Let me go on record as saying that I, personally, was rooting for the enigmatic, yet immensly talented Adam "Pacman" Jones to make it as a success in the National Football League. He's the short in stature, but big in bravado Tennesse Titans cornerback who overcame a tough childhood in the rough and tumble neighborhood of College Park, GA. His dad was murdered when he was a youth, his mother battled personal demons, and he was raised primarily by his grandmother. Adam Jones has the type of life story that makes you just want to root for the kid. He's the guy who flew just straight enough, despite not hanging around the best influences, at Westlake High School to earn a scholarship to West Virginia University. He was the spitfire cornerback that never saw another player he was in awe of. His performance in 2004 on Thursday Night football against the University of Miami and their brash tight end, Kellen Winslow, made it known to all that Adam Jones was a football player to be reckoned with.
After his exploits in Morgantown, he was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. After a rocky first year in Nashville, Jones played at a Pro Bowl level in the 2006 season. This past year, Jones registered 50 tackles, 4 interceptions, all the while leading the NFL in punt return average and scoring 4 touchdowns. However, like many misguided youths in the daily grind of inner-city hustling and flowing, Pacman has shown to be a man short of social graces. There were issues that led to a probationary period in Morgantown. There were many instances of Jones running into trouble with the Nashville PD. However, what is most disturbing to me is Jones' disrespect of women. There have been multiple accusations of him spitting on women and his disrespect of females allegedly set off the wild chain of events that led to three people being shot at the Minxx Gentlemen's Club in Las Vegas during NBA All-Star Weekend. Is that the kind of activity his beloved late grandmother would approve of? In a recent turn of events, Adam apparently got into an altercation at an Atlanta strip club (a mere five days after stating to Commissioner Roger Goddell that he was going to take the opportunity during his one year NFL suspension to change his surroundings), defending the honor of some young lady that sparked a shoot up of some disrespectful gentlemmen's car by his clique!
Like I said, I have always been in the "let's give Pacman a break" crowd. As a fairly young African American male, I understand some of the Napoleonic complex that many inner-city youths have. Its that attitude and defiance that actually has made a guy like Pacman Jones the Alpha Dog athlete he is. However, at some point in your life, you have to put away childish things and act like a man, no matter what odds you've come back from. As a native Nashvillian and a Titans season ticket holder this is tough to say, because you see the talent, you see the underdog epitomized in the undersized fella with the big heart that this city's musical culture is derived from............................ But.......................... if you are Coach Jeff Fisher, GM Mike Reinfeldt, and team owner Bud Adams, you may just have to let this talented young man walk. Mr. Jones and his crew have proven to be menaces to society and this is not an image that you want this franchise to project. So, let's just get behind the Vince Young's and Keith Bulluck's of the world who handle themselves with class and dignity, and let Pacman eat up his own dots somewhere else!