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Lawrence Phillips dead.


PittsburghSucks

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The man that's partly responsible for the end of Steve Young's career.

Despite that - you can call me a bleeding heart pansy - but I'm not going to pile on.

It's clear the guy had issues. Not that it forgives anything that he did, but it really is a shame that someone with his kind of talent couldn't get himself together. I know, these are always the things you hear when someone with a troubled past succumbs to themselves - inner demons and yada yada yada, but it's unfortunate that these stories so often have to end this way.

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Since everyone seems to be piling on the negative, NFL side of LP...

The man had problems. That's absolutely clear. But he's probably also one of the greatest CFB running backs to have played the game. I read one quote saying that the only defense that could stop Lawrence Phillips were his own demons. FWIW, in the last several years there were some letters he wrote to his old coaches at NU and other places. He seemed like a repentant man looking for a new chance but being from the SoCal area originally, many of his prison mates knew him as a kid and there was some badge of honor to be had for being the guy to kill a former football star. Phillip's cell mate was recently found dead - at the hands of LP, no less - but all accounts showed it was likely self defense and that he was attacked by the other inmate.

I say all that not to exonerate him or free him from the responsibility of his own life choices. But clearly, every person is shades of gray. A tragic life comes to a tragic end.

I probably won't toast him the next time I drink, but for anyone who can simply appreciate the raw talent and love for the game, here's Lawrence at his best. A freak athlete with size, speed, power AND cutting ability.

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Being rich and famous doesn't guarentee resolution of all personal issues, unlike what some struggling people may believe.

Sage advice. Notoriety and wealth are merely catalysts. They don't change people into someone else; they change you into a more intense version of the person you already were.

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Sometimes, wealth and fame simply amplify the problems you're already running from.

Everyone has problems. Some bigger than others. But, life is dealing with those problems.

He had a talent. No doubt about it. But, he dug his own grave.

Yeah, that's kind of where I stand on this. I don't really ever like to use the term "lost cause" with anyone, but he was serving life in prison and was potentially facing the death penalty for another murder he committed while in prison. He was pretty much the dictionary definition of a lost cause.

Hence the "duh".

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Sometimes, wealth and fame simply amplify the problems you're already running from.

Everyone has problems. Some bigger than others. But, life is dealing with those problems.

He had a talent. No doubt about it. But, he dug his own grave.

Yeah, that's kind of where I stand on this. I don't really ever like to use the term "lost cause" with anyone, but he was serving life in prison and was potentially facing the death penalty for another murder he committed while in prison. He was pretty much the dictionary definition of a lost cause.

Hence the "duh".

There was a chance that he could have been released from prison around 60 or so, which is far from dead. As far as the murder in prison, he was charged with it but I don't believe they got to trial. There are conflicting accounts, but many think it was self defense (ie: the cellmate tried to murder him). Not defending him; just pointing out that he still had a chance to see daylight again.

Phillips was not convicted of murder. Maybe he's guilty, but until that's proven there's an ocean of difference between this and guys like Rae Carruth or Aaron Hernandez, who were convicted of murder:

  • On April 12, 2015, Phillips' cellmate Damion Soward, was found dead in the cell the two men shared. Soward, who was serving a sentence of 82-to-life for a murder conviction was choked to death and Phillips was regarded as the prime suspect in the case. On September 1, 2015, Phillips was charged with first-degree murder in connection with Soward's death. On November 9, 2015, the prosecutor was granted a motion to reconsider whether to seek the death penalty. Philips was awaiting trial and in segregated custody at Kern Valley State Prison when he was found unresponsive in his cell by corrections officers around midnight on January 12, 2016.

For the sake of argument, let's assume he was found innocent. Compare that against Ray Rice, who essentially committed the EXACT SAME CRIME by beating the tar out of his girlfriend. Rice's charges were dropped after the court gave him the option of counseling. You have two identical situations of NFL players assaulting their significant others. One gets locked away for decades and the other has to pick up some garbage and pee in a cup once in while. That's the shame of the whole thing that nobody's talking about.

Of course, if LP actually murdered the cellmate, then he got what's coming to him.

The whole situation is sad any way you slice it.

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