Jan Scruggs
Memorial founder

Jan Scruggs

Founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

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No accidents

Question: NBA all-star Gilbert Arenas was sentenced to two years of probation for his gun-fueled locker room confrontation with a teammate. Why do so many hugely talented stars--athletes, actors, politicians--work hard to achieve success and then behave in ways that jeopardize their careers? Are they arrogant? Stupid? Oblivious?

Answer: Imagine how different your life would be if you were really extraordinary at scoring points with a basketball, baseball or football. You are 25 years old with millions of dollars in the bank. You have spent your life as a star from high school onward. You are at the zenith of a short career, and you are king of the world.

You probably carry ten or twenty thousand in cash all the time. You say to yourself, "I think I will carry a gun since I have all this money in my pocket." You are not consulting local law enforcement, you just start running around with a pistol. This is a serious crime, and you get into trouble. Maybe, like New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, you shoot yourself in the leg at a Manhattan night club.

The good news about the Arenas situation is that at least there is some dialogue with NBA players about the huge inadvisability of illegally carrying firearms and the financial consequences of doing so.

So much for Arenas. How far can you extrapolate this situation to people like former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards or South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who both suffered from an uncontrolled libido that led each man to ruin? Do some people simply want to self destruct and to be punished? I do recall Sigmund Freud's quote. He noted, "There are no accidents."

By Jan Scruggs  |  March 28, 2010; 8:41 PM ET  | Category:  squandering success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I bet they couldn't do this with the "Tea Partyers". smh.....

Posted by: kentonsmith | March 31, 2010 5:01 PM
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While it is unfortunate for the individuals involved(Arenas and Burress), it is good to see serious consequences for illegal and reckless gun possession. In the past many athletes got ridiculously light discipline for potentially more serious gun issues.

Posted by: verbal8 | March 30, 2010 10:46 AM
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