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The Gangster In The Huddle
August 28, 2013 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Paul Solotaroff of Rolling Stone investigates the life of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez and the path he took from NFL player to murder suspect.
posted by reenum (32 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you like this, you might also enjoy reading about Marvin Harrison.
posted by box at 9:36 AM on August 28, 2013


[I know it's a thread about a thing that is about sports but maybe don't go off on instant all-caps derails about otherwise unrelated sports things, yeah?]
posted by cortex at 10:05 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Remember when the big story with the Pats' tight ends was that Gronk might crush too many brews and dance with his shirt off?

I miss that.
posted by joelhunt at 10:18 AM on August 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


I had only half-followed this story before reading this article and holy crap he really slipped through a LOT of trouble, especially in college, more or less unscathed before becoming a suspect in this murder. No wonder he thought he could get away with it.
posted by troika at 10:33 AM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is so sad and so stupid.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:40 AM on August 28, 2013


Is there any good evidence that angel dust ever turned a person into a maniac at any time at any place? Anybody I ever saw on that shit just looked asleep.
posted by bukvich at 10:44 AM on August 28, 2013


Hernandez would fail other drug tests, according to reports, and should have faced bans for up to half a season, per school regulations. Instead, he didn’t miss a single snap, though he was seen hanging out with a crew of thugs at a local bar.

Urban Meyer has a LOT of explaining to do, I wonder if the NCAA is reading.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:48 AM on August 28, 2013


In the main, a good story and some cool web design, but try to ignore the middle bit where Ron Borges (!) grinds his "Bill Belichick is a poopy-head" axe for a few paragraphs.
posted by yerfatma at 11:04 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


bukvich

I had a nut on PCP try to stab me in the neck with a broken bottle, and it took 4 guys to subdue him, so, er, yeah.

/anecdata
posted by sfts2 at 11:06 AM on August 28, 2013


Is there any good evidence that angel dust ever turned a person into a maniac at any time at any place? Anybody I ever saw on that shit just looked asleep.

Media's given it a reputation no drug can live up to, but dopaminergic activity can def be a bad mix with dissociation. Wiki sez it best, though: [...]incidents of violence were unusual and often (but not always) limited to individuals with reputations for aggression regardless of drug use.
posted by Valued Customer at 11:06 AM on August 28, 2013


And seriously? Can't escape life of guns, drugs, and violence? Dude is from Bristol CT, not exactly a hotbed of thuggish activity. I guess if 'can't escape' means born to a middle class CT suburban family.
posted by sfts2 at 11:09 AM on August 28, 2013


Urban Meyer has a LOT of explaining to do, I wonder if the NCAA is reading.

Gee, I can't imagine a coach like that would fit in very well at a school like Ohio State.

GO BLUE!
posted by leotrotsky at 11:13 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


sorry, THE Ohio State.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:14 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kinda liked the Belichick part, though I wonder how accurate it is. Saying that a bunch of other teams passed on Hernandez, okay, that's a fact. Saying that Belichick is uniquely evil or amoral or whatever compared to other big-time coaches? As much as I'd like for it to be true, I don't know if the evidence is there.
posted by box at 11:15 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the logical endpoint of a sports culture that glorifies violence, the thug-athlete.
posted by Renoroc at 11:24 AM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Gee, I can't imagine a coach like that would fit in very well at a school like Ohio State.

Tressel's attempt to cover up the incredibly bogus controversy that was some players selling some of their own property (and for a minuscule fraction of what the NCAA made selling memorabilia and the image of said players to boot) wasn't exactly a moment for the moral highlight reel of 21st century college football, but it's nothing compared to letting Hernandez skate while he was firing guns into cars and beating the shit out of waiters.
posted by Copronymus at 11:41 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Even though I am prepared to believe that Aaron Hernandez is guilty of everything he's been accused of, I'm going to say this:

This article left me feeling dirty. No doubt its authors did plenty of research and talked to plenty of people, but they write about these events as though they themselves personally witnessed them.

There's a reason that these sorts of stories are usually sprinkled liberally with the word "alleged." It's not a mere courtesy on the part of journalists. It's that the job of a reporter is to say things that are factual, and the whole point of having a criminal trial is to resolve the differing accounts of what the facts are.

