Hey, remember Kerry Collins. I do. I remember when he played for the New Orleans Saints, at a time in his life when he had little to no self control, and ended up teetering on the edge of a lost career down in the Big Easy. The reported incidents were bad enough, one can only speculate as to what went unreported. Anyway, he never amounted to much down here with the Saints and it wasn’t long before he was sent packing.
But I also remember a Kerry Collins who went on to get a grip, ended up with the Tennessee Titans, and racked up 16 seasons in the NFL. While there are those who can never find themselves and end up lying in a gutter somewhere with a ruined career, Kerry Collins serves as a reminder that there is redemption for those who have enough cojones to slap themselves in the face, forge ahead in spit of critics, and build themselves back up. Kerr Collins was one of those guys.
Collins ended up with over 40,000 yards in the NFL and over 200 touchdowns. I remember him best when he took over for an erratic Vince Young, took the Titans to 12 wins, and a spot atop the AFC. It’s the kind of thing that was expected of him when he was drafted. Enormously talented but his own worst enemy, Collins finally found some peace with himself after alcohol rehab and finally got the chance to lead a winning team, a chance he earned with hard work, patience, and newfound commitment. Out of the darkness came liht, and a damn good NFL quarterback, and now, a stronger person.
With the announcement of his retirement, Kerry Collins may wish he had taken a better road. But it is what it is. At least with Collins it was a road that led to better things. He found it, stayed on the road, and in the end he delivered exciting games, earned the respect of his teammates, and renewed our faith in the power of second chances. In the future some will get those same second chances in the NFL and continue to stumble. Collins rose up above it and for that he has my respect and admiration.