I’ve made bad jokes about Titus Young. You have too, likely. It’s difficult to resist when someone is arrested twice in one day, which seemingly takes true effort and determination. Let’s stop that now.
This past Friday night Young was arrested again, for the third time in a week. This time it was for burglary, assaulting a police officer, and resisting arrest, all stemming from a break-in which very nearly ended much worse. The homeowner was loading a gun and would have been prepared to shoot had Young provoked him further. Thankfully, such tragic measures weren’t needed.
Something clearly isn’t right with him, an assumption which goes beyond just his recent criminal activity. He’s shown brief flashes of talent (181 receiving yards and two touchdowns between weeks 7 and 8 this past season), but in between there’s been near constant malcontent behavior. Unhappy with his playing time with the Lions, he intentionally lined up in the wrong spot. Then when he remained unhappy with his usage, Young turned to social media to ask for his release, a request which was eventually granted.
Now we know what that something is indeed wrong in Young’s mind, the something that’s contributed to his spiral.
His father Richard Young spoke with the Detroit Free Press yesterday. He said that Friday morning — long before Titus was arrested after the break-in — his son was happy and laughing while the two went out for coffee. Then suddenly he disappeared and randomly drove 60 miles where his third crime of the week and arrest eventually happened.
He suffers from a brain disorder, and as his father explained, the physical abuse of football led to more problems:
Richard Young said his son suffers from a disorder caused by his brain being compressed into the front of his skull, but he couldn’t remember the disorder’s name Monday. The father said his son’s disposition changed after he suffered a concussion during his rookie season, although the Lions never listed that as an injury.
Although Titus Young has medication for the issue, his father said he hasn’t been taking it as prescribed.
And, while Richard Young said his son has sought help for the issue, Titus Young hasn’t been dedicated to his treatment, which doctors told the father could take six months or less.
“He’s not dealing with it the way he should be,” Richard Young said. “If the judge gives him a court order, then maybe he’ll get the help he needs.”
That’s what he needs now. Help, and football should be an afterthought.
Gawking at Young’s slow burn was easy, and almost instinctive. It’s a practice that’s now nearly embedded as part of a sensationalist celebrity media culture. The same tendency to throw barbs in Young’s direction last week is to some degree what’s made Lindsay Lohan matter so much to so many people. The fall of those who are blessed with unique talent and skill is often more entertaining than the rise, merely because it’s unexpected.
Usually, though, there’s much more at play.