By C. Patterson
Well, it’s safe to say that LSU’s talented yet disgraced former star defensive back Tyrann Mathieu just doesn’t care. Actually let me be a bit more specific, if the subjects are weed, hot coeds, and the back of police squad cars he does in fact care very much. But should the subject matter creep into hard work, integrity, and dedication to one’s commitments well that’s when Mathieu’s similarities with the infamous honey badger begin.
The 2011 Chuck Bednarik Award winner for the best defensive player in the nation was as talented as he was charismatic. The purple and gold of Louisiana State University was supposed to be just the beginning for his Badgerness, but things quickly turned for the worse. A bit of irony surfaced when the golden-striped coifed Mathieu’s career started to resemble more skunk than hilarious YouTube creature. At the ripe old age of 20 he found himself unceremoniously booted out of Tiger country for “violating team rules” (i.e., apparently habitual drug test failures) sending a shock wave through Baton Rouge that was felt all season long. However, if you thought that something like public humiliation could stop a honey badger from getting to his hive of stupidity, then you don’t know Honey Badger – he takes what he wants.
October, a great month for breast cancer awareness, sending your kids to the doorsteps of strangers and arresting pot smoking phenomenal cornerbacks that have forgone their education in exchange for further degradation. That’s right the pesky stings of the media couldn’t stop him from getting to that hive (see above reference of he takes what he wants). After a stint in drug-rehabilitation Mathieu decided the best way to celebrate his unmitigated plummet into the cavern of colossal brainlessness was to get together with a couple of other former LSU players and get arrested for marijuana possession. Brilliant.
Fast-forward a month to November 29, 2012 and Tyrann “Honey” Mathieu decides that his maturity level has grown enough and it’s high time that he outgrew his Willie Nelson-ish ways and rejoin his peers by taking his talents to the 2013 NFL Draft. Now maybe life as an NFL player may be just what Tyrann needs. Sure he is a high-risk investment for any chemically-imbalanced GM to gamble on, but hilariously dumb antics aside Mathieu is a remarkable talent capable of Greek god-like ESPN top 10 worthy highlights. It basically boils down to the weighing of options: incredible on the field play vs. incredibly foolish life decisions. Giving a proven reckless time bomb a few million dollars, what could possibly go wrong? Perhaps the NFL should go the way of Colorado and turn a glazed-over blind eye to the fogged up VW van in the stadium parking lot. That way the Badger has one less thing to worry about. Maybe, just maybe this could be Mathieu’s pot-paved road to redemption – Vegas odds would bet against it, but stranger things have happened. I say we let bygones be bygones and let those among us who have not been expelled from a major university, had our scholarship revoked and been handcuffed and processed for a Schedule Class 1 controlled substance throw the first stone. The Honey Badger is a man like any one of us…ok so technically he would be some sort of weird manimal hybrid, but still if we prick him does he not bleed?
Come April 25, 26, or maybe even the 27th you can rest assure that the man who takes what he wants will have a professional team take a chance on him. A kid that many believed would be the first defensive Heisman trophy winner since Charles Woodson will get his opportunity to wipe his slate clean. And then we will be left to see if the NFL’s newest wild thing will be ready to grow or if by staying true to character, still won’t give a shit.