Remember those guys in high school that were giant assholes, but they were still popular because they were kind of good at sports. But they never made it at the college level and by 23 they had discovered if they ever wanted to be an asshole with any kind of respect again they’d have to join the military or become cops. Well when you failed your way out of the NFL with a few million dollars in your pocket becoming a dick cop or GENO (inside joke) isn’t really in the cards.
So what is Joey Harrington to do? Harrington was the #3 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. After the Lions gave up on him he floated around the league as a backup to several teams, he even got another chance to start in Atlanta after Michael Vick was busted for dog fighting, but by 2009 he was out of the league. All that being said Harrington was still a very good college QB at Oregon and spent 7 more years in the NFL than most will. Not to mention he made some very good money while doing it. That should be good enough right?
Nope, after failing out of the NFL Harrington needed a new way to support his fragile ego. Where to turn? You got it, cycling. Harrington moved back to Portland after his last NFL stint and is spending his days annoying drivers in the last place anyone respected him, Oregon. Or he was anyway. Until this:
Harrington is hospitalized with a broken collar bone, a punctured lung and a cut on his head. He is expected to remain in the hospital until Tuesday.
Portland police say the 33-year-old Harrington was hit from behind by a passing SUV driven by a 26-year-old man who remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. The man was cited for following too close.
Harrington led the Ducks to victory in the Fiesta Bowl his senior season and was a Heisman Trophy finalist. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played for three other teams over eight seasons in the NFL.
Harrington was best known for one thing in the NFL, besides being a giant bust: making low percentage, high risk throws. He had 85 career INTs in 81 career games. Is it any surprise that when you take a guy like that and put him on a bike, in spandex, in downtown Portland, he may end up in the hospital, if not the morgue?
|Harrington during better days, getting booed mercilessly by Detroit fans.|
Normally I don’t like to call out specific incidents where cyclists are injured or killed. It’s bad enough that their selfishness has caused such distress and hardship for their families; I don’t like to add to it by using them as an example. But since Harrington put himself in the public eye I will make an exception here. Joey Harrington may not have been a Hall of Fame pro quarterback but he was more successful than about 99% of the population. That should have been good enough for him. But it wasn’t. Much like that asshole you went to school with, he needed that ego boost he got in high school and college from being the popular jock. Only difference is that instead of joining the local police force, he decided to take up cycling. And it almost cost him his life.
I have to ask again, is it really worth it? I get it; cyclists like to drive around causing havoc on the roads, because it involves the world revolving around them. It makes them feel important, a feeling they can’t get from their daily lives of failure. But when it may mean your children have to grow up without a father, why do it? Is your ego so fragile that you will risk making an orphan of your children, just to bring traffic in downtown Portland to a screeching halt? The answer for Harrington, and many more, is obviously yes.
AP story at CNNSI:
Harrington’s Career Stats: