I have been obsessed by the Aaron Hernandez murder case. I'm not sure why.
I watch reports on CNN and I read about Hernandez and his two alleged accomplices online and in newspapers. And I've learned about the victim Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player. I didn't know there were semipro football players.
I keep rearranging the furniture in my mind, trying to understand how a 23-year-old who has it all — and I mean he has everything — could do what he's accused of doing.
It seems Hernandez was involved in Lloyd's murder. He may even have been involved in a double homicide before that. And he may have shot another man's eye out. How does this happen to a man with athletic grace and a winning smile, to a man with the look of a hero?
The media tell us how. Many media reports are first-rate and informative. But some stories I've read or seen have me scratching my head.
For example, I have read Hernandez had a tough time growing up in Bristol, Conn. Forget that both his parents were employed and he seems to have been a happy kid, although his father died when Hernandez was a teenager. Hernandez hung around with a tough crowd and he never could break away. It's as if the tough crowd was Super Glue that kept Hernandez permanently attached to lowlifes and bums.
To which I say more than 60,000 people live in Bristol and the overwhelming majority of them are not murderers — alleged murderers.
I read Hernandez is too young and inexperienced to handle fame and the $40 million contract he signed with the New England Patriots. It's just too much to expect from a kid from Bristol.
To which I say you can't have it both ways. He can't handle his tough upbringing and he can't handle luxury. Well, what can he handle? I wish I earned 40 mil at 23. I might have blown some of that cash on silly things, but I don't believe I would have resorted to murder because I found the money so burdensome. I'm hazarding a guess here — most millionaires, even young millionaires, do not engage in execution-style hit jobs.
I have read we have a caste system in our society — there are famous athletes and then there are the rest of us. Famous athletes have a sense of entitlement that screws up their moral compass. And that's what happened to Hernandez. He felt entitled. He lost his compass. He whacked someone.
To which I say Steve Young, Joe Montana, LeBron James and Dusty Baker and thousands of other privileged, famous athletes never murdered anyone.
I have read that what Hernandez did is the fault of the National Football League, which encourages a thug culture.
I can't help noticing most NFL players are not thugs and they are not murderers. The crime rate in the NFL is lower than society at large.
I have read that what Hernandez did is the Patriots' fault because they drafted him in the first place.
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