an idiot -- to fall back on a nonspecific reference to the world's problems? In that case, why watch football at all if there are problems in the world? Why make a rude comment on a messageboard if there are problems in the world? Why do anything at all that's not a direct attempt to solve "the problems going on in the world"? We're both complaining on an internet messageboard, so explain to me how your actions are any different than mine? Your comment is meaningless and, quite frankly, thoughtless and stupid.

I'll answer your thoughtless question for you: Honest expressions of our human experience are the only solution to many of the larger problems that we face in the world. I respect the author of this article for his expression, and I am embarrassed on your behalf for your idiotic, meaningless, and circuitous comments.

You seem to be mad, so I'm satisfied that I've successfully hurt the feelings of yet another a low-rent troll.

jbber
jbber

@StevePotate @OwG Are you retarded? With all the problems going on in the world, this is what you're worried about? Or are you policing the entire internet?

StevePotate
StevePotate

@OwG You may have missed the point of the article, and more generally, you may lack the ability to produce or consume an expression of humanity. We all have struggles in our life, and that is why this most of us can relate to this article, whether or not our own struggles have anything to do with pro football. You can retreat into your tired old troll phrases, Internet is Serious Business, blah blah blah, but that simply highlights that you are unable to generate the level of authentic thought provided by the author of this article.

You exist as yet another anonymous mimic of existing troll memes, while creating and contributing nothing authentic or original. A real person wrote this, and your response is to anonymously kick him while he's down, for the lulz. There's a time and a place for a good troll, but I found this article to be an honest and engaging reflection of humanity, and your low-quality trolls in response are sad to read.

OwG
OwG

@StevePotate @OwG @jbber 

Oh..I didnt realize that this was serious bussiness. Okay, internet, its time to observe a momment of silence for Austen Lane and pray for better times during his perilous struggle...of playing professional football. 

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