The tone is "Yeah, this guy is guilty as sin, but he may still walk. Fuckin' lawyers." That's something I expect to hear from the guy next to me at the bar, not from a piece of investigative journalism.
posted by savetheclocktower at 11:50 AM on August 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


As much as I don't like Hernandez or the Pats, bear in mind that this was co-written by Ron Borges, who uses every chance he gets to savage the Patriots.
posted by kuanes at 11:57 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This article left me feeling dirty.

There is some totally unnecessary editorializing here, lines like "he’s scourged his skin with a scree of tattoos." Did the writer put that in to be judge-y or just to pat himself on the back for the alliteration?

I'm down for a good Patriots-savaging any day of the week but this would have been a better article had he just gotten on with the story.
posted by troika at 12:00 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Did the writer put that in to be judge-y or just to pat himself on the back

We are talking about a guy who started a fistfight with a disabled person. Borges had been a Pats beat writer for years, then Belichick came along and (whether it's because Bill is evil or not) stopped playing nice with the Old Boys Network and Borges never forgave him. I mean, whatever the merits of Borges' attacks in the article, do I really have to believe replacing a bunch of retired Mass State Troopers with the guy who used to be in charge of security for Wembley Stadium is an obvious step down? I wasn't aware those guys pulling time-and-a-half on 95 and 93 for the last 300 years were all Sherlock Holmes in waiting.
posted by yerfatma at 12:14 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


This article left me feeling dirty. No doubt its authors did plenty of research and talked to plenty of people, but they write about these events as though they themselves personally witnessed them.


That would explain why all the neighbourhood dogs came running when i loaded this page up in my phone. All that dog whistling.
posted by srboisvert at 12:18 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This part also caught my attention:

“The Patriots aren’t receptive to those kind of calls,” says a law-enforcement official who knows the team and dislikes Briggs. “It’s not a friendly environment to call over.”

*cough*cough*
posted by srboisvert at 12:24 PM on August 28, 2013


Is there any good evidence that angel dust ever turned a person into a maniac at any time at any place? Anybody I ever saw on that shit just looked asleep.

Drugs don't make anyone do anything. Drugs generally just dampen or amplify things that are already in the person's personality.

So if someone is some kind of lunatic, disassociation might just let the inner lone gunman out. Disassociation is a dream-like state. If a user is in that state and also hallucinating, and also maybe on something that makes them more aggressive or less inhibited, bad things are going to happen.
posted by gjc at 12:42 PM on August 28, 2013


Yeah, that scourged-his-skin line has about five things wrong with it, including that Hernandez, by the standards of professional athletes, has some pretty good tattoos.
posted by box at 1:05 PM on August 28, 2013


This story and its teller is like a paint color chart for all the different shades of Horrible Asshole.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:18 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, this writer pushes the boundaries but this is a fascinating story. Hernandez' talent and pro football fame/fortune seems to have made an angry young man who did a little dope into a full blown, impervious and violent criminal. Also intriguing is the question of whether Hernandez can or should be held accountable from some of the past serious incidents in which he was apparently involved. And most interesting of all are the potential weaknesses in the pending case against him.
posted by bearwife at 1:38 PM on August 28, 2013


Is there any good evidence that angel dust ever turned a person into a maniac at any time at any place?

If Ann Nocetti's run on Daredevil isn't enough to convince you, what is?
posted by yerfatma at 5:34 PM on August 28, 2013


I swear when I first read this earlier today I did not pay attention to who wrote it, and when I got to the Belichick paragraphs I thought, "Is this Borges?"

It's a fascinatingly horrible story, though.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:36 PM on August 28, 2013


Fuck Hernandez, the story was good, deal with it. Rolling Stone has a tone that you should be acquainted with by now, and their work is impeccable. Thug fuckface Hernandez did scourge himself with a scree of tattoos, wring your hands all you want. Fuck him to hell, your bleeding heart liberal status isn't under attack. The LAPD / Biggie article from 2011 linked at the bottom was amazing.
posted by lordaych at 7:10 PM on August 28, 2013


A veteran observer of Boston sports media can easily discern exactly which parts of the article Borges wrote.
posted by adamg at 8:47 PM on August 28, 2013


Thug fuckface Hernandez . . . Fuck him to hell, your bleeding heart liberal status isn't under attack

Glad you got the main point of the article.
posted by yerfatma at 5:45 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ben Volin wrote a little fact check of the RS article in Today's Boston Globe. They've also posted an interview with the primary author.
posted by Jugwine at 6:00 AM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


